Hammocks are easy and fun to use, even on a daily basis. But now and then, they get a little bit too dirty and require some proper cleaning.
You don’t have to worry, though, because, in this guide, we provide you some simple steps you can follow to wash your hammock quickly, easily, and safely.
How to Wash a Hammock?
- Pre-treat stains on your hammock.
- Put your hammock in your washing machine.
- Add mild detergent to your washing machine.
- Set your washing machine to the best settings for your hammock.
- Wash your hammock accessories separately.
- Dry your hammock.
Washing a hammock can be a quick and easy process. You can do so by using a washing machine or through simple hand washing, both of which are further detailed below.
Before you start to wash your hammock, there are a few things you should do first:
Check your hammock for any damage.
Inspect your hammock for any damage before you start to wash it. There might be fraying of the fabric or strings or rips or holes in the hammock, and these conditions might get worse if you’re not aware of them when you start hand washing it or putting it in the washer.
For example, when you hand wash a hammock, you might accidentally make an existing hole bigger or exacerbate a tear. It is important to first fix any damages you might find in your hammock before you get started on cleaning it.
Shake debris off your hammock.
You can do some pre-cleaning of your camping hammock by getting rid of larger visible debris and dirt that won’t require you to use any soap or assistance from a washing machine. For example, your hammock might have collected leaves, sand, mud, dust, pieces of food, and other particles, all of which can be shaken off your hammock.
First, suspend your hammock on one end, then shake the other end vigorously. You’ll get your hammock a bit cleaner, and this process also makes washing your hammock later easier.
Know what and what not to use to clean your hammock.
Make sure to avoid using bleach when you wash a hammock. Bleach can ruin the integrity of your hammock’s material and can potentially make your hammock unusable. Bleach can also affect the color of the hammock’s fabric. Also, try to avoid using fabric softeners if not specified or recommended by the manufacturer’s washing instructions (if your hammock has one).
You can use a mild detergent or hammock soap for when you wash hammocks. You can even use regular antibacterial soap or dishwashing liquid, as these are not harmful to camping hammocks and can still get them clean.
Remove accessories attached to your hammock.
Remove the carabiners and any accessories that may still be attached to your hammock. Carabiners are solid, so these can cause damage to your washer when left connected to your hammock; the hammock itself can also be damaged during the washing process.
If your camping hammock comes with a detachable bug net, remove the net; you can place the bug net in the machine with the hammock. If the bug net is integrated into your hammock, simply unzip it before placing it in the washer. Also, remove spreader bars if your hammock comes with them.
Machine Washing Your Hammock
Step 1: Pre-treat stains on your hammock.
You can pre-treat any tough stains on hammocks by creating a paste made with baking soda. First off, measure one-half tablespoon of baking soda and one-fourth teaspoon of water. Mix both ingredients until you get a thick paste. Add some water if the paste is too thick, and add baking soda instead if the paste is too thin.
Then, spread the paste over any stains on your hammock. You can create more paste if there is not enough. Let the paste sit for approximately five minutes. After five minutes, you can clean off the paste with a clean rag or cloth.
Step 2: Put your hammock in your washing machine.
Before placing your hammock in your washer, make sure first to check if the machine has an agitator. Your camping hammock can get tangled around during the washing process because of an agitator. This can result in either the hammock or the agitator or both getting damaged. You can use a top-loading or front-loading washer that doesn’t have agitators.
Also, make sure that your hammock alone is the only item in your washer(besides your hammock’s bug net, if present), so there is nothing for your hammock to get tangled in, such as articles of clothing.
If you don’t have a washer without an agitator, the safe course of action would be for you to hand wash your hammock.
Step 3: Add mild detergent to your washing machine.
Choose a mild detergent type for when you wash a hammock. The mild detergent helps to prevent ruining your hammock’s fabric and colors. Then, add one tablespoon of the detergent to your washer.
Step 4: Set your washing machine to the best settings for your hammock.
Hammocks are typically made of relatively thin material, so the best setting for a front-loading washer is the delicate or gentle cycle. Not having to use rougher settings will also save your camping hammock from possibly getting damaged unnecessarily.
For the temperature settings, set your machine to cold or cool water. Cool water temperatures are less damaging to your hammock’s fabric.
Finally, for the spin cycle setting, set your washer to low spin or slow spin.
Step 5: Wash your hammock accessories separately.
You can hand wash your hammock accessories, such as your hammock’s carabiners and spreader bars, separately while you wait for your hammock to clean in the washing machine. You can use warm and soapy water or even liquid soap. You can use your bare hands to clean the carabiners without needing any kind of scrub or brush. Then dry them off with a towel and set them somewhere to dry.
Step 6: Dry your hammock.
The final step is to air dry your hammock. After taking out your hammock from the washing machine, dry it by hanging it up, either from a clothesline or anywhere there is access to direct sunlight. You can also lay it across a table to air dry.
Hanging your hammock directly under the sun will help speed up the drying process. The drying can go much faster if there is a natural breeze, and in the absence of one, you can use a fan instead and face it directly towards your hammock. Under these conditions, it should not take 30 minutes for your hammock to dry completely. Ensure that your line is high enough, so your hammock is not touching the ground to avoid getting dirty.
One tip for hanging your hammock is to hang it lengthwise to keep it from getting folds or creases.
Also, don’t be tempted to place your hammock in the dryer to dry it faster. The heat from your dryer can be too excessive and can ruin the material of your hammock instead.
After it is completely dry, you can store your hammock either in its original bag or somewhere dry where it is sheltered from the elements.
Hand Washing Your Hammock
Step 1: Rinse your hammock with water.
Before you start to hand wash a hammock, rinse it with water first. You can free the dirt off hammocks by either using running water, using a garden hose to spray them down, or dumping a bucket of cold water on them. You can also place hammocks in a bathtub or laundry basin filled with water, agitate them to remove any dirt, then drain the container after.
Step 2: Fill your bathtub or laundry basin with water and add a mild detergent.
Fill up either a bathtub, laundry basin, or large bucket with water. Afterward, measure out one-fourth cup of mild detergent and mix it in.
Step 3: Place your hammock in the water and start washing.
Fully submerge your hammock in your bathtub or laundry basin. Then you can start scrubbing your hammock with your hands. Start from one end and work down from there. Each hand should be on opposite sides of the hammock so that either side gets cleaned.
You can also use a soft sponge or cloth for cleaning hammocks. Use a soft cloth or microfiber cloth for grime that is a bit more difficult to remove. For any tough stain, you can scrub them in circular motions with your sponge or cloth.
If stains are not removed, you can apply a small amount of baking soda. Measure about one-fourth teaspoon of baking soda and apply to any stains on your hammock. Then, you can use a microfiber cloth to scrub the stain with the baking soda until it gets removed.
Step 4: Re-rinse your hammock with water.
After your hammock is clean, drain the water and fill your tub, basin, or bucket with clean water. Then, rinse your hammock to make sure all the soap gets washed off. You may have to drain and refill with water and rinse a couple of times until no more soap is left.
Step 5: Dry your hammock.
The last step is to leave your hammock to dry. Like with machine washing, you can hang your hammock on one end or spread it across a table to air dry. If left under direct sunlight and on a breezy day, your hammock can finish drying in under 30 minutes. You can make the drying process go a bit faster by turning on a fan and facing it directly towards your hammock.
After it is completely dry, you can store your hammock either in its original bag or somewhere dry where it is protected from the elements.
Can you put a hammock in the washing machine?
It is generally safe to put a hammock in a washer as long as no agitator is present. Although there are some hammocks with the manufacturer’s instructions stating they should only be hand washed.
Can you put a hammock in the dryer?
It is possible to place your hammock in a dryer, but it is not recommended. The heat of your dryer can be too much for your hammock’s fabric, even when set on low heat.
Washing a hammock is very easy to learn and do. What’s more, the next time you lay in your hammock, you can feel how clean and fresh it is and even smell how nice it is, and you can feel proud because you cleaned it yourself. It always feels good to lay in a clean hammock.