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Thread: Washing down

  1. #11
    New Member nthAirguy's Avatar
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    Glad I checked, scrap the dawn idea, and maybe for wool too, being I found out it's petro based. Just doesnt seem right washing something in oil. I was thinking washing/ cleaning was a regular procedure for restoring loft. I would just hand wash it and let soak for a while. If and when I will try something down specific or maybe just water. Thanks for the input.

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    be safe. follow the directions of the pros:

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  3. #13
    New Member nthAirguy's Avatar
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    Found the tag I cut off the quilt, I remember reading "wash with mild soap" and was thinking dawn(didn't realize dawn is a detergent). Thanks guys.
    So when cleaning; detergents are bad, dry cleaning is worse, mild natural soaps are good, but down specific soaps sound the best. I am still visioning how a clean smelling bag is being much warmer/cozier, so I may have to try washing. But more seriously I was thinking sweat /oils from the body can harm the lofting abilities of down.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member JohnSawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nthAirguy View Post
    Found the tag I cut off the quilt, I remember reading "wash with mild soap" and was thinking dawn(didn't realize dawn is a detergent). Thanks guys.
    So when cleaning; detergents are bad, dry cleaning is worse, mild natural soaps are good, but down specific soaps sound the best. I am still visioning how a clean smelling bag is being much warmer/cozier, so I may have to try washing. But more seriously I was thinking sweat /oils from the body can harm the lofting abilities of down.
    Skin oils and funk will eventually (over years) compromise the loft of down, but really, it's the fabrics that absorb 99% of this... it'll take years of being dirty before washing will help re-loft it...

    I recently bought an ancient REI down sleeping bag... It was quite dirty. Washing it in the bathtub really helped. My front-loading (XL) Dryer ran for about 4 hours with 6 tennis balls... Every 1/2 hour or so, I'd pull the bag out, and manually de-clump the globs of down. After it had reasonable loft, I hung it up for 24 hours in a warm garage. It really fluffed up after that... but it was filthy when I got it, and had been compressed for 6+ years...
    "Do or do not, there is no try." -- Yoda


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    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    Yay! I love a good rehab/salvage story..

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    Senior Member JohnSawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KerMegan View Post
    Yay! I love a good rehab/salvage story..
    It has a new life as a TQ:
    "Do or do not, there is no try." -- Yoda


  7. #17
    Senior Member taylo's Avatar
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    I bought a stealth topquilt from Pan not too long ago that he said had been washed about a dozen times. It was like new with excellent loft. I'm sure he really knows what he's doin so I'd ask him.

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    How many "sleeps" would you say a down item should reasonably handle before a wash is needed? People say "Years" but I used to only use my sleeping bag a couple times a year, so that might be only 10-20 nights spent IN the bag in that time. I've already slept in my new down bag for a week, so I just want to make sure...

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    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    When even your dog won't roll on it any more it might be time to consider washing it.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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  10. #20
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    Pro vs. DIY Down Bag Wash?

    I just got a killer Craigslist deal on a vintage Eddie Bauer subzero bag and bivy sack/sleep pad combination. The sleep pads fit in pockets in the bivy, but they were heavy OC foam--bunk. The bag, though, it's a big, downy beauty. It has been compressed for literally decades, though. I'm thinking of cleaning it, but dry cleaners are saying 25+tax. I have a bottle of Nikwax Down Wash here, but their website says, for 3-4 season bags, that only professionals should do the job. Perhaps that's due to the physical size of the job. So... should I go the bathtub route with this? I want to give it a wash to make it my own and possibly refresh the loft of this pretty yellow/red bag. Suggestions on pro vs. DIY?
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