Cleaning Sleeping bags

 Eventually all sleeping bags will get dirty after prolonged use. You can do this yourself, but with down bags this can be a long and involved process and difficult to dry in the autumn and winter time.  My Alpkit Pipedream 400 down bag and my son’s Alpkit 600 bag both needed cleaning.

I had heard that the specialist cleaning company that Alpkit recommended is no longer in business or not cleaning bags any longer (does anyone know if that is true?).  So I searched on a number of sleeping bags websites to find another specialist. This is not a job for a normal dry cleaners (in fact sleeping bags should not be dry cleaned).  I came across Elite Cleaners of Rotherham.  Details can be found here.  Elite according to their website clean down products for the British Antarctic team ( which I guess means the British Antarctic Survey) and are recommended by down manufacturers, so I thought I would give a go.

I am often travelling up and down the M18/M1 area, so it was easy to detour off at the Rotherham junction to drop the two bags off.  They were ready in a week and I collected them, each sleeping bag costing £28 each to clean. If you don’t live nearby then they will charge more for postage, details are on the above link.

They seemed to have carried out a good job and I am glad to say that both bags smell rather sweeter now !

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13 Responses to Cleaning Sleeping bags

  1. Robin says:

    That’s really useful to know, Mark. I need to get a couple of my sleeping bags cleaned soon.

  2. alan.sloman says:

    Thanks for that. Have you noticed any difference in loft? I loaned my beautiful Rab winter bag to WeeWillyWilky for the TGO Challenge and it came back totally trashed. (He left it damp in its stuff sack for four months…)

    • Alan, seemed to have fluffed up more than I remember, so I guess it has. Actually it wasn’t too bad before hand, just had bits of old Expedition Porridge and the like that needed cleaning from it – Too many wild camp breakfasts without getting out of the sleeping bag 🙂

      Are you sending him the bill for cleaning it?

    • afootinthehills says:

      Hi Alan

      In the 1980s I loaned my Saunders Basecamp tent to my idiot boss and he burnt a hole in it with a cigarette. To be fair he gave me the price of a new one but that tent was associated with special memories and I was furious at its loss. Even now, I can feel my BP rising!

  3. -maria- says:

    Porride in your sleeping bag? Maybe you need to add a bib into your kit, Mark! 😉

  4. alan.sloman says:

    Thanks for that. No. I have learned my lesson. I shall not be lending out my precious things any more!
    🙂

  5. Thanks Mark. That’s a useful bit of information.

  6. Alan R says:

    Another fine place to send your down gear to is http://www.mountaineering-designs.co.uk/
    Not cheap but quality. Just thought i would pass it on.

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