How do you Wash and Dry a Synthetic Sleeping Bag?

wash and dry a synthetic sleeping bag

Last updated on July 7th, 2023 at 08:57 am

Many people do not wash their sleeping bags often because of their limited knowledge of how to do it correctly. So, how do you wash and dry a synthetic sleeping bag? 

For a synthetic sleeping bag, you can hand wash or machine wash it. Ensure you use the right detergent to prevent damage. Drying of the sleeping bag is done in a dryer under low heat. Tennis balls are added to break down the clumps on the insulation. 

This article addresses how you can properly wash and dry your sleeping bag to prevent damage without compromising its warmth. 

How to machine wash a synthetic sleeping bag 

wash and dry a synthetic sleeping bag

Generally, you are to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning the sleeping bag. After which, you choose the appropriate detergent according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and the type of sleeping bag.

Load the bag with warm water into the washing machine and set it on a gentle cycle. The bag is to be dried on low heat. Tennis balls can be put at the end of the drying cycle as they help break clumps. 

It is important to note that normal detergents are not suitable for sleeping bags. They tend to degrade the bag by attaching to the natural artificial waterproof coatings and making them clump together. This ultimately affects the warmth and performance of the sleeping bag. Make sure you use detergents that are specific to synthetic-filled items. 

Another thing is, to ensure that the bag is fully unzipped and open so that no water collects in the toe box, and the bag takes a shorter time to dry.

Run the sleeping bag through a mild wash mode on the front-loading machine. Moreover, you can only wash one sleeping bag with each load. 

How to handwash a synthetic sleeping bag

Start by filling the tub with warm or cool water and then add a suitable cleaner for your synthetic bag. Using too much soap is not recommended since it could be hard to rinse out. 

Gently lay your bag in the water and work in the soap throughout its length. Focus on the dirty areas by rubbing them together, and then let the bag soak for up to an hour. 

From here, drain the tub and press out water from the bag. Refill the tub with warm or cool water and work the soap out of the bag.

Allow the bag to sit for 15 minutes and drain. The remaining water is pressed out of the sleeping bag, and the process is repeated until all the soap is removed.

Afterward, gently squeeze out as much water as you can from the bag. Gather the bag up in a ball and take it to the dryer. This prevents any strain or rips on the seams. You can use a large dryer if you have one at home. Alternatively, you can take your wet sleeping bag to a laundromat.

How to dry a synthetic sleeping bag 

It is safe to put a sleeping bag in the dryer unless the manufacturer specifies otherwise. A lower temperature is always recommended and a gentle cycle to prevent wear and tear.

Just like in washing, only one bag can be run through the dryer at a time, otherwise, they will not completely dry.

The heat should not be turned above low as it may damage the insulation on the bag. Adding clean tennis balls to the dryer help break down the clumps and evenly distribute the material throughout the sleeping bag. 

Before packing the bag, ensure it dried completely. If the bag is still wet, it could get mildewy and may damage the insulation. 

How to wash a polyester sleeping bag 

Polyester is a common fabric for clothes, pillowcases, and even sleeping bags. Therefore, there are many questions regarding washing, drying, and ironing. 

A polyester bag can be safely hand-washed or machine-washed. Ensure that you use an all-purpose detergent that is of good quality along with a gentle fabric conditioner.

However, it is important to check the care label on the sleeping bag. It may come with an individual guide on how to do it and what to use, especially if the bag is not 100% polyester. 

Many polyester items can be machine-washed. The machine should be set on a gentle cycle, and warm or cool water used. 

Can you put a synthetic sleeping bag in a washing machine?

Cleaning your sleeping bag is a very important aspect of its care. When oil, dirt, and grime accumulate, they are likely to work their way into the fill of the bag making it lose its loft.

On the other side, your synthetic bag can get damaged if cleaned improperly. You may be wondering if it is okay to put it in a washing machine. 

Yes, you can put a synthetic sleeping bag in a washing machine. The only precaution that you need to take is the type of detergent you use in your bag. It should be compatible with synthetic-filled items. Also, over-washing is not recommended as it may affect the bag’s performance. 

Using a front-loading commercial washer and dryer is recommended as they prevent any damage. 


Cleaning a synthetic bag varies slightly from cleaning a down sleeping bag. Hopefully, now you can do it yourself at home with the help of the above tips. 

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