Can my down sleeping bag be saved ?

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Graham
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Can my down sleeping bag be saved ?

Postby Graham » 17 Sep 2019, 1:37pm

A quick question ( or several ) to the knowledgeable & experienced ones before I go to the professionals :-

It's a Mountain Equipment Liteline => medium weight : good quality : light usage ( until fairly recently ).

I have just given it a second handwash with Nikwax Down Wash. The first wash was about a month ago.

Despite this the down remains claggy & lumpy in several of the compartments. Not much sign of fluffing and lofting.
The worst compartments corresponding to my greasy hair, neck and back.
The rest of the bag isn't too bad.

Possible relevant factors :-
1) I was using this bag frequently, within my house, over the last winter. This may account for an accumulation of grease.
2) Several years ago I handed it over to local laundry shop, who managed to convince me that it would be fine if they put it through their machines. They almost certainly used detergent !!! ( I know, I know . . . .utter folly. What was I thinking ? )

Potential outcomes :-
1) Just buy a new bag and put it down :lol: to experience.
2) Ask Mountain Equipment. They must have had pillocks asking about abuse of their products before.
2b) Just get Scottish Mountain Gear to evaluate and refill, costing-in the worst case = complete refill.

Navrig
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Re: Can my down sleeping bag be saved ?

Postby Navrig » 17 Sep 2019, 1:39pm

Long low temp tumble dry?

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Graham
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Re: Can my down sleeping bag be saved ?

Postby Graham » 17 Sep 2019, 1:41pm

^ No tumble drier available.
All post-wash manipulation by hand.
I know what I'm trying to achieve, but there is no evidence of improvement.

Navrig
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Re: Can my down sleeping bag be saved ?

Postby Navrig » 17 Sep 2019, 1:45pm

In that case I think you will struggle.

You need to fluff up the down and the best way is warm air and regular movement to break up the clumps.

It may work.

Borrow a neighbour's or launderette. Worth a few quid against the cost of new.

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Re: Can my down sleeping bag be saved ?

Postby Vorpal » 17 Sep 2019, 2:04pm

I would go to a laundrette, and cycle it in a tumble drier on 'air' or a very low temp setting. It might help to put a couple of tennis balls or some woolzies in the dryer with your sleeping bag.
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horizon
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Re: Can my down sleeping bag be saved ?

Postby horizon » 17 Sep 2019, 2:13pm

Vorpal wrote:I would go to a laundrette, and cycle it in a tumble drier on 'air' or a very low temp setting. It might help to put a couple of tennis balls or some woolzies in the dryer with your sleeping bag.


+1 This seems to get good reports - it's all that warm fluffing and of course the tennis balls. Well worth a trip to the local laundrette (or one further away on OP's next trip to town).

And of course we all want to know the result. :mrgreen:
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

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Graham
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Re: Can my down sleeping bag be saved ?

Postby Graham » 17 Sep 2019, 8:02pm

Thanks all.
I'll try to track down a tumble drier and see how that goes.

Then I'll report back here.

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Re: Can my down sleeping bag be saved ?

Postby Navrig » 17 Sep 2019, 8:06pm

A launderette is best because of the size of the drum. As suggested using some balls also helps break up the clumps.

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Re: Can my down sleeping bag be saved ?

Postby Bonefishblues » 17 Sep 2019, 8:21pm

Have a word with a professional equipment cleaner and ask their advice as to whether they can restore it. Several online.

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Re: Can my down sleeping bag be saved ?

Postby PH » 17 Sep 2019, 10:07pm

Yep, the cool tumble with some tennis balls would be my first option.
If that didn’t work, I’d probably have a go at replacing some of the down. It might be obvious which seam/s need to be unpicked, the manufacturer wouldn’t have made it harder for themselves than it needed to be. The easiest way into the one I’ve done was to remove one side of the zip. Once you’re in, I’d remove all the down, see what can be salvaged and mix the new with it. It’s more time consuming than complex, I’m sure there’s places will do it for you, expect to pay for about two hours work (It took me most of a day, but a lot of that was the figuring it out)
I can dig out the down supplier details if you decide to do this.

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Re: Can my down sleeping bag be saved ?

Postby pjclinch » 18 Sep 2019, 9:37am

I wrote a page on washing/drying down years ago, it only ever had positive feedback. See https://medphys.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/gear/down/downcare.html

Don't undersetimate how long it takes to dry it, and go down the big drier/tennis balls or shoes route if there's a chance it's still wet.

Despite feeling competent enough to write a page on it, you'll see I send stuff off to the professionals to clean. The quality of job is very significantly different in my experience, and I've seen very greasy things restored to eminently usable kit. A professional wash seems to break up clumping very well too.

I won't recommend a particular service: last time I used a professional cleaner it was Franklins who were brilliant but, alas, are no longer in business.

Another point for the future, use a liner. They're primarily about keeping the bag clean, not extra warmth.

Pete.
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Re: Can my down sleeping bag be saved ?

Postby PH » 18 Sep 2019, 12:52pm

pjclinch wrote:Another point for the future, use a liner.

... or PJ's, which do the same job (Except your feet obv) and don't wrap you up overnight.

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Re: Can my down sleeping bag be saved ?

Postby Vorpal » 18 Sep 2019, 1:37pm

PH wrote:
pjclinch wrote:Another point for the future, use a liner.

... or PJ's, which do the same job (Except your feet obv) and don't wrap you up overnight.


PJs won't keep oil from one's neck & hair off the sleeping bag. A liner might. A liner and a pillow together should. But there could also be other solutions, like using a towel, wearing a buff and hat, etc.
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Re: Can my down sleeping bag be saved ?

Postby PH » 18 Sep 2019, 2:14pm

Vorpal wrote:PJs won't keep oil from one's neck & hair off the sleeping bag. A liner might. A liner and a pillow together should.

What's the difference between a liner and a pillow and PJ's and a pillow?
Maybe it's just that I don't get on with liners (Or bags) but when used I've always woken up tangled and/or half out of it. We're getting OT but - liner type cover over the mat*, PJ's, pillow and quilt works as well for me as my bed at home.

* Custom made one that has a pillow sleeve and a foot box, but this is going even further OT...

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Re: Can my down sleeping bag be saved ?

Postby pjclinch » 18 Sep 2019, 4:32pm

PH wrote:
Vorpal wrote:PJs won't keep oil from one's neck & hair off the sleeping bag. A liner might. A liner and a pillow together should.

What's the difference between a liner and a pillow and PJ's and a pillow?
Maybe it's just that I don't get on with liners (Or bags) but when used I've always woken up tangled and/or half out of it. We're getting OT but - liner type cover over the mat*, PJ's, pillow and quilt works as well for me as my bed at home.

* Custom made one that has a pillow sleeve and a foot box, but this is going even further OT...


hands and feet (if you're not cold enough for socks and gloves!), if the pillow parts company with a head during the night.
Also, PJs typically bulk/weigh more than a light liner.

But if you do get tangled then I'd agree they're a poor solution. At least with the silk or pertex ones I use it's not a problem for me, and I'm a fairly mobile/fidgety sleeper (or can't-get-to-sleeper), but liners are a way to help keep the bag clean, not the way. Also the case that PJs are a good clean/dry things to slum about in and keep road-wear and camp-wear separate which helps keep the tent inner a benign environment.

Home is a different matter, because the bedding is a lot easier to wash than a down sleeping bag.

Pete.
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