6 handy hints for cleaning hammocks

July 28, 2015

Hammocks are all about relaxing — which you wouldn't be able to do if you thought you were reclining in grime and mildew. Mould and mildew thrive in moisture. Another threat is rot. Here are some handy hints for keeping your hammock clean.

6 handy hints for cleaning hammocks

1. Keep it dry

  • To make your hammock last longer, you need to keep it not only dirt free but as dry as possible.
  • After unpacking your hammock and before its maiden swing, spray it with fabric guard, following the label instructions.
  • Renew the treatment every three to five months.
  • Don't hang the hammock in full sun as the rays will fade synthetics and weaken cotton fabric.
  • Find a dry indoor spot to store the hammock in bad weather or whenever you won't be hanging it out for a while.

2. Hand clean

  • A successful, universal hammock-cleaning approach is to mix 30 ml (2 tbs) of mild dishwashing liquid with 9 litres (9 quarts) of water.
  • Spread the hammock out on a large, debris-free, hard surface, such as a deck.
  • Keeping the wooden spreader bars dry, scrub one side of the hammock with a soft cloth or sponge, then flip it and clean the other side.
  • A soft-bristled brush will let you gently scrub dirty areas.
  • Rinse well with clear water and hang the hammock to air dry, preferably in a low-humidity breeze but not in direct sunlight. Quick drying keeps the fibres strong and discourages mould and mildew.
  • The hammock should be fully dry in two days. Other cleaning approaches depend on the fabric and construction of your hammock.

3. Spot clean white rope

To clean white cotton or cotton-polyester rope, just spot-clean dirt using 1 part gentle fabric wash to 8 parts water. If you see mould or mildew, put the hammock in the bathtub and soak it in a mild bleach solution — 1 capful of chlorine bleach per 4 litres (4 quarts) of water — for 30 minutes.

4. Bind synthetics

  • To clean such fabricssuch as polyester and acrylic, bind the hammock so that it won't tangle — if it is a simple model that has no spreader bars.
  • Fold the hammock in half, bringing the two end rings together.
  • Bind it with twine just below the rings, then at the fold and finally in the middle of your bundle. This keeps the hardware out of the strings and saves the strings from becoming a tangled puzzle.
  • Drop the bundle into a pillowcase and tie it closed.
  • Put it in the washing machine on the gentle cycle and add 50 ml (1/4 cup) of gentle fabric wash. After washing, unbind and spread the hammock out to dry.
  • Give it two days to dry, and you'll be back in the swing of things!
  • If you would prefer, you can also hand wash it in a solution of 1 part gentle fabric wash to 4 parts water.
  • If the yarn is solution-dyed, meaning the dye was added when the synthetic was still liquid, you can rid it of mildew and stains by hand washing it in a bleach-and-water solution. Don't go any stronger than a 50:50 mix.
  • Use rubber gloves and test for colour fastness on an inconspicuous corner.

5. Scrub coloured rope or fabric

  • To clean a coloured rope, fabric or quilted fabric hammock, scrub it using 125 ml (1/2 cup) of laundry detergent in 20 litres (5 gallons) of warm water.
  • Test to see if it is colourfast first.
  • Hit mildewy areas with the mild bleach solution suggested above for cotton-rope hammocks.

6. Clean pillows, too

  • Spot-wash hammock pillows using a mild dishwashing liquid solution and a soft-bristled brush.
  • Avoid soaking the filling inside.
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