If you’ve been camping or using your Coleman sleeping bag often, you might begin to notice it starting to smell, or getting a little dirty looking. If that’s the case, keep reading to find out how to wash a Coleman sleeping bag without much effort.
The most straightforward way to wash your Coleman sleeping bag is to take it to one of those laundromats that offer oversized washing machines if you don’t have this type at your house. Just add some mild detergent and wash it in cold water. If you have the space, you can let it air dry or use the lowest temperature possible on a large dryer.
You don’t want to squeeze your sleeping bag into a regular-sized washer and dryer because it can cause harm and even damage to both your sleeping bag and the machine. If there is an oversized article in your washing machine, it will not function properly.
Table of Contents
- Your sleeping bag
- Washing machine
- Mild detergent
- Dryer or clothesline
What To Avoid
- Dry cleaning
- Top loading washing machines
- Regular wash cycle
- Harsh detergents & bleach
- High heat
Sleeping Bag Washing Instructions
Step 1 – Unzip the Sleeping Bag
Having the synthetic sleeping bag unzipped allows the inside and outside material to get clean. When it’s zipped up the inside fabric won’t be as free and might have issues getting washed all the way.
Try to keep the zipper all the way at the bottom as well so that it won’t become damaged during the wash.
Step 2 – Wash in Cold Water
Using a front loading washing machine, load up the sleeping bag and add a small amount of mild detergent. Next, you should set the washing machine to a gentle cycle, and allow it to run using cold water instead of hot.
You can use a fabric softener while the bag is washing but make sure to avoid using anything that contains bleach.
Hand washing is another option, but it’s very tough to clean the entire sleeping bag without missing some important areas.
Tip: If you don’t have the correct type of washer, a local laundromat would be a good alternative.
Step 3 – Hang Dry or Tumble Dry
When the machine wash is complete and the bag is fully rinsed, you have two options for drying the bag, tumble dry or hang dry.
Leaving the bag hanging to dry overnight is the better way to avoid damaging your gear, but it takes much longer. It’s still my preferred way, just make sure you leave yourself with plenty of time to let it dry completely.
Make sure you hang it in a cool space that avoids any direct sunlight.
If you decide to use the dryer, it must be run at low heat since we want to avoid any high temperatures.
You can also try placing a beach towel or sizable fluffy towel into the dryer with your sleeping bag since it will help it dry more quickly by absorbing a lot of the excess water.
Note: Some commercial dryers only have one temperature, which is usually extremely warm. Don’t use these dryers because the excessive heat can melt your sleeping bag, making it unusable.
Step 4 – Store Away Once Dry
Now that you have a nice clean sleeping bag, the last step is to put it away until the next time it’s needed! I know from my experiences camping that it can be a pain to figure out sometimes.
No matter where you’ll be storing it you most likely need to roll it up so that it takes up less space.
Here are some simple steps that will help you take care of your bag much easier.
- Completely zip up the sleeping bag and lay it out flat on the floor.
- Fold the bag in half going from the bottom up to the top (lengthwise).
- Begin to roll the bag up, stopping every couple of rolls to make sure it’s not loose or coming undone.
- Use any of the attached loops or drawcords to keep the bag compact and tight before moving it to where it’ll be stored.
What You Shouldn’t Do When Washing Your Sleeping Bag
Some people think they should just drop their sleeping bag off at the dry cleaners because that would be the simplest way to get it cleaned without dealing with it yourself. However, as easy as that may seem, you should not take your sleeping bag to any dry cleaners.
Why is that NEVER a good idea? Because dry cleaners use methods that can ruin your bag’s synthetic fill and decrease the ability to maintain warmth. It will also shorten the life expectancy of your sleeping bag.
You should also never fold or roll up a sleeping bag that is not completely dry on both the inside and out. If you do this before it is completely dry, it can form mold and destroy your sleeping bag over time without your knowledge.
Always make sure your sleeping bag is completely dry before storing it.
How Often Do You Need To Wash Your Sleeping Bag?
Some folks believe they don’t have to wash their sleeping bags ever, and that’s the furthest thing from the truth.
If you don’t ever clean your sleeping bag, it will begin to lose its ability to maintain heat and won’t last as long as it would when adequately cared for. Having a sleeping bag without good insulation and warmth just doesn’t make for a very good combination.
Not to mention it will probably stink too!
If you are somebody who goes camping a few times a year, you probably only need to wash your sleeping bag once a year. However, if you’ve been roughing it in the woods for a few months at a time, you will need to wash yours more frequently.
You can easily spot clean your sleeping bag if you see stains or soiled spots on the outside cover. Just wipe it with a damp rag or cloth and then hang it on a line to dry or over a chair. You can also use baby wipes if you have them with you on your adventure.
Tips For Extending The Washing Period
If you want to ensure that you don’t need to wash your Coleman sleeping bag more often than required, you need to make sure you are doing everything possible to keep it clean. Below are some top suggestions for extending the washing period:
- Always wear either long underwear, pajamas, thermals, or some other type of clothes that covers a good amount of skin.
- Be mindful of dirt and body oils that can soil the sleeping bag more quickly, and avoid getting in your bag if you are already sweaty.
Keeping your sleeping bag clean and in pristine condition can provide you with years of warmth. It will prolong the bag’s life and maintain the heat needed to give you the perfect amount of comfort in various weather conditions.