Prolonging the Life of a Hammock with Spreader Bars
You will need:
*water source and garden hose
*soft bristle brush
*bucket of warm water
*mild liquid detergent suitable for fabrics
*furniture polish, wood conditioner or lemon oil (optional)
*protective fabric guard spray (optional)
*a clean, flat surface for cleaning/scrubbing the hammock
*a sunny area to hang the hammock for rinsing and drying
Before storing your hammock for the winter, it is recommended that you give it a thorough cleaning. Remove the hammock from its stand or tree straps. Lay the hammock on a clean, flat surface such as a driveway, table or deck. Fill a bucket with warm water and a gentle liquid detergent. Spray the hammock with water from a garden hose until the hammock is soaked. Use a soft bristle brush with warm, soapy water to thoroughly scrub and remove dirt and other debris from the hammock rope or fabric. Turn the hammock over and scrub the other side. Hang the hammock on its stand or tree straps and thoroughly rinse all soap residue from the hammock. Allow the hammock to dry completely, preferably in full sunlight. The drying process should take one or two days. Make sure the hammock is COMPLETELY dry. (If the hammock is not dried completely, mold and mildew will form while the hammock is in storage.)
Spreader bars can be touched up with furniture polish, wood conditioner or lemon oil. Allow the conditioner or oil to permeate the wood before storing the hammock. The spreader bars must be completely dry to the touch. Some hammock enthusiasts like to spray their rope or fabric hammock beds with a fabric guard product at this point in the process to retard dirt and debris buildup. Again, make sure that any conditioners/oils or fabric guard is completely dry before storing the hammock for the season. Protective fabric sprays can be purchased in your local outdoor, gardening or hardware store. Be sure to follow product instructions on the fabric guard label.
Fold up the hammock when completely dry and place in a hammock storage bag, if you have one. Place the hammock in a dry area out of direct sunlight. If hanging the hammock in a garage or shed, fold the hammock in half and hang from metal end loops. Cover the hammock, or store in a large bag to prevent accumulation of dust and debris while in storage. Select a storage area which is insect and rodent proof and out of direct sunlight.
When warm weather returns, your hammock will be waiting for you.