How to Clean a Hammock With Spreader Bars?

How to Clean a Hammock With Spreader Bars

Before you throw out your old hammock, think about cleaning it first. Be mindful that this is not the same as cleaning your climbing rope, per se. There are two hammock types – those with unremovable spreader bars and those with spreader bars that can be removed. How to clean a hammock with spreader bars? Let’s dive in!

A hammock has spreader bars at each end to keep the hammock from swinging and rolling over. Know that before attempting to clean your canvas hammock, you need to determine if the bars can be removed. Then you can hop into the cleaning process.

So, your hammock has a spreader bar. In that case, put it on a flat surface and begin cleansing. Cleanse and scrub it with moderate force, not too hard to ruin the hammock but not too weak either. After the cleaning is over, wash it off and let the hammock dry outside.

Table of Contents

What is a Spreader Bar?

A spreader bar is a metal or wooden bar that runs across the top and bottom of the hammock. It usually has holes drilled directly through it, and its main purpose is to help you relax and flatten your hammock. 

For many years, hammocks used in America did not have spreader bars. Back then, people used hammocks for sleeping in at night when hunting. Or even in the Navy, sailors used it to board their ships.

The original design, as I said, was without spreader bars. We don’t know who or when invented spreader bars, but surely it was a useful invention. 

There are a lot of benefits of spreader bar hammocks, as they are easier to get into, and also easier to clean up. And we finally come to the question:

How to Clean Hammocks With Spreader Bars?

It is very easy indeed. First, you take it down, place it on a flat surface and start scrubbing. Begin with mild force, but try not to be too soft.

Do the cleaning for both sides and when you finish, wash it all off and let it dry outside. Cleaning also depends on the material from which it is made.

Tip: Have you ever stopped to wonder if it is possible to hang a hammock with only one tree? It truly is!

Types of Hammocks with Spreader Bars

Let’s take a look at all the hammocks that include spreader bars. You will see the four examples down below:

Nicaraguan Hammock

The Nicaraguan hammock also referred to as an American hammock, is one of the first original hammocks. It can be with or without spreader bars.

It comes in different materials, usually woven cotton fabric and various designs, patterns, as well as tassels.

Quilted Hammock

This hammock is similar to the Nicaraguan Hammock. It utilizes two pieces of materials, usually polyester, that have been sewn together, often with some sort of padding in between.

This material makes them more durable and more weather resistant than cotton. A quilted hammock attaches to the spreader bar differently than a Nicaraguan hammock and that is what distinguishes them.

Rope Hammock

Rope Hammock, as the name says, is usually made from cotton or polyester ropes. Previously these hammocks were without a spreader bar, but nowadays you will frequently find them with wooden spreader bars included.

Tip: For your own security, make sure that you know how cold is too cold for hammock camping. Safety should be your priority.

Bridge Hammock

As a matter of fact, these types of hammocks look like a bridge and that is how they got their name.

The bridge hammock does not have traditional suspension strips so the spreader bar must keep the hammock open. People often use it for camping and other outdoor activities.

There is a number of pros and cons to the spreader bar. A non-spreader bar hammock may be a better choice as most frequent hammock dwellers would probably agree. However, for those who take a more casual approach to hammocking, there are some benefits to having a spreader bar.

What are Spreader Bars Made From?

Spreader bars are usually wooden, by all means. These are easy to make, and they truly look better. A wooden spreader bar is oftentimes linear, but there are also models of curved wooden spreader bars. The wood is not suitable for extreme weather conditions, and you should protect it.

For camping, spreader bars can be of aluminum or even plastic. These materials are much easier to clean, and they dry easily. They are more lightweight than wood and usually can be easily taken apart.

How to Hang a Hammock With One Tree

Can You Attach a Spreader Bar to a Hammock?

Spreader bars cannot readily be incorporated into shop-bought non-spreader bar hammocks, and it’s not something that it is highly advisable that you attempt. First things first, every hammock is unique, so you would struggle to uncover a spreader bar to fit.

Even if you did manage to craft your spreader bar that’s the perfect width with the correct number of holes for your suspension strings, they are usually made in the gathered-end style. So it’s not so likely that you’d be able to get rid of and reattach the strings with sufficient strength to provide long-term stability.

Of course, if you’ve made your hammock, then it could be a different story, especially if you’ve used the channel-end style that is common with DIY hammocks.

How Do You Clean a Hammock Chair?

Hammock chairs with no spreader bars can be hand-washed. You can wash them with a soft detergent. Or you can machine wash it, on the gentle cycle, utilizing a mesh laundry washing sack and soft detergent. 

Fasten the rears of the hammock jointly to stop it from shifting during the washing process. Do this by all means.

If there isn’t a laundry machine, you can utilize a hand dryer on a subordinate heat set to dry the hammock. You can likewise utilize iron to heat the iron and ironing panel. If you are employing an electric iron, turn the heat down to the most subordinate setting feasible to evade burning your skin.

Tip: What are some dangerous bugs to worry about on your next camping trip? Make sure you know this!

Can You Remove Mold Out of a Hammock?

The most suitable method to remove mold from hammocks is by washing them. Use a combination of half vinegar and water to remove it before using soap. You can also put baking soda in the smell-affected area.

The baking soda will make it more straightforward to wash off the smell. If you have a musty hammock, it might be a suitable idea to take it to a professional to have it washed.

How to Clean a Nylon Hammock?

You can machine wash your nylon hammock, but make sure to utilize a mild detergent and wash it yourself. Utilize a light cycle, chilly water, and cut the material softener.

Nylon hammocks are ideal for people who are looking for a lightweight, stable, and easy-to-care-for alternative. They are likewise excellent for people who don’t want to spend a bunch of cash on a tent or sleeping bag.

Tip: You may be wondering if it is possible to put a hammock in a tent. This method is not so safe, however!

How to Clean a Canvas Hammock

Machine Wash

If you have a hammock that has removable spreader bars, then machine washing is the ideal choice. Why is that? You don’t want to place a hammock with wood inside the washing machine.

As a matter of fact, you are able to wash the hammock in a big washing machine. Before you start, you should employ strings to secure the hammock below the metal rings that connect the ends jointly. This will, by all means, stop the twisting. Lastly, make sure to wash it on the soft cycle.


Tuck your hammock in two. After that, hook it merely below the rings and hook the lines together to stop twisting. Reload the tub with soft detergent and water and dunk the hammock in that water.

Employ your hands to mix the canvas, and utilize a little scrub brush to shoot any persistent stains. Avoid this technique if your hammock has spreader bars. 

Tip: Safety is your number one priority. So, make sure that you check for snakes in your sleeping bag before you go to sleep at night!

Lay Flat to Wash

This may be the best option when it comes to cleaning a hammock with spreader bars. Why is that? Well, laying the hammock flat truly lets you avoid any damage.

Lay tarps out on your driveway or another dull exterior and lay out the canvas hammock on the canopy. Employ a gentle bristle scrub, and a pail of water and detergent to clean the hammock.

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