How to clean sleeping bags and how to store them

We’ve all gone to get our sleeping bags out for a camping trip and found they have a rather musty smell, and possibly mould from a previous trip, not realising how important it is to get them cleaned as soon as you can after use. If you do not care for it properly, it won’t last long and defiantly won’t keep you as warm either.


Find below some cleaning advice and tips on storage, saving you money and time in the long run.



Washing your sleeping bag at home

Even if you only use it a few times, it is best to wash your sleeping bag at least once a year. If you want to machine wash your bag, check the garment tag for washing instructions. It is best to use a small amount of non-detergent soap, in cool or warm water, and a gentle cycle for washing. Do not use a top-loading washing machine with an agitator. Instead, use a front loader, or a top loader without an agitator.

Considering its bulk, you will need to run the bag through the rinse cycle at least twice.


To tumble dry the sleeping bag

To tumble dry the sleeping bag in a dryer, set the machine to low heat. Make sure the bag is completely dry before storing it. If needed, hang the bag to let it air dry after it comes out of the dryer.


Get Your Sleeping Bag Professionally Cleaned

Unfortunately, machine washing and drying your sleeping bag can damage it and affect the fluffiness or insulating quality of its down or synthetic filling. Many experienced campers and sleeping bag manufacturers recommend using a professional service that specialises in cleaning down.


Sleeping Bag Storage

While new sleeping bags come in their storage bags, those bags are best suited for transporting and not long-term storage. Instead, after each trip, and during the off-season, air out your sleeping bag before loosely packing it in a large storage bag made of mesh or cotton. It’s best to turn the sleeping bag inside out before storage, especially if yours is a waterproof or a synthetic bag.


At Farthings Cambridge and Trumpington, we have successfully treated a variety of down-filled items for many years. If you have any questions, come and see us at 143 Milton road in Cambridge and 1 Anstey Way in Trumpington. Alternatively, you can give us a call on 01223 755180 for our Cambridge Branch and 01223 625310 for our Trumpington Branch.