a canvass hammock inside the room

How to Clean a Hammock

Hammocks are a fun and comfortable way to enjoy outdoor life. But, because they are used outdoors, they often get dirty. Hammocks usually aren’t difficult to clean, but they come in such a vast range of styles and materials, it’s hard to know how to do it correctly.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to clean a hammock.

What is Your Hammock Made of?

Cleaning instructions for your hammock depend on what your hammock is made of. Some of the most popular types of hammock include:

Rope Hammocks

These hammocks have an open, woven rope structure.

Hammocks With Spreader Bars

Many rope or fabric hammocks have spreader bars on one or both ends.

Nylon Hammocks

Most modern hammocks are made of ripstop parachute nylon.

Fabric Hammocks

Many traditional Central and South American hammocks are made of woven fabric, usually cotton.

Canvas Hammocks

Many conventional military and naval hammocks were made of canvas.

How to Clean Your Hammock

a gray hammock inside the house

Almost all hammocks can be washed by hand. To hand-wash a hammock, follow these steps:

  1. Spread the hammock out flat.
  2. Use a soft brush to brush away any superficial dirt and debris.
  3. Fill a large bucket or wading pool with cool water and mild detergent.
  4. Immerse the hammock in the water and swish it around to clean it.
  5. Drain the water and rinse the hammock with clean water.
  6. This may need to be repeated until the water runs clear.

If your hammock does not have removable spreader bars, it can’t be immersed in water. Instead, follow these steps to clean it.

  1. Lay the hammock out on a flat surface.
  2. Use a soft bristle brush to scrub away superficial dirt and debris.
  3. Mix a bucket of water and mild detergent.
  4. Use the brush and the soapy water to scrub the hammock clean.
  5. When you’ve cleaned one side, flip it over and scrub the other side.
  6. Rinse the hammock with clean water.
  7. Hang the hammock to dry in the sun.

Many hammocks are also machine washable and can be washed alone on a gentle cycle with cool water and a small amount of mild soap. Consult the manufacturer to find out the proper care for your specific hammock.

Always remember to remove any hooks, spreaders, or carabiners before washing a hammock.

If your hammock has tassels, tie them in a large knot to prevent them from tangling during washing.

No matter what type of hammock you have, never dry it in a clothes dryer. Always hang it to naturally dry in the sun.

Make sure your hammock is completely dry before folding, packing, or storing it to prevent mold and mildew.

How to Get Stains Out of a Hammock

a colorful hammock outdoor

Hammocks can get all kinds of stains, and removing them depends on the stain and type of hammock you have. Here are some ways to get stains out of a hammock.

Use Vinegar on Mildew and Plant Stains

For canvas hammocks, use vinegar to remove mildew stains because bleach may stain or compromise the fabric.

  1. While the hammock is dry and hanging, pour vinegar onto the stains and allow it to soak for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Use a scrub brush to scrub the stains on the hammock.
  3. You may need to repeat this to remove the stains entirely.

Use an Oxygenated Cleaner on Stains

For rope hammocks, an oxygenated cleaner is a great way to remove stains.

  1. Fill a wading pool or large container with water, and add the recommended amount of oxygenated cleaner.
  2. Place the hammock in the water without submerging any hardware like hooks and rings.
  3. Soak the hammock in the detergent for up to an hour.
  4. Use your hands to grab handfuls of the rope and rub them against each other, working your way through the entire hammock, focusing on the stained areas.
  5. Then lay the hammock out flat and treat any remaining stains with a soft-bristled brush and mild detergent.
  6. Rinse the hammock with a garden hose and hang it to dry.


Hammocks are durable and easy to care for, and when cleaned correctly, they will remain enjoyable and last for years.

It’s always a good idea to review the care and cleaning instructions before buying a hammock because they can be challenging to clean by hand.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to wash your hammock and take proper care of it, so it lasts for years to come.

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