How to wash a sleeping bag

Washing your sleeping bag at home can be a daunting task.

Our Service Centre team have created this ten-step guide to show you how to wash your sleeping bag at home.

Prefer a professional wash service? Send us your sleeping bag for an expert wash and dry, to restore the insulation’s full heat trapping potential.


Check what insulation your sleeping bag has

There are two types of sleeping bags in our range. Down-filled sleeping bags and Synthetic sleeping bags.


  • Ascent
  • Alpine Pro
  • Neutrino & Neutrino Pro
  • Mythic & Mythic Ultra
  • Andes
  • Expedition
  • Wilderness & Neutrino Quilts


  • Solar
  • Ignition


You're 10 steps away from a clean down sleeping bag

Want a stress free option? We'll wash your down sleeping bag for you. Click here for Rab Wash.
But should you want to wash your sleeping bag at home here are 10 steps for you to follow: 

  1. Clean your washing machine. Before you wash your sleeping bag, make sure your washing machine is clean. This will help to prevent any detergent buildup from damaging your bag.
  2. Turn your sleeping bag inside out. This will help to protect the outer shell of your bag and allow the down or synthetic fill to get a good wash.
  3. Use a non-biological detergent. Biological detergents can break down the down in your sleeping bag, so it's important to use a non-biological detergent instead.
  4. Wash your sleeping bag on a gentle cycle. A gentle cycle will help to protect your sleeping bag from getting damaged.
  5. Add an extra rinse cycle. This will help to remove any leftover detergent from your sleeping bag.
  6. Spin your sleeping bag to remove as much water as possible. This will help your sleeping bag to dry more quickly.
  7. Tumble dry your sleeping bag on a low heat setting. Do not use a high heat setting, as this can damage your sleeping bag.
  8. Check your sleeping bag regularly and turn it over. This will help to ensure that the down or synthetic fill is evenly dried.
  9. Do not use fabric softener. Fabric softener can coat the down or synthetic fill in a film, which can make it difficult for your sleeping bag to trap heat.
  10. Store your sleeping bag in a clean, dry place. This will help to keep it in good condition for years to come.

Top Tips

  • Drying your bag in the tumble drier can take anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on the bag.
  • Keep your down sleeping bag uncompressed when storing it. Use the cotton storage sack included and always store in a cool, dry space.


Washing a synthetic sleeping bag

Washing your synthetic sleeping bag is nice and easy. Check the care label for exact instructions. But remember, with synthetic fabrics, it's generally a cool, gentle wash. Here's our step by step instructions. 

  1. Ideally, rinse your washing machine out to clear any residual detergent and softeners.
  2. Use a non-biological liquid detergent, pure soap or a technical cleaner such as Nikwax Tech Wash.
  3. Machine Wash on a gentle, cool setting. 30ºC is ideal both for your sleeping bag and the environment.
  4. Tumble dry on a low heat, or synthetic, setting to help restore the loft.


  • Do not use biological detergent and fabric softeners.
  • Do not dry clean or iron the garment.


Washing a sleeping bag liner

We use two fabrics for our sleeping bag liners: cotton and silk. On our silk liners only natural dyes have been used, so it is not colourfast. Therefore you might consider using a dry-cleaner.

For advice on washing your silk sleeping bag liner yourself, read on.

Hand Washing

Silk can be easily hand-washed.

  • Use lukewarm water and mild, non-alkaline soap.
  • Be gentle on the fabric and don't soak for any more than a few minutes.
  • Do not use harsh detergents that have bleaches or brighteners in them.
  • Don't wring or twist. Roll in a towel to dry.

Machine Washing

  • Choose a delicate cycle and use a mild detergent such as Woolite®.
  • Pick the shortest spin cycle option available. Remember to separate your colours.
  • Don't use any detergents with enzymes or brighteners in them.
  • If you've got a top-loading machine, use a mesh bag to protect the silk liner.
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