How To Wash Your Hammock
A hammock can provide hours of relaxation at home, but if you have allergies, it can be a disaster waiting to happen. Life happens to hammocks. Mud, coffee, sweat and trail mix can most likely be found on or in many hammocks after a full season of hanging around in them. Instead of taking a nap in the dust and dirt collected over many months, use these simple tips to clean your hammock, keeping the colors bright and the fabric strong. Don’t fret too much though, it’s easy to keep your hammock clean and fresh throughout it’s lifetime.
Step 1: Remove Carabiners
Make sure you don’t wash the carabiners with your hammock. They should be cleaned separately (instructions below). Remove them and set them to the side. Be sure to keep track of them, though, so when your hammock is clean and dried you can get right back to hammocking!
Step 2: Gently Wash the Hammock
If you have a washing machine, add just a little dose of a gentle detergent. Wash your hammock alone with nothing else in the washing machine. This will get it the cleanest as your hammock will have enough room to shake off dirt in the machine. Do not add fabric softeners or any additional cleaning agents. Wash with cool water on a delicate cycle in a front loading washer.
If you don’t have a washing machine, spread the hammock on a deck or concrete surface and soak it thoroughly with a garden hose, then pour on some soapy water or gentle detergent and scrub away with your hands. We do no recommend using any brushes as they will be compromise the integrity of the hammock materials.
Step 3: Dry Your Hammock
It’s best to dry your hammock on a sunny breezy day if possible so you can air dry your hammock outside. Regardless if you do your drying indoors or outdoors, you will need to air dry the hammock. Why? Have you ever put sneakers in a dryer? There is a reason why they always come out smelly and why it is recommended to air dry them.
When drying outside in the fresh air, it won’t take longer than thirty minutes for your hammock to completely dry. Use clothespins, and clip your hammock to the drying line. You may want to clip the hammock every 8 – 12 inches, depending on how heavy it is.
There are all sorts of drying line setups, but all you really need is a length of clean, strong rope that you can tie between two trees or poles. Having a tightening mechanism of some sort is a good idea. You can buy tighteners at a hardware or home improvement store; they attach to the line and make it easy to take up any slack without having to untie and retie the rope. Be sure you hang your line high enough so hammock won’t brush the ground.
The best way to keep your hammock in good shape for many years is to protect it from the dangers of hot and cold weather. Do not store your hammock in humid or salty air, with damp equipment or clothing, or near corrosive chemicals. You do not want your hammock smelling funky or deteriorating!
Step 4: Wash the Carabiners
Carabiners play an important role in any hammock aficionado’s gear assortment. To enhance your safety, be sure to keep them regularly inspected and maintained.
Clean the carabiner gates by blowing dust and dirt from the hinge area. If you notice a sticky gate, wash it in warm, soapy water (citrus-based bike cleaners also work well), rinse it thoroughly and let it dry.
To get the most use out of them, lubricate your carabiners with dry graphite or any dry, waxed-based lubricant around the hinge area, the spring hole and the locking mechanism. Be sure to wipe off all excess lubricant. Always clean and lube your carabiners after contact with saltwater or salt air.
Step 5: Use or Store Your Hammock
Once your carabiners and hammock are dry and taken care of, you can put your hammock to use. Make sure your hammock is completely dry before use or before you decide to store it.
Keep your hammock stored away during the winter to avoid damage. During the summer, keep it out of direct sunlight for long periods of time and when not in use. This will help the fabric maintain its strong colors.
Do not store your carabiners in humid or salty air, with damp equipment or clothing, or near corrosive chemicals. If you do, they will not last long!