Hammocks provide hours of fun and relaxation both at home and in nature, but it can be a disaster if you don’t understand how to take proper care of your hammock. Life happens to us all, and the hammock is no exception; sweat, coffee, mud, and many other things will most likely be found on many hammocks after a full season of weightless hanging.
Instead of relaxing or napping in the dust and dirt collected over the months, learn how to wash a hammock using the simple steps in this article to keep your hammock squeaky clean. This will keep the fabric strong, and the colors bright for the foreseeable future.
Scared it’s going to be a long and arduous task? Don’t be; it’s easy to keep your hammock’s fabric clean and fresh throughout its lifetime.
Here are the steps to keep your hammock clean for many summers to come.
How to Wash a Hammock - The Ultimate Guide
1. Remove the Carabiners
Before you start the washing process, remove the carabiners from the hammock. Carabiners should be cleaned separately (instructions on cleaning carabiners you can find further in this article). Remove them and set them aside.
Keep an eye on them, though, so that you can get right back to hanging your hammock after the cleaning and drying process.
2. Wash the Hammock Gently
If you want to machine wash the hammock fabric, add a little dose of mild detergent. The hammock should be washed in the machine with nothing else. This is to allow your hammock to have enough space to shake off dirt in the machine, making it as clean as possible.
Do not use fabric softeners with the detergent, or any other cleaning agents. Wash only with cool water on a delicate washing setting in a front-loading washer.
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3. Hand Washing a Hammock
Hand washing is an effective cleaning method that can save you money on water bills if done properly. Fill up your bathtub with cool water and then add some mild detergent or gentle soap.
Scrub gently (do not use brushes, they may compromise the structural integrity of the hammock fabric), swish and squeeze the hammock and empty the water.
Refill the large tub with cool water and repeat these steps until the washing water becomes clean. Rinse with cool water to remove soap or detergent, and after that, hang dry.
4. What to Do If Your Hammock Has Non-Removable Spreader Bars
If the hammock spreader bars can’t be taken off, you should consider cleaning it with a hose. Simply detach your hammock from the stand and place it on a clean ground. Using a hose, spray the hammock with high-pressure water. Concentrate on every spot you want to eliminate. Once the spots are cleaned, flip it over and repeat the spraying process.
Use some cloth or a sponge to scrub the hammock with a gentle soap or mild detergent and water. Pay more attention to the spots and other problem areas. Be sure that you scrubbed both sides of the hammock fabric.
Use your hose to rinse the hammock again so that all traces of soap are removed from the hammock material. When done, you can hang it to dry.
How to Dry a Hammock - The Ultimate Guide
The best time to dry a hammock is on a sunny, breezy day, but if you cannot let it sun dry outside, you can dry it indoors. Regardless of where you dry the hammock, you will still need to air dry it.
Wondering why? Have you ever dried a sneaker in a dryer? How did it turn out? Smelly, right? There is a reason why stuff like that always comes out smelly; therefore, you need to air dry them.
If you are drying the hammock on a sunny, breezy day, it takes less than thirty minutes to become completely dry. Use pins, and clothespins to clip your hammock on the drying line. It is advisable to clip the hammock every 8 – 13 inches, depending on how heavy the fabric is.
There are many types of drying line setups. What you really need is a good length of clean, strong rope that can be tied between two poles or trees.
Having a tightening mechanism is a good idea. Tighteners can be bought at a home improvement or hardware store; they attach well to the line and make it easy to adjust any slack without the need to untie and retie the rope.
Ensure the lines where you want to hang your hammock are high enough to prevent it from brushing the ground.
One way to keep your hammock in top shape for many years is to protect it in cold and hot weather. Hammocks should not be stored in salty or humid air, with damp clothing or equipment, or near corrosive chemicals. This will prevent your hammock from deterioration and smelling funky.
How to Wash the Carabiners
Carabiners are an essential component in any hammock gear assortment. To be on the safer side, carabiners should be checked regularly, maintained, and changed if need be.
Clean the carabiner gates by blowing dirt and dust from the hinge area. A sticky carabiner gate should be washed with warm, soapy water (you can also use citrus-based bike cleaners), rinse thoroughly, and allow it to dry.
For top performance, carabiners should be lubricated with dry graphite or any dry lubricant (that is wax-based). This needs to be used on the spring hole, hinge area, and on the locking mechanism.
Excess lubricant should be wiped off. Ensure you clean and lube the carabiner after coming in contact with salt air or saltwater.
How to Use and Store Your Hammock
When done with the washing of your hammock, make sure that it’s completely dry before you decide to fold it. If you fold it and the hammock isn’t completely dry, you will put it at risk of creating a mold on it.
Also, the type of hammock you have will determine your folding technique:
After washing your hammock and cleaning the carabiner, it’s time to put your hammock to use.
Put the hammock adequately stored during the winter, so it won’t get damaged. In the summer, keep it away from direct sunlight for extended periods when not in use. This is to preserve the strong fabric colors.
If you want to store your hammock in the shed or garage, ensure it is stored in a weather-tight tote that is high enough to avoid rodents and pests. Squirrels, mice, and rats and many other rodents love hammocks as much as we do, although it is for a completely different reason. Rodents will scratch, bite, and ultimately destroy your hammock if left outside or hung up near a forest.
Do not store your hammock outside, but if you plan to leave it outdoors, store it in a weather-tight tote and keep it away from direct sunlight.
Carabiners should not be stored in salty or humid air, with damp clothing or equipment or near a corrosive chemical. If you do, the carabiners will not last long.
Now, get out and enjoy your hammock without worrying about it getting dirty!