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What are the care instructions for MHW products?

Gerry Woodbury
posted this on September 12, 2013 12:17

Backpacks:

Dirt and grime will abrade the fabric and wear it out.  For localized cleaning, use a sponge with warm water.  When cleaning the entire pack, wash in a bathtub filled with cold water, and always use a non-detergent soap.  Dry your pack by stuffing it loosely with newspaper, and hang it in the shade.  To preserve the integrity of your pack's fabric coating, the interior should only be cleaned with a damp rag.

Here are some no-no's of cleaning your backpack:

  • Never machine wash or dry your pack.
  • Never use hot water, bleach, dishwashing liquid, pre-soaking solutions, or spot removers.  Always use a non-detergent soap.
  • Never use solvents to clean your Mountain Hardwear pack as solvents may irreparably damage the fabric, frame material, and water-resistance of the zippers.  Any use of solvens will void Mountain Hardwear's Lifetime Warranty.

Sleeping Bags:

Zip up all zippers, attach all Velcro, and turn the bag inside out.  Wash in a front-loading machine with cold water on the gentle or delicate setting.  We recommend that you use the minimum amount of cleaning agent and scrub the head and foot sections before washing the entire bag.  Use at least two rinse cycles to get all of the soap out of the garment.  For down, use a mild powder soap, or special down soap (available at outdoor product stores).  For synthetic bags, use a mild powder soap or special synthetic cleaning product.

Lift bags by carefully carrying them from the bottom when transporting from washer to dryer.  Tumble dry in a large commercial dryer on low heat; it's important that the dryer is large enough for the bag to flop freely around.  Drying takes several hours, and you should check your bag often to ensure it's not overheated. 

As a down bag dries, look for clumps of wet down and shake the bag gently to redistribute the down.  Sometimes the down in the draft tube will need some gentle massaging during the drying cycle.  As a synthetic bag dries, check for even distribution of fill material.  Gently massage the bag if any bunching is detected.

Both our down and synthetic sleeping bags can be professionally washed.  Check the yellow pages under camping, backpacking, or mountaineering equipment for folks who specialize in cleaning outdoor products.  Your local retailer may also be able to refer you.  Never dry clean a Mountain Hardwear sleeping bag - the chemicals used are harmful to the fabrics and filling and will severly reduce loft and thermal efficiency.

Here's a list of no-no's for cleaning your sleeping bag:

  • Don't use a top-loading washing machine (agitator will destroy the baffles in the bag).
  • Don't use liquid soap or detergent, or a very strong soap or detergent.
  • Don't use your home dryer - they've been known to melt holes in fabric.
  • Do not lift your bag from one end when wet (lift the entire bag all at once from underneath).
  • Do not store in a stuff sack (use a larger storage sack which allows for air circulation).
  • Do not dry in the sun (the UV will damage the nylon).

Tent:

Never machine wash or machine dry your tent.  For localized cleaning, use a sponge with warm water.  When cleaning the entire tent, wash in a tub of cold water.  Never use hot water, bleach, dishwashing liquid, pre-soaking solutions, or spot removers.  If you use soap, always use a non-detergent soap.  Dry your tent by pitching it in the shade, or by line drying only.  Never machine dry your tent.

Down Jacket/Parka:

To machine wash, first zip up all zippers, attach all Velcro, and turn your garment inside out.  Only use a front-loading machine, with cold water on a gentle setting.  Use a minimum amount of a mild powder soap or special down soap (available at outdoor stores).  Use at least two rinse cycles to get all of the soap out of the garment.

When moving your garment from washer to dryer, do so by carrying it from the bottom.  Tumble dry in a large, commercial dryer with low heat.  The dryer must be large enough for the garment to flop around freely.  Drying could take several hours, and your garment should be checked often to be sure it isn't overheated.  As it dries, look for clumps of wet down and gently shake to redistribute the down.

When laundering your down jacket or parka, don't:

  • use a top-loading washing machine
  • use a liquid soap or detergent
  • use your home dryer (they have been known to melt holes in fabric)
  • lift your garment from one end when wet (lift the entire thing from underneath)
  • dry out in the sun (UV can damage nylon)

Soft Shell:

For best performance, it's a good idea to keep your soft shell clean, and its DWR (durable water repellant) finish freshly charged.  This means keeping oil and grease away from the garment, washing it when it gets dirty, and reapplying its DWR finish.

Soft shells can be machine-washed in warm or cold (not hot) water, using regular powdered laundry detergent.  Wash in a front-loading washing machine only, and do not use Woolite, other cleaners with lanolin (or other oils), or fabric softener.  Put the garment through at least two rinse cycles, as the detergent can interact with the DWR finish and needs to be fully rinsed out of the material.

After your soft shell has been washed, reapply the DWR finish while the garment is still damp.  The heat of the dryer will help set the DWR finish into the fabric.  Tumble dry on low heat, or line dry.

We recommend you re-treat your soft shell at the beginning of your wet weather season; however, if you are washing your soft shell often, or if your soft shell is frequently in contact with abrasive surfaces, we recommend re-treating the DWR finish more frequently.  For best results, use spray-on, rather than wash-in products.  We recommend ReviveX.  Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application.

 
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