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How to Clean a Sleeping Pad

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Sleeping pads keep you warm on cold nights and protect your sleeping bag from mud or grit on the tent floor. After the camping season, or if it is damaged by something other than normal use, like bodily fluids, wash your sleeping pad. Cleaning your sleeping pad is simple, but avoiding a soapy mess takes planning.

How to Clean a Sleeping Pad


  1. Hand-wipe any excess dirt or debris from the sleeping pad's outside. If possible, inflate the pad to make cleaning easier. Seal all air caps tightly to avoid water entry. Place the pad inside the bathtub.
  2. A lather is formed by squishing 1 tbsp of antibacterial soap in your hands. Scrub the sleeping mat in gentle circular motions, working your way down. To clean a particularly filthy area, lay the pad flat on the bathtub's floor. Rinse the sleeping mat and do the same on the other side.
  3. Remove the sleeping pad and dry the bathtub with a towel. Uncap the air-plug and hang the pad over a line or the back of a chair to dry. Using a dryer or a hair dryer on your sleeping pad could damage the fibers and perhaps melt the surface.
  4. Store it flat or lightly folded in the off-season. A tight roll will stress the material and generate cracks and creases along the edges.