How to Wash a Hammock without destroying it

How to Wash a Hammock

Taking good care of your hammock means give it the occasional clean – we take you how to wash a hammock 3 different ways.

Brian Connelly
Last Updated: August 25, 2020

Want to Know how to wash a hammock correctly?

You’re in the right place! In this guide, we will be covering the following:

    • Have you ever wondered how you’re supposed to clean a hammock?
    • Are you interested in the most straightforward tips on how to wash a hammock?
    • Do you want to prolong the life of your hammock by merely keeping it clean?

If you don’t know how to wash a hammock and leave it to accumulate dirt, dust, and moisture, you run the risk of mildew growth and will have to replace your hammock long before you’d need to if you cared for it properly. 

Have you ever wondered how to clean a hammock? Then stick around. I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about washing your hammock and keeping it in good condition so you can enjoy it for years to come. 

Having a clean hammock also cuts down on exposure to potential allergens. Once your hammock is nice and clean, you’ll be able to spend some quality hang time in your backyard or take it with you on your next camping trip. Best of all, you’ll be secure in the knowledge that you’ve extended the life of your hammock. 

What You’ll Need

Keeping your hammock clean sounds a lot more complicated than it is. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions and follow them carefully, as incorrectly washing your hammock can damage the fabric. Some camping hammocks are compatible with your washing machine, which is the easiest way to do it, but others need to be washed by hand. You’ll need:

Washing machine option:

  • Your washing machine; wash your hammock by itself
  • Mild detergent; something unscented is perfect for washing a hammock
  • A clothesline or a clean, flat surface where you can dry your hammock

Method #1:

  • A clean, flat surface
  • Water (you can use your garden hose or a bucket of water)
  • Mild detergent
  • A soft-bristled brush (a nail brush is perfect)

Method #2

  • Your bathtub or sink full of warm water
  • Mild detergent
  • A soft-bristled brush 

How to Clean a Hammock

As you can see, cleaning your hammock doesn’t involve any specialized cleansers or tools. You’ll probably find everything you need to wash your hammock in your own home.

Step 1: Check for Damage

The first step in cleaning your hammock is checking it for any damage. Make sure any chains are rust-free and in good condition. If your hammock uses string or rope, check for any fraying that might need to be repaired. 

check hammock straps max weight

Also, make sure you keep an eye out for any signs of mildew. Because you should never use bleach on your hammock, mildew is the bane of any hammock owner’s existence. Regularly cleaning your hammock can prevent mildew from growing on the fabric in the first place. 

Step 2: Get Rid of the Dirt

To quote the Florence and the Machine song, shake it out. If your hammock is hanging outdoors, leave one side of the hammock attached, grasp the other and shake it vigorously to get rid of large clumps of dirt, foliage, and pollen. 

Another way to shake the dirt off is to grasp the loops in both hands and spin it through the air. If you have someone to help you, they can hold one end stationary while you do the shaking. This won’t clean your hammock entirely, but it will save you a lot of time later. 

Step 3: Washing Your Hammock

If your hammock is machine washable, you’re in luck. Place your hammock in the washing machine by itself. Add a gentle detergent — we recommend one of the fragrance-free brands designed for children and people with sensitive skin — and wash it in cool water on a gentle cycle. 

Pro tip: Washing your hammock on a sunny breezy day is the best time to do it, as it will take less time to air dry your hammock. Just be careful not to sit your hammock out in direct sunlight.

Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions and the fabric your hammock is made from, you may have to wash it by hand. It takes a little longer, but it can be an enjoyable process, especially if you have kids who want to help out. 

There are two main methods for washing a hammock by hand, and I’ll guide you through both. 

Hand Washing Method #1:

  1.  Lay your hammock out on a clean, flat surface. (The perfect time to wash your hammock is just after you’ve washed your driveway.)
  2. Spray the hammock down with a hose. The force of the water will remove the vast majority of dirt and pollen.
  3. Go over the surface with a soft-bristled brush and a mild detergent. If necessary, spot-treat any stains with a stain remover, but make sure to patch-test it in a less visible area to make sure it doesn’t discolor the fabric. 
  4. Respray the hammock to remove the soap and any remaining dirt. Rinse until the water runs clean, and you don’t see any more bubbles. 
  5. Hang your hammock to completely dry. You can return it to its usual spot if you keep it outdoors or air dry it on a clothesline (best done on a breezy day). 

Hand Washing Method #2:

  1. Fill up your sink, bathtub, or a large bucket with lukewarm to cool water. 
  2. Submerge your hammock in the water and swirl it around to remove the first layer of dirt. Depending on how dirty your hammock is, you may want to empty your bucket or drain the sink or tub so you can refill it with clean water. 
  3. Add 2-3 ounces of mild detergent and gently scrub the fabric. If your hammock is especially dirty, you can leave it to soak for a while. Never use bleach, no matter how dirty the hammock is. 
  4. Drain the sink or tub (or empty your bucket) and refill it with clean water, rinsing thoroughly to remove the soap. This is another step you may want to repeat. 
  5. When your hammock is clean gently wring out as much of the excess water as you can.
  6. Hang your hammock outside to air dry. 

Storing Your Hammock

If you’re not going to use your hammock again soon, make sure it’s completely dry before you fold and store it. Hammocks should be kept in a cool, dry location away from moisture to prevent mildew. 

Always store your hammock in a sealed container to keep pests out. There’s nothing worse than taking your hammock out of storage and finding out the mice have been using it as a chew toy.

Conclusion

That’s it. It really is that easy. Did you love this simple tutorial on how to wash a hammock? 

Hammocks are incredibly durable and make the perfect place to relax in your backyard or on camping trips. By properly washing and storing your hammock when it’s not in use, you’ll enjoy it for many summers to come. 

I hope you enjoyed this easy tutorial. Please leave any questions or comments you have down below, and if you think it would be useful to anyone else, feel free to share it. 

Further reading: If you’re new to the wonderful world of hammocking, then check out our guide to hammock camping for beginners.

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