Can You Wash Hammocks in the Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Hammocks in the Washing Machine

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Yes, you can wash hammocks in the washing machine in many cases. However, it is important to follow some guidelines to avoid damaging the hammock.

Hammocks are a beloved addition to many outdoor spaces, providing a relaxing oasis for people to unwind and enjoy the great outdoors. Over time, hammocks can accumulate dirt, sweat, and other debris, leading to the question: can you wash hammocks in the washing machine? The good news is that, in most cases, you can. However, it’s essential to follow specific instructions to ensure the longevity of your hammock and maintain its comfort and safety.

In this article, we’ll delve into the dos and don’ts of washing hammocks in the washing machine, alternative cleaning methods, and answer some frequently asked questions to help you care for your hammock properly.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Hammocks in the Washing Machine


  • Remove the Carabiners: Before tossing your hammock into the washing machine, remove any carabiners or hardware attached to it. These metal components can damage both the hammock and the washing machine.
  • Wash the Hammock Alone: To achieve the best results, wash your hammock by itself, with nothing else in the machine. This will prevent tangling and ensure a thorough cleaning.
  • Use a Gentle Detergent: Opt for a mild, gentle detergent that is suitable for delicate fabrics. Avoid using harsh detergents, as they can weaken the hammock’s fabric over time.
  • Choose the Right Cycle: Use a front-loading washing machine and select a delicate or gentle cycle with cool water. When it comes to rinsing and spinning, stick to cold water as well. These settings will help preserve the hammock’s integrity.
  • Skip Fabric Softeners and Additional Cleaning Agents: Avoid adding fabric softeners, bleach, or stain removal chemicals to the wash. These can be abrasive and cause damage to the fabric.
  • Use a Pillowcase or Laundry Bag: Place the hammock inside a large pillowcase or a laundry bag to protect it during the washing process. This extra layer of defense can prevent snags or tears.
  • Untie the Strings After the Rinse Cycle: Once the rinse cycle is complete, carefully remove the hammock from the pillowcase or laundry bag. Untie any strings to prevent them from tangling or stretching during drying.
  • Line Dry the Hammock: To preserve the fabric and prevent shrinkage, it’s best to air dry the hammock. Hang it outside on a sunny, breezy day, or if the weather doesn’t permit, you can also hang it indoors. Make sure it’s fully dry before storing or using it again.


  • Don’t Overload the Machine: Avoid overloading the washing machine. Washing the hammock with other items can lead to entanglement and potential damage.
  • Don’t Use High Temperatures: Stick to cool water temperatures throughout the washing and rinsing process. High heat can weaken the fabric and cause it to lose elasticity.
  • Don’t Use Harsh Chemicals: Refrain from using bleach, fabric softeners, or stain removers. These can degrade the hammock’s material and reduce its lifespan.
  • Don’t Twist or Wring the Hammock: After washing, resist the urge to twist or wring the hammock to remove excess water. This can damage the fabric and the suspension cords.
  • Don’t Dry in Direct Sunlight: Avoid drying the hammock in direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause fading and weaken the fabric over time.

Steps To Wash Hammocks In The Washing Machine:

Step 1

Preparation: Remove carabiners and any other hardware attached to the hammock. Place the hammock inside a large pillowcase or a laundry bag.

Step 2

Detergent Selection: Choose a gentle detergent suitable for delicate fabrics.

Step 3

Machine Settings: Use a front-loading washing machine and select a delicate or gentle cycle with cool water. Cold water should also be used for the rinse and spin cycles.

Step 4

Load the Machine: Place the hammock, enclosed in the pillowcase or laundry bag, in the washing machine. Make sure it’s the only item in the load.

Step 5

No Extra Additives: Avoid adding fabric softeners, bleach, or stain removal chemicals.

Step 6

Rinse and Untie: After the rinse cycle completes, carefully remove the hammock from the pillowcase or laundry bag. Untie any strings to prevent tangling.

Step 7

Drying: Line dry the hammock outdoors on a sunny, breezy day or indoors. Ensure it’s fully dry before storing or using it again.

Alternative Washing Methods for Hammocks:

While washing hammocks in the washing machine is a convenient option, there are alternative methods for cleaning your hammock:

  • Hand Washing: Fill a large tub or basin with cool water and mild detergent. Gently agitate the water and soak the hammock for a while. Rinse thoroughly and air dry as recommended.
  • Hose Down: If your hammock isn’t heavily soiled, you can hose it down outdoors. Use a soft brush and mild detergent to spot clean any stubborn stains, then rinse thoroughly and allow it to dry.
  • Spot Cleaning: For minor stains or dirt spots, spot cleaning with a gentle fabric cleaner or detergent solution can be effective. Scrub the affected area with a soft brush, rinse, and air dry.


Can I use a top-loading washing machine for washing my hammock?

Answer: No, it is not recommended to use a top-loading washing machine for washing hammocks. Front-loading machines are gentler and less likely to cause damage to the fabric.

What should I do if my hammock has mildew or mold?

Answer: To remove mildew or mold from your hammock, mix a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. Scrub the affected areas, rinse thoroughly, and then wash the hammock following the steps mentioned above.

Can I use a dryer to speed up the drying process?

Answer: It’s best to air dry your hammock to prevent any damage or shrinkage. Using a dryer, especially at high temperatures, can be detrimental to the fabric.

How often should I wash my hammock?

Answer: The frequency of washing depends on usage and environmental factors. Generally, you should wash your hammock when it becomes visibly dirty or starts to develop an odor.

Can I machine wash a hammock with spreader bars?

Answer: Hammocks with spreader bars are typically not suitable for machine washing. It’s best to clean them using alternative methods like hose down or spot cleaning to prevent damage to the bars or fabric.

Final Words:

Cleaning your hammock is essential for maintaining its comfort and longevity. While machine washing is a viable option, it’s crucial to follow the dos and don’ts mentioned in this article to ensure your hammock remains in excellent condition. If you prefer alternative cleaning methods, such as hand washing or spot cleaning, always use gentle detergents and handle the fabric with care. With proper care and maintenance, your hammock will continue to provide you with relaxation and comfort for years to come.

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