How often should you wash a sleeping bag

How Often Should You Wash a Sleeping Bag

Every hiker or adventurer has sleeping bags for their trip in remote areas. But they always find themselves with a question on how to take care of sleeping bags. For instance, how often to wash down sleeping bags? Should you wash it before you use it? Also, how often to wash down Coleman sleeping bags. We have included the true answer to all these questions in this article.

Sleeping bags are the most essential gear during camping but keeping your bedding dry is also troublesome. To enjoy your trip comfortably you should learn How to keep bedding dry when camping?

How Often Should You Wash a Sleeping Bag?

After 1 year, but it also depends on how often you use it and which fabric material, and which brand your sleeping bag is.

If you are thinking, of washing it after every time you use a sleeping bag, In a small amount of time you will tear or destroy fabric inside your sleeping bag. In other words, you don’t have to wash it after every time you use it.

If you wash down your sleeping bags man time in a year, it will have a risk of losing its loft. Loft supports where the person’s body rests in a sleeping bag, the higher the loft, the more person is comfortable and is better insulated from cold.

The loft is determined by new sleeping bags, but when we wash down sleeping bags often, the loft particles get destroys and in time it is not very well insulated for cold areas.

According to most of the hikers, who spend nearly 50-60 multi-day hiking trips, wash their sleeping bad after 25-30 trips. Their trips include rainy and cold weather. If you are like one of the hikers who use their sleeping bags very often, it’s better to wash it down after 25-30 trips.

Frequent hikers waah their sleeping bags 2 times a year, but it could be more if the place of their visit with lots of dirt and rainy weather.

What’s the right time to wash down a sleeping bag?

What’s the right time to wash down a sleeping bag, really depends on how much dirt you have in your sleeping bag. If you want to wash down your Sleeping bag, you must consider, if your sleeping bag needs cleaning. If it’s brand new and you use it very often, and they’re a little dirt inside, you could only do spot cleaning.

Spot cleaning is a method to clean sleeping bags without washing it. But often you should you do it.

But if you are using a sleeping bag for over a year on your every trip and it faced sunny days, cold days, and also rainy days. You have to wash it down immediately.

Should You Wash Your Sleeping Bag Before You Use It

From my personal expertise No, you don’t have to wash to sleeping before using it. Some people have their preferences of washing their clothes or even sleeping bags before using them and it’s okay for them to do this.

There are no side effects of washing down sleeping bags before using them from hiking or camping. But downwash down your Sleeping bag more than 3 times a year, if you do that has a high risk of destroying the fabric, waterproofing coating, and loft inside the sleeping bag.

But don’t wait till the last minute to wash down your Sleeping bag, the process could take up to 4-5 hours.

How often Spot Cleaning a Sleeping Bag is Sufficient

After a sweaty night or if your sleeping bag is filled with dirt or you will be struck by a thunderstorm. In all these circumstances you should spot clean your sleeping bag. It’s only good for a small amount of water inside the sleeping bag, if it’s in a huge amount you have to first wash it down and then dry it. And after that, you could use the sleeping bag once again.

Most sleeping bags have a waterproof coating, with additional protection to not get water inside the sleeping bag.

If you have stain all over your sleeping bad it’s better to wash it down rather than a spot clean. If you don’t know how to spot clean we have mentioned instructions below.


  1. You could use a vacuum cleaner to remove all the dirt from the sleeping bag.
  2. A clean cloth is used to dry out small drops of water inside the sleeping bag.
  3. If stain is all over your sleeping bag, you could drop your cloth in soap, and gently clean the surface of the sleeping bag.

Is sleeping bags get worse after every wash

Continuous washing down sleeping bags, risk the damaging of fabric and wear waterproof coating from the sleeping bag. Sleeping bags have a thin layer of waterproofing coating, which repels the water from getting inside the fabric or filling of the sleeping bag. After every wash, the coating wears down and after a certain amount of time, the layer gets destroyed and the water gets inside the fabric or loft or filling of the sleeping bag.

Water in the loft causes the sleeping bag to lose its inflammation or losing its properties to provide heat or make your body warm in the sleeping bag. The filling in the sleeping bag shrinks and particles combines. If your Sleeping bag’s filling particles are getting combined in one place, then the water stars getting inside the sleeping bag. The only option left for you is to buy a new sleeping bag.

Soap to use for washing down sleeping bag?

You have to be careful while choosing the detergent for your sleeping bag. If you choose a heavy detergent you will damage the layer of the sleeping bag and in the worst case you could tear down your Sleeping bag.

But if you choose the light detergent, the stain will not be removed and you have to wash it multiple times to remove the stain. Multiple times washing down decrease the life expectancy of the sleeping bags. ( I personally used) Nikwax Down Wash for synthetic bags, a mild detergent You could easily find Nixwax on Amazon.

If you are thinking of using your dish wash or clothing Powder, from my personal experience don’t do that. Some of our high reactive and some can’t do proper cleaning of your sleeping bag.

Sleeping Bag Liner is good for sleeping bag

A sleeping bag liner is an additional product that is placed inside the space between you and your sleeping bag. It provides a protective layer that increases your comfort period and keeps you warm at any time. If you have a problem with a lot of sweating, you should always consider using a sleeping bag liner. It will remove the additional moisture from your Sleeping bag and it also prevents moisture to destroy the fabric.

In other words, using sleeping bag liners will increase the life expectancy of sleeping bags.

How to Properly Store Your Bag After Each Use

After washing down your Sleeping bag, the last thing to do is store your bag. According to experts, sleeping bags should always be stored in dry places( where it is less exposed to moisture).

If you don’t store it in a dry place, the moisture will add a musty, sweaty smell to the bag.

If you have any queries on how Often Should You Wash a Sleeping Bag, you could use the comment section.