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Topic: Washing down bag in home front loader, OK?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2014, 8:00 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A beloved down bag I've had for many years is finally due for a wash. Is there any reason I should avoid using my home front loader washing machine?
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2014, 8:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

IMHO - Yes but it would work better with a larger laundromat version. Just make sure it is on low heat and put a couple of tennis balls in there with it. Check frequently and dry not longer than 10 minutes
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2014, 8:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(MississipVol @ Feb. 11 2014, 8:12 pm)
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Check frequently and dry not longer than 10 minutes

:laugh:   Sorry, but this gave me a chuckle.  Have you ever washed a down bag?  On low or no heat, it literally takes HOURS...

On the question about using your home machine, I wash mine at home, front loading washer ('hand wash' cycle with extra water and double rinse) and dryer.  I use tech wash or down wash.  I watch the last rinse and, if I see any water that looks soapy, I rinse again.  Haven't had any issues except that it can take forever to dry.  For the dryer, I alternate between low heat and no heat.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2014, 8:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You should be fine in a machine with no agitator. Choose whatever selection offers the gentlest of cycles. :)

It'll take a whole lot longer than 10 mins to dry. Low heat, some tennis balls, and forever.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2014, 9:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TigerFan @ Feb. 11 2014, 8:26 pm)
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(MississipVol @ Feb. 11 2014, 8:12 pm)
QUOTE
Check frequently and dry not longer than 10 minutes

:laugh:   Sorry, but this gave me a chuckle.  Have you ever washed a down bag?  On low or no heat, it literally takes HOURS...

Sorry, I somehow missed the part about washing it!  :D

I was thinking he was just meaning he wanted to dry it to bring some of its loft back. That is what I am referring to.

Yeah, washing and drying a down bag takes FOREVER and to me it also works better in a larger commercial washer and dryer.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2014, 9:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

http://www.backpacker.com/sleepin....31
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2014, 9:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Starbreaker @ Feb. 11 2014, 9:17 pm)
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They just posted this today on facebook
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2014, 10:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have washed my down sleeping bag in my front load washer on gentle just fine. Before I had one, I washed it by hand in a utility sink. That also worked just fine.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2014, 11:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wash with down soap (not regular detergent) and rinse twice to get all the soap out.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 12 2014, 9:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes, wash with the down soap but rinse as many times as you need. Might take five rinses, or more. Then treat the outside with spray-on DWR.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 12 2014, 10:12 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TigerFan @ Feb. 11 2014, 8:26 pm)
QUOTE

(MississipVol @ Feb. 11 2014, 8:12 pm)
QUOTE
Check frequently and dry not longer than 10 minutes

:laugh:   Sorry, but this gave me a chuckle.  Have you ever washed a down bag?  On low or no heat, it literally takes HOURS...

Yes, it's really an all-day project.   I went to the laundromat with a roll of quarters and got home about six hours later.  I dreamed about breaking up clumps of down for the next couple nights.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 12 2014, 10:52 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I use hot water with white wine vinegar instead of soap. No residue, no odors.

I would be cautious in regards to the spray on DWR if you choose to use it. Do VERY light coats as it can absorb into the shell and damage your down.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 12 2014, 11:49 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Front loader fine, just no top loading agitator. Rinse it more than you think it needs. Any residual soap will mess up the down from lofting back up. Give it an extra spin or two in the washing machine to really get as much moisture out as possible before moving to the drying step.  

I can sure see using a dryer this time of year even though it has been about 80 degrees here, especially  where most of the country is having a rather cold winter.  But I have never used a dryer,  my wash schedule is always late May to early June. I just lay the bag outside flat, turn and shake it once every hour and it is fluffed up and dry in about 4 hours.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 12 2014, 9:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have washed my down bags- I have 2- in our top loader on very gentle cycle and then tumble in the dryer on very low heat for 20- 30 minutes and then air dry.  I have never had any problem.

I always use a down detergent.  My bag gets washed after every major outing or about 1x time a year.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 12 2014, 11:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have washed all of our bags in my GE frontloader (moderately large).  It was pushing the limits to do the 15-deg. bag.  

I have to smile at the drying outside notion, AZ.  It would literally never dry here.  This close to the ocean, I can dry regular laundry on the line on a good day, one load, two-four hours.  A down bag would take weeks, and we never get weeks of sunshine.  I use the dryer.

Definitely use the down soap, and I'm making note of the suggestions to do more than two rinses.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 13 2014, 8:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

While certainly do-able to wash your good down bag at home - in your front loader, bathtub, or deep sink using a dedicated down detergent...obviously some risk involved and a longer and more involved process than many first think. All day at the laundramat, how many rinses, dry at low/no heat, tennis balls, air dry for weeks, risk in tearing baffles...why?

After spending big $$ on a quality down bag, IMHO, leave the cleaning to qualified experts...(insured?)

Recommend going to your best local gear store and asking who cleans their bags and go there. Here in Mammoth Lakes, they use XYZ cleaners - very experienced in cleaning expensive down bags. It cost me $25 to have my WM Badger cleaned - no worries.

BTW, cleaning once a year? Way too often in my opinion.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2014, 1:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ditto Markskor...once a year is too often.....

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2014, 1:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ditto Markskor...once a year is too often.....home front loader is fine tho, I've used mine successfully when I did have to wash a bag.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2014, 1:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ditto Markskor...once a year is too often.....home front loader is fine tho, I've used mine successfully when I did have to wash a bag.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2014, 8:46 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Unless you roll in bear s*** during the night, or a giant mud puddle, I don't see the point in washing a down bag.  The down isn't dirty.  If the surface of the bag is dirty, then wipe it with a damp cloth and air dry.  

If your cat pees on your bag, get rid of the cat.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2014, 9:40 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Once a year is only reasonable if you are out 45 - 50 nights during that time. Some of us are...

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2014, 10:16 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes, how often you should (or want) to wash your bedding totally depends on how often it is used and in what conditions. We got out for 73 nights last year so my wash schedule might be a bit different than someone who gets out for 5 or 6 nights a year. Make sense?
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2014, 10:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sometimes, you can wipe off the shell with a wet wipe or wet washcloth. That doesn't take care of the oils from you that get into the fill and impede loft. It takes a long time to see loss of loft.

I can testify to the fact that your body moisture does travel through your bag. Waking up with ice crystals on the shell on a cold dry night - where did the moisture come from? All you need is a bivy and a bag and sub-20F temps to watch this at work. You'll give off 12-14 oz per day of moisture just sitting around - more if you're out sweating all day.

So your down does see some small chemical change that adds up over time, to decrease loft.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2014, 11:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

QUOTE
• Cleanliness: No, not you, the bag! If you've used your sleeping bag a lot, the down insulation can benefit from a wash. Over time, oils and dirt can decrease the loft of the down. Less loft = less insulation. Washing information can be found here


http://featheredfriends.com/choose-sleeping-bag/

washing:

http://featheredfriends.com/washing/
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2014, 11:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sorry it kept giving me an error msg. when I posted
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2014, 11:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2014, 11:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2014, 6:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(AlmostThere @ Feb. 14 2014, 3:57 am)
QUOTE
So your down does see some small chemical change that adds up over time, to decrease loft.

That is what I have found too. It happens so slowly that I can't really tell until I wash and then it lofts up bigger than before the wash, filling up the storage sack much fuller. That really surprised me the first time I washed a bag.

and I agree that body oils do find a way into the down. They say that a home mattress gains an amazing amount of weight over time this way so breathable bag shells and down are not immune.

It is a personal thing on how much you clean or wash your camp bedding but I like to when I detect any musty smell or I feel the loft might be served. I wonder if keeping it free of body oils can lengthen the life of the bag. I tend to use mine for decades and like them to stay fresh.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 16 2014, 3:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Almost There - "Once a year is only reasonable if you are out 45 - 50 nights during that time. Some of us are..."
Arizona -"We got out for 73 nights last year so my wash schedule might be a bit different than someone who gets out for 5 or 6 nights a year. Make sense?"

Over 100 nights out last year - Sierra - and respectfully no. Yes, water (evaporation/sweat) does permeate through a down bag, but oils don't. If meticulous about clean night clothes, and you sleep under the bag/quilt...
Agreed the occasional deep wash does/will revive a  well-stained bag but, IMHO washing too often does more harm over the long term...robs the down of its own natural oils.
Suggest the occasional wipe down and a trip to a cold dryer - (or maybe an afternoon in the hot sun?) to fluff it up instead.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 16 2014, 4:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

How often your bag needs washing depends on various factors, one will vary a lot from person to person. It's not nearly as simple as how much you use it.

I now wear long johns to bed in my bag, or use a liner, and I still have to wash it at least once a summer. Body chemistry is different, person to person, and things like the acidity of your sweat also vary.

Same thing with lots of stuff. When I used to practice guitar a lot, in music college, I'd destroy a set of strings in 3 days. They simply wouldn't play in tune after that. Other folks in class would easily get a couple of weeks out of one set.

I've never heard that washing down too much will somehow bother the down, unless you're talking about the physical agitation of the machine.


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