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How To Wash A Hammock: The Ultimate Guide

A hammock is one of the few objects you can mention to people that instantly makes them think about rest and relaxation. Whether it’s drifting to sleep on a sunny tropical beach or just a lazy day in the backyard, there’s no experience like resting in a hammock.

And while cleaning your hammock isn’t quite as much fun as laying in it, the task is still very important for your hammock’s overall maintenance and hygiene. Our hammocks can collect outside dirt and grim and food and beverage stains, along with insects and other natural contaminants.

Thankfully, hammocks are super easy to clean, and below we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to wash a hammock!

How to Wash a Hammock

Washing Hammocks

While washing hammocks is easy, there are certain do’s and don’t one should keep in mind so that your hammock doesn’t become worn or damaged during the washing process. For example, different materials may require different cleaning approaches.

Another thing to keep in mind is that hammocks are not designed to be washed as frequently as you would wash clothing. You should wash them only when they become really dirty or once or twice a year. Washing them too frequently can compromise their material, and hammocks are difficult to repair.

General Instructions for Washing Hammocks Without a Spreader Bar

How to Wash a Hammock without a spreader bar

Machine Washing Hammocks Without a Spreader Bar

  1. Bring together end loops by folding the hammock in half.

2. Tie together the end strings using a piece of string a little below the loops and about three-quarters of the way toward the hammock bed area. Doing this will prevent the hammock strings from becoming tangled while the washing machine is spinning.

3. After tying the end strings, put the hammock into a pillowcase, then tie the case closed.

4. Utilize a mild detergent during the wash cycle, then use cold water for the rinse and spin cycle. But, never use bleach, fabric softener, or stain removal chemicals. 

5. After the rinse cycle completes, carefully take the hammock out of the pillowcase, then untie the strings.

6. Hang the hammock up to dry, ensuring the hammock is spread out well enough to ensure even drying.

Hand Washing Hammocks Without a Spreader Bar

  1. Put the hammock into a bathtub or sink, holding both loop ends.

2. Submerge the hammock in warm water while slowly adding mild detergent. However, you should keep the loop ends elevated out of the water. Never use bleach.

3. Use your hands to massage the hammock along with the end strings until the entire hammock is clean.

4. Rinse your hammock using clean water.

5. Last, wring out excess water from the hammock before drying it out. Make sure the hammock is spread out enough to ensure it dries thoroughly.

General Instructions for Washing Hammocks With a Spreader Bar

Washing Hammocks with a Spreader Bar

Machine Washing Hammocks With a Spreader Bar

Since the spreader bars in these types of hammocks are not removable, they cannot be machine washed. 

Hand Washing Hammocks With a Spreader Bar

  1. Lay the hammock out on a flat, smooth surface such as a driveway or deck. 

2. Take your garden hose and dampen the hammock.

3. Add a little mild detergent to a bucket filled with warm water. 

4. Take a soft bristle brush, scrub the hammock on one side, then rinse off with a garden hose, ensuring all the determine is washed off the hammock. 

5. Flip the hammock and repeat the process. 

6. After the final rinse, hang your hammock up to dry. Hanging in direct sunlight is ideal for drying your hammock quickly while helping the fabric maintain its integrity. 

7. Don’t allow your hammock to stay wet for too long such as days at a time, because this could weaken the material and reduce its longevity. 

Washing Rope Hammocks

Washing Rope Hammocks

The above-mentioned cleaning instructions for hand washing hammocks with spreader bars apply to rope hammocks. Plus, you also need to monitor the condition of the spreader bars. If they are made from wood, check to see if they are becoming faded, dull, splintering, or cracking.

Washing Quilted Hammocks

Quilted hammocks are pretty durable as they are designed to be used outdoors and are not as delicate as other hammocks. Here’s a special mixture you can use as an effective detergent for quilted hammocks. 

Mix the following ingredients together for your solution.

  • 1 cup of washing soda
  • 1 cup of borax
  • A couple of squirts of liquid dish soap
  • 8 cups of water

Steps to Wash Quilted Hammocks

  1. Lay the hammock down on a flat surface, then gently brush away surface debris and dirt. 

2. Apply your cleaning solution directly onto the hammock using a spray bottle.

3. After 20 minutes, rinse the hammock off with a hose

4. Hang out to dry.

Washing Camping Hammocks

Washing Camping Hammocks

Since camping hammocks are usually made of lightweight, thin materials, it’s very important to wash them gently to avoid damage.

This is why we only recommend washing these types of hammocks by hand. Also, you want to remove all metal hardware that could damage or rip your hammock while washing.

Steps to Wash Camping Hammocks

  1. Gently brush off excess dirt, debris, and grime using a soft-bristled brush.

2. Use a damp cloth and some mild dish soap or detergent to remove any dirt and grime.

3. Rinse with a hose

4. Hang out to dry.

Washing Woven Hammocks

Woven hammocks such as Mayan or Brazillian are also very durable, but like all hammock styles, they can fall victim to wear and tear. When cleaning, you should always take precautions to avoid unnecessary damage. After all, it’s likely these types of hammocks are very beautiful works of art you want to enjoy for years. 

Steps to Wash Woven Hammocks

  1. Tie all ends of the hammock together and submerge in lukewarm water.

2. Use a mild detergent to scrub away dirt and grim with a soft-bristled brush. 

3. Rinse with clean water

4. Dry immediately by hanging the hammock in a well-ventilated area, preferably on with direct sunlight.

5. You can dry your hammock more evenly by using a broom or stick crosswise in the body to ensure the hammock stays stretched out. This will help the fabric dry faster.

Folding and Storage

Folding hammocks

How you fold and store your hammock can go a long way to ensure its longevity and structural integrity. When it comes to storage, one thing to keep in mind is the presence of critters such as rats, mice, raccoons, squirrels, and other animals that may seek to use your hammock as a nest. For this reason, we cannot recommend storing hammocks outdoors. If you believe such pests can access your storage areas, then you should definitely use the fabric bag storage option. 

You should also avoid areas with lots of moisture as this could lead to mold and mildew development. One great way to disinfect your hammock without using bleach is by creating a simple solution of white vinegar and water and putting it in a spray bottle. You can spray your hammock with this solution about once a month to help prevent or treat the growth of mold and mildew.

Storing Hammocks Without a Spreader Bar

  1. Tie together end strings using a piece of string below the loops and about three-quarters toward the hammock’s bed. Doing so will prevent the strings from becoming tangled up. 

2. You then want to put the hammock in a breathable, weather-resistant fabric bag.

3. Another option is to hang the hammock from a hock in a dry, well-ventilated area that experiences low foot traffic, such as a shed or garage.

Storing Hammocks With a Spreader Bar

  1. Bring together the two o-rings to fold your hammock in half.

2. Start rolling your hammock up into a tube shape. Put the hammock in a breathable, weather-resistant fabric bag.

3. You can also hang your hammock in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area such as a basement, garage, or shed. 

Final Thoughts on How To Wash A Hammock

Washing Hammocks

We all love hanging out and relaxing in our hammocks, and your comfy relaxation cocoon can last a very long time if you take steps to keep it clean and well maintained. But, remember, don’t go overboard when it comes to how often you wash, especially if you machine wash. Once your hammock is clean and fresh, you can kick back and enjoy the fruits of your labor in style.

Looking for places to take your freshly cleaned hammock? Check out our list of 21 Of The Best Hammocking Spots in the US!