If you have a hammock in your garden it’s important that you look after it to ensure it doesn’t get worn or damaged.

When you’re handling your hammock, for example when you’re taking it inside for winter, or putting it out to enjoy it in the usmmer months, always hold onto the loops at either end, this way you won’t end up with tangles which could potentially take you hours to get out.

If your hammock starts to get dirty, or grow moss or mildew on it from prolonged damp spells, you’ll need to wash it – the best way to was it is to tie the ring loop ends together with a piece of string to make sure they do not tangle into the hammock during washing, then fill a basin or bath with warm water and some mild detergent and hand wash, or add some shampoo and a handfull of salt. Leave to soak for half an hour. Smaller hammocks can be washed in your washing machine on a gentle, cold water cycle – but be sure to place it inside a pillow case first to stop it tangling up.

Once you’ve completed the wash, you’re going to want to dry your hammock as quickly as possible – hang it out to dry on your washing line or hammock stand and if possible, spread the netting out with a brush or mop handle to allow the air to cycle through it more efficiently.

Don’t be tempted to put your hammock away whilst it is still damp, this will most likely result in mildew, and your hammock needing another wash!

It is best to take your hammock in and store it away when not in use, extended use to the elements can degrade your hammock, with synthetic hammocks breaking down when exposded to UV rays for long periods – cotton hammocks stand up better to extended direct sunlight, but are not as durable in damp or wet conditions.

When storing your hammock, it is always best to hang it up by both rings, either on a nail or suitable hook. You should always store your hammock in a dry place, storing it in a damp area may damage it. Keeping your hammock in a garage or your porch is the ideal place as it is generally water tight, and easy to access from your garden.

Should your hammock become damaged, try to re-weave and then tie the broken string, if you cannot properly re-weave, tie the broken string ends together to stop a hole from forming. The best thing to do is to ensure your hammock does not become damaged in the first place – buttons, zips and belt buckles can all snag on your hammock and pull the strings, so it’s a great idea to lay a towel or blanket down before you lay down – or even better, a hammock pad which is designed especially for open weave hammocks, that way you won’t have any damage to repair.

Remember, hammocks can cause injury so be careful – never stand up whilst on a hammock, never attempt to get in feet first, never straddle over the top of a hammock, and make sure you supervise childredn and teach them correct usage methods!