How Often Wash Sleeping Bag: Best 10 Tips For Washing

You might be thinking, “how often wash sleeping bag?” Thankfully there are many ways to care for your sleeping bag to keep them clean!

Sleeping bags are used by people worldwide, including children in summer camps or other sleepovers. Sleeping bags are not often washed after one use because they will have lost their original shape. It is also important to know how to wash a sleeping bag without shrinking or becoming damaged.

A good rule of thumb is to wash every six months. If you are camping or staying in close quarters with other people, then it’s best to do it at least every two weeks.

Why Should You Wash Your Sleeping Bag?

A sleeping bag is considered to be an item of camping equipment. If it’s dirty or damaged, it may no longer function as it was designed for.

This means that you wouldn’t get any protection from the cold. If it’s wet, it may be more difficult to dry. If it’s been stained or stained with mud, it’s not going to be as bright as it was when it was new.

Sleeping bags, especially those that don’t have a protective shell, are synthetic materials. Any time you get them wet, some or all of that material becomes permanently “grounded” (electrically connected).

Dirt and other debris attached to your bag also carry a charge that stays with the bag throughout its lifetime. This charge can get so strong that it burns holes in the bag.

Cleaning and maintaining your sleeping bag may also extend its lifetime.

How Often Wash Sleeping Bag?

You don’t need to clean your sleeping bag fully — there are tools you can use for that. However, you do need to make sure it’s washed periodically.

If there’s any blood or other stains on your sleeping bag, you may have to wash it three or more times before they’re gone.

How Often Should You Wash Your Sleeping Bag?

Sleeping bags that have been through a lot of abuse (bruised, torn, etc.) will often get more stains and dirt than those that have not been so badly damaged.

It is recommended to wash them once per season or every six months if camping frequently or in close quarters with other people.

How Often Should You Wash Your Sleeping Bag?

The general rule of thumb is to wash it at least every six months. If you are camping or staying in close quarters with other people, it’s best to do it every two weeks. If you’re not sure how dirty your bag is, play it safe and wash it every six months anyway.

What Are The Benefits Of Washing Your Sleeping Bag?

There are many benefits to washing your sleeping bag. Make sure to wash the shell, too.

Top 7 Benefits of washing your sleeping bag:

1. Protects the item from dirt, leaks, and stains.

2. Removes smells from sweaty campers, pets, and other items.

3. Eliminates bacteria from mold and mildew forming in the bag’s fibers.

4. Allows your sleeping bag to dry faster after use, which can reduce shrinkage by up to 50%.

5. Makes your sleeping bag last longer if you maintain it properly.

6. Helps relieve skin irritation caused by camping in a damp or dirty sleeping bag for too long.

7. Helps eliminate odors caused by pets, sweaty campers, and other sleeping bag users.

Best 10 Tips For Washing Your Sleeping Bag

1. Make sure to wash it in cold water. This helps the fibers return to their original shape quickly, preventing them from shrinking or becoming damaged when dried.

2. Run an empty load through your washer first to flush out any debris that may remain in the machine from previous use (like dryer lint).

3. Use a detergent that is designed to clean synthetic materials. Avoid using laundry detergents with fabric softeners, which can make the fibers feel more slippery than usual and make them less effective at insulating you from the cold.

4. Make sure to use a front-loading washer if possible because they are gentler on your sleeping bag than top-loading washers.

5. Use warm water if you have access to it, but try not to exceed or get below 130 degrees Fahrenheit (55 degrees Celsius).

6. Turn the bag inside out to wash it.

7. Wash it in a washing machine, then dry it in a dryer. If you don’t have access to a machine or dryer, you can hand wash and air dries it on sunny days instead.

8. Store your sleeping bag in a breathable garment bag designed specifically for storing synthetic materials if possible (not a sealed plastic bag!).

9. Avoid washing your sleeping bag before a backpacking trip because it can take a while, and you may not have access to laundry services.

10. Follow all of the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to maintain its waterproofing, loft, and warmth-retaining qualities.

Signs That Your Sleeping Bag Needs To Be Washed

There are a few reasons why you might want to wash your sleeping bag:

  • Sleeping bags can build up odors and bacteria that lead to skin irritation and respiratory problems.
  • Bacteria and dust mites live in the sleeping bag’s insulation, and these substances can trigger allergies.
  • Your sleeping bag may have gotten wet or might have been exposed to mold and mildew because of the conditions in your tent.
  • Washing your sleeping bag will sometimes solve the issue for good. This can happen if you get it wet in a river, pool, or ocean, and you don’t treat it right afterward.

How Often Should Sleeping Bags Be Replaced?

A sleeping bag lasts for about five years and should be replaced after that time. When you start to notice tears and an inability to keep you warm, then it’s time to buy a new one. This can happen much sooner if you camp or backpack often.

Sleeping bags are somewhat of a commodity nowadays because they generally have the same features and design to stay competitive. So, please don’t spend too much money on a sleeping bag because it may not be worth it.


Washing your sleeping bag is a great way to help keep it clean and safe for you and everyone else to use. However, try not to over-wash it if you can help it. If you notice that your sleeping bag is getting stained, don’t be afraid to wash it, so the dirt doesn’t get away with you.

If the fabric is damaged because of dry rot or other factors, you might not want to use the item anymore and would be better off throwing it away.

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