How to Clean a Hammock: A Guide for All Types of Hammocks

Updated Jun 29, 2023

Cleaning a hammock is essential to maintain its cleanliness and prolong its lifespan. Start by removing any loose debris, then proceed to spot clean or hand wash with a mild detergent. Rinse thoroughly and allow it to air dry completely before rehanging. With these simple steps, your hammock will be ready for many more moments of relaxation.

how to clean a hammock

A hammock is a symbol of relaxation, often invoking images of swaying gently beneath a palm tree on a tropical beach or enjoying a lazy day in your backyard. However, maintaining your hammock’s appearance, scent, and functionality over time requires regular care and cleaning. Fortunately, cleaning your hammock is a simple and straightforward process. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover how to clean a hammock for various types and materials, as well as provide tips for general maintenance and storage.

Inspecting Your Hammock for Damage

Before you start cleaning your hammock, it’s essential to inspect it for any signs of damage. Check for frayed fabric, broken strings, and small tears that might worsen during the cleaning process. If you find any damage, repair it before proceeding with washing to prevent further deterioration.

Preparing Your Hammock for Cleaning

After inspecting your hammock for damage, the next step is to shake off any loose dirt, debris, and dust. This will make the cleaning process more effective and prevent potential damage to your hammock.

To remove loose dirt and debris, simply leave one end of your hammock suspended and shake the other end vigorously. This will help eliminate any pollen, dust, or tree leaves that might be hiding in the folds.

Selecting the Right Cleaning Products

When it comes to cleaning your hammock, it’s essential to choose the right cleaning products to avoid damaging the fabric and altering its color. Stick to mild detergents and avoid using bleach, fabric softeners, or stain removal chemicals.

Removing Hammock Accessories

Before washing your hammock, remove any accessories such as carabiners, spreader bars, and detachable insect nets. This will prevent potential damage to both the hammock and the accessories during the cleaning process.

Pre-treating Stains

If your hammock has stubborn stains, pre-treat them with a paste made from baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the stained areas and let it sit for a few minutes before gently wiping it away with a clean, damp cloth.

Washing Your Hammock

Depending on the material and type of your hammock, you might need to adapt your washing techniques. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper cleaning. In general, camping hammocks and quilted hammocks can be machine washed or hand washed. Here are the steps for both methods:

Machine Washing Hammocks

  1. Fold your hammock in half, bringing the end loops together.
  2. If your hammock has removable spreader bars, remove them before washing.
  3. Tie the end strings together with a piece of string to prevent tangling in the washing machine.
  4. Place the hammock in a pillowcase and tie it closed.
  5. Use a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent. Do not use bleach or fabric softener.
  6. After the wash cycle is complete, remove the hammock from the pillowcase and untie the strings.
  7. Hang the hammock to dry outside, making sure it is spread out evenly for proper drying.
  8. Do not machine wash a hammock with other items.

Hand Washing Hammocks

  1. Fill a bathtub or large container with warm water and mild detergent. You can use a large sink or fill the container with a garden hose.
  2. Submerge the hammock in the soapy water or cleaning solution, keeping the loop ends elevated out of the water.
  3. Gently scrub the fabric and strings with your hands or a soft-bristle brush.
  4. Rinse the hammock thoroughly with clean water.
  5. Squeeze out excess water and hang the hammock to dry outside, ensuring it is spread out evenly for proper drying.

Drying Your Hammock

After washing your hammock, the next step is to dry it thoroughly. Hang your hammock outside, either on a clothesline or spread out on a clean surface, making sure it is exposed to sunlight and well-ventilated. To speed up the drying process, place a stick or broom crosswise in the hammock to help it dry faster. Never use a tumble dryer, as the heat can damage the hammock’s fabric. Make sure it’s completely dry before putting it away.

Folding and Storing Your Hammock

Proper folding and storage of your hammock can help maintain its longevity and structural integrity. Here’s how to fold and store different types of hammocks:

Non-spreader Bar Hammocks

  1. Fold the hammock once end-to-end and hang the loops on a hook in a closet or roll up your hammock.
  2. For Brazilian hammocks, simply fold them so that they fit securely in their pouch.
  3. For spreader-bar woven hammocks or a rope hammock, lay them on a clean surface, fold the ring and ropes into the hammock bed on one end, and roll the hammock toward the other end using the spreader bar.

Storing Your Hammock

Store your hammock in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight and dampness. A breathable bag or weather-tight tote is ideal for storage. If you must store your hammock outside, make sure it’s in a weather-tight tote and away from direct sunlight.

Hammock Maintenance and Safety Tips

Regular maintenance and safety precautions can help extend the life of your hammock and prevent accidents. Here are some general tips:

  1. Always inspect your hammock for damage before using it.
  2. Be mindful of weight limits and sizing to ensure your hammock can support your weight adequately.
  3. Hang your hammock at the appropriate height and distance between anchor points for safe use.
  4. Store your hammock properly when not in use to prevent damage from weather and pests.

Repairing Your Hammock

Despite taking good care of your hammock, you might still experience some damage over time. Most repairs can be done easily on your own. Here are some common repairs:

  1. Patching small holes with a needle and waterproof thread.
  2. Tying loose or broken strings back together or to the closest knot of the weave.
  3. Replacing damaged end ropes or chain attachments.

Final Thoughts

By following these steps and tips on how to clean a hammock, you can ensure that your hammock remains a comfortable and relaxing haven for many years to come. Regular cleaning, proper storage, and maintenance will help keep your hammock in top condition, ready for those leisurely afternoons spent swaying in the breeze. Now go get that hammock dirty again and use it to its fullest extent!

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About the Author

Hey there!

We are Derek and Ashley of Know Nothing Nomads. Whether it is hiking, camping, climbing, or just generally being outside, we love it. We are so happy that you have found our little blog and hope that you stick around a while.

Safe Travels,

Derek and Ashley


Know Nothing Nomads

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