At Pacific Hammocks, all of our hammocks are made from premium materials and are designed to last in ideal conditions. But with time, excess use, and adverse weather conditions, all hammock fabrics will inevitably start fraying and will eventually break down without proper care. Hammocks Stands can eventually rust and wooden frames will inevitably start to crack. Chains and hooks can also break after a certain period of time when excess weight is frequently applied.
The last thing you want is for a relaxing nap to be interrupted by chains snapping and your hammock tearing in half, making regular care and maintenance very important.
From safe hanging outside to proper cleaning and storage, here are the top hammock care tips to keep your hammock safe, secure, and clean for many summers to come.
Inspect for Damage
To avoid a sudden drop and a rough landing, always inspect your hammock for damage before hanging it. Keep an eye out for broken, worn, or otherwise damaged materials.
String, rope, and fabric are all prone to fraying over time. Chains, meanwhile, can stretch and eventually break when too much weight is applied and even stands can become compromised after long periods of use and weather.
If you store your hammock outside over the summer months, watch out for unwanted visitors. Nothing’s worse than enjoying a good hang only to find out a few spiders have had the same idea.
Mildew is a more serious risk and can be harder to spot. Watch for a film or algae on your hammock, as well as discolouration and fabric staining. These are easily addressed, but mildew can cause respiration problems if inhaled, and frustrating rashes on your skin after contact.
Thankfully, hammocks are easy to clean, and many repairs are easily done on your own over the course of an hour or so. Regular cleaning and proper storage can help prevent mildew growth and other forms of damage and help keep your hammock out of the elements.
Cleaning, Folding & Storage
Hammocks need regular cleaning, especially if used regularly and left outside. If you keep your hammock clean, you can maintain its appearance, prevent dirt buildup, bug infestations, and mildew growth.
Whether you’re storing your hammock or hammock stand for a few nights or a full season, make sure to clean it up first using these handy tips:
Shake Off Dirt
This is the first step in your hammock cleaning efforts, intended to get rid of any particulate build-up that’s settled on the materials.
Leave one end of your hammock suspended and shake the other vigorously. You won’t get everything in one go, but this helps remove a ton of the obvious dirt, plus any pollen, dust, or tree leaves that might be hiding in the folds.
Washing Your Hammock
Depending on the material your hammock uses, you might have to adapt your washing techniques. When in doubt, however, check the care label tag attached to the hammock, which should include cleaning guidelines.
Caring for a rope hammock may seem intimidating, but it is actually surprisingly easy.
Simply take your hammock and spread it out on your deck or an outdoor concrete surface and hose it off before applying warm soapy water and gently scrubbing away stains with a soft-bristled brush. When you are done, rinse your hammock thoroughly and hang it outdoors to dry.
Caring for the wooden spreader bar is also very important to prevent splintering, fading, and cracking.
Keep an eye on the state of the wood and make sure you refinish it every once in a while when you start to notice it is becoming dull and faded.
Quilted hammocks are designed for outdoor use and aren’t as delicate as other options. We recommend cleaning yours outdoors using a hose.
Mix together the following ingredients to create a gentle cleaning solution:
- 1 cup of borax
- 1 cup of washing soda
- 8 cups of water
- A few squirts of liquid dish soap
Then, lay the hammock flat on the ground and gently lift away any surface dirt or debris using a dry brush and shake off anything that is removed.
Apply the cleaning solution to the hammock using a spray bottle and allow it to sit for 20 minutes before rinsing off with a hose. Hang outside to dry.
Woven hammocks such as the Pacific Hammocks Colombian hammocks are incredibly durable, but like any hammock, are susceptible to wear and tear. So, when cleaning, it’s important to take proper care to avoid damaging these beautiful works of art.
Tie each end of the hammock together and gently wash by hand in lukewarm water using mild detergent.
Dry right away after washing by hanging the hammock in a well-ventilated area and placing a stick or broom crosswise in the body of the hammock to ensure it remains stretched out enough to help the woven fabric dry quickly.
Because camping hammocks are made of thin, lightweight materials, it’s important to be incredibly gentle when cleaning them to avoid damage.
For this reason, we recommend washing by hand to keep your camping in pristine condition.
Just take a damp cloth and use a mild detergent or dish soap to gently remove dirt and grime.
Before you go to wash, though, make sure to remove any metal hardware that could rip or damage the hammock during washing.
Wooden Hammock Stands
Although wooden hammock stands are coated during the manufacturing process, proper care of the pine wood can go a long way to extending the life and appearance of your hammock stand.
The manufacturer’s protection will deteriorate with time, the wood will age, and you can start to notice cracks appearing. It’s extremely natural, but fortunately, you can fix it and help prevent it by adding a new coat of varnish or oil at least twice a year.
Leaving your wood stand permanently in the sun and rain will also shorten its life span and expedite the onset of cracking and weathering. Placing your hammock stand under cover when not in use and even storing during non-seasonal months will increase its longevity and beauty.
It is recommended that every now and then, you clean your wooden hammock stand with hot soapy water. This will keep it looking tip-top and keep the fungus and mould at bay.
Ideally at the end of the first season we would also recommend you treat the wood with a coat of exterior wood protector. Most DIY stores stock this.
Steel Hammock Stands
Steel Hammock stands are durable and tough and shouldn’t require much maintenance. It’s always a good idea however, to keep your steel hammock stand clean.
Folding Your Hammock
If you’ve just washed your hammock, make sure it’s completely dry before you fold it. Just like damp laundry, folding a damp hammock puts it at risk of mould and mildew growth.
As with washing, the type of hammock you own determines your folding technique:
- For non-spreader-bar hammocks, fold the hammock once end-to-end, and hang the loops on a hook in a closet or tuck in the cords and roll up your hammock and place it back into the bag.
- Lay spreader-bar hammocks 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
Each type of hammock product can have unique storage recommendations. The general rule of thumb however is to store your item in a dry place to avoid mould and damage. The best place to store a hammock is in a breathable bag indoors and away from direct sunlight and dampness. A dry, cool basement is perfect, just so long as the hammock avoids moisture.
If you must store your hammock in the garage or shed, make sure it’s stored weather-tight that is high up to avoid pests, specifically rodents. Rats and mice love hammocks almost as much as we do, though for completely different reasons. Rodents will bite, chew, gnaw, scratch, and ultimately destroy your hammock, especially if left outside or hung up near a forest.
Even if you’re careful, your hammock might still get a bit of damage at some point. If you experience faults or wear and tear damage within the first 12 months of your Pacific Hammocks purchase, please contact us to see if you qualify for a replacement. If not, thankfully, repairs are very easy to do yourself, and you can even help prevent future damage once you know what you’re doing.
How are your sewing skills? If you’re handy with a needle and thread, you can quickly fix most holes on your own. For small holes, use a darning needle and waterproof thread to cross-hatch the tear. Larger holes may need polypropylene rope. Use a pair of large dowels to knit a patch and tie it in place, darning if needed.
Strings & Ropes
Tie loose strings immediately to prevent snagging and further damage, also tie broken strings or ropes back together whenever possible. If it’s not, tie strings to the closest knot of weave.
Broken chain links require a lot more work to fix. By the time you find chain links and pliers the last thing you want to do is spend hours linking them back together, but more importantly, the structure of the chain could be damaged beyond repair. For the price, it’s a much better option to simply replace the chains. This will ensure your chains are secure and safe for you to use with your hammock.