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How to clean your down sleeping bag

Through careful washing you can extend the effective lifespan of your down sleeping bag and enjoy a clean and fresh feeling every night. These cleaning instructions apply to both our range of down sleeping bags and goose down jackets.

Down washing advice

Our bags do not have to be professionally cleaned. However for the best chance of restoring the down to its original performance we recommend you use Mountaineering Designs. If you have decided to do it yourself how do you clean your down sleeping bag? Firstly a large tumble dryer is worth its weight in gold! air drying will take a very long time in the typical British climate and you will have to constantly agitate the down as it dries to ensure it does not clump. We do not recommend dry cleaning or bleaching down products.

1A - Hand wash - the gentle approach

If you share a house with other people make sure you negotiate an appropriate time slot since this may take some time. Fill your bath with luke warm water mixing in either pure soap flakes or our favourite down cleaner. Place your sleeping bag into the bath and gently press it down so it is submerged. Agitate it a little and now go and get a cup of tea. After an hour or so let the water drain from the bath and refill with fresh water. Gently massage the bag to remove the soap from the down, if you have a shower head this could work well. Keep at it until all the soapy water is removed. Gently push down on the down bag to evacuate as much water as possible. It is important that you do not wring or squeeze the bag, this will just damage the down.

1B - Machine wash

For all our sleeping bags we recommend using a large capacity front loading washing machine. By large capacity we mean over 10kg. The bigger the bag the more capacity you need. A normal household machine has a capacity of under 7kg and is just not going to cut the mustard. Try to remove all soap residues by flushing the machine through with an empty wash and clean out the soap dispenser. Set the water temperature to 30C (warm) and fill the soap dispenser with the recommended quantity of Nikwax Down Wash. This depends on the weight of the bag. After the wash cycle is complete rinse the bag thoroughly.

2 - Waterproofing (optional)

You can increase the effectiveness of your down in damp conditions by treating it with Nikwax Down Proof. Before removing your wet bag from the washing machine reload the dispenser with the recommended quantity of Down Proof. Let you machine work its magic whilst you go and get a coffee. If you are in the bath roll up your sleeves again and get hands on.

3 - Rinse well

Rinse until the water runs clean.

4 - Drying your sleeping bag

This is important. Take care when lifting your bag, it will be heavy so keep a straight back, bend your knees and avoid putting any stress on the bags seams. Now what are you going to do with that soggy mass of feathers? Hopefully you have that tumble dryer we told you about earlier. If so set it to the lowest heat option, (take care with laundrettes they seem to have a single setting that would melt glass). Throw in the clean tennis shoe or tennis balls with your bag. As the bag dries these will break up the down clumps. Large bags will require several hours of tumbling before they are dry. We recommend tumble drying when using products such as Nikwax Down Proof as the heat helps cure the waterproofing to the fabric quicker.

No dryer? then lay it opened in a clean, dry shady area to dry. Massage and separate the drying down until completely dry. Air drying a bag can take days! If your bag is left unattended the down will clump together and it will not be nice and fluffy. Important: Do not just throw your bag over the washing line and leave it to drip dry over night. Better still place in the dryer on a low heat.. oh did we say that already?

Cleaning tip : Keep your down clean

By sleeping in long underwear or using a cotton or silk sleeping bag liner you can reduce the number of times you will have to wash your bag.

Storage tip

Store your down product in a clean, dry, ventilated area. Avoid hanging it over a rail. Stuff it loosely inside its large grey cotton storage bag so it will retain its loft. Do not store your sleeping bag in its compression stuff sack or when it is damp.

Professional down cleaning services

Mountaineering Designs

PO BOX 20,
Grange-Over-Sands,
Cumbria,
LA11 6WR,
England, UK

Phone : +44 1539 536333

Email: info@mountaineering-designs.co.uk

Created: Dec 17, 2010

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