Can You Clean Sleeping Bags in Top-Loading Washing Machines?

Can You Clean Sleeping Bags in Top-Loading Washing Machines?

While a top-loading washing machine may be used to wash a sleeping bag, it is often a good idea to remove the agitator in the machine to avoid causing harm to the sleeping bag. Using a front-loading washing machine is your best choice if you want to be as safe as possible.

You may be asking why the agitator must be removed. Why is it that everyone says not to use a top-loading washing machine but doesn't explain why?

You're exactly where you should be. Continue reading to discover why many campers are wary of top-loading sleeping bags and what choices you have for keeping your sleeping bag clean.

Can You Wash A Sleeping Bag In A Top-Loading Washer?

The truth is that you can wash a sleeping bag in a top-loading washer, but you're going to want to remove the agitator. That's because the agitator is the part of the washing machine that moves around to propel the clothes in the wash, along with the soap and water, to clean the clothing. The part of the washer causes the most damage to things other than clothing.

The agitator is built sturdy to support the weight of the washing machine's drum. While you may not know it, the washer almost always supports the entire weight of the entire machine, including the drum, motor, and any other parts bolted to the frame.

The problem with the agitator is that it can often be too strong for a sleeping bag. If it hits the sleeping bag, it can cause the sleeping bag to tear or rip. This is likely because the sleeping bag is so delicate that the agitator brushes against it and causes the sleeping bag to tear.

Some sleeping bags don't even have agitators in the washers, but most top-loading washing machines do.

How Often Should You Wash Your Sleeping Bag?

Sleeping bags are considered to be different from regular bedding. While you might wash your bed sheets every week, you should only wash your sleeping bag when necessary. You should also make sure that you take the time to read the care instructions before you wash them to know what to do.

Most sleeping bags are not 100% waterproof. They are water-repellent, which means water will bead up on them, but the actual material can absorb water. Most sleeping bags are designed to be warm even when wet. That being said, you can end up with a bag that is not as warm as you need it to be if you routinely wash it.

If you must wash your sleeping bag, you should do so at least one or two times a year. Between these times, it's a good idea to give your sleeping bag a good shake to remove any dust or dirt.


If you have a top-loading washing machine, remove the agitator to avoid your sleeping bag being damaged in the wash.

If you have a front-loading washing machine, you don't need to worry about the agitator, making front-loading washing machines the best washing machines for sleeping bags.

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