• What is the best method for washing down filled sleeping bags and jackets?

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  • Is there a particular cleaning product that works best for cleaning well-worn and slightly stinky down products? Also, does washing down restore loft? What about the best method for restoring waterproofing to the shell material?

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    Question by Oliver Hulland
    05/02/2011

To wash down, I use a commercial down soap (you can get it at places like REI) in the washing machine, on delicate. The key is in the drying, which I do in on low with several new tennis balls thrown in. The bouncing helps restore the loft to the items. It takes what seems like forever to get it dry, and the tennis balls make a racket, but in the end the item comes out cleaner and fluffier.

To re-waterproof, you can try the various camping-goods sprays, all of which have resulted in something more like water resistant for me.

ETA: I do this in my home washing machine (front loader; top-loaders can rip sleeping bags apart) with no issues whatsoever. The latest bottle of soap I have is Nikwax, but I have used lots of different kinds.

Answer by ayse
05/23/2011
Answer by ycherk
05/25/2011
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