Breaking in Carpet Bags


Proper break-in of Ultra’s carpet bags does not include boiling of water or boiling bags in water. Water boils at 212°f.  That is too hot for organic fabrics.  Letting a bag soak at these temperatures will cause it to shrink in one direction more than the other.  Don’t do it.  It’s unnecessary when breaking in carpet bags and will result in rectangular bags.

Should I Simmer?

Similarly, bringing water to a boil and then backing it off into a simmer is equally bad.  Both ways use more heat than is necessary to break down the fabric binders that give fabrics a stiff or waxy feel.  Leaving a bag in 185° of hot water (just below a boil) will cause the hybrid organic and synthetic fibers to shrink differently.  This results in uneven shrink and a bag that is no longer square. 

You do not need to heat the water at all.  Any heat source will bring the water up to a temperature that can cause uneven shrinkage and ruin your bags.  Like a new cotton T-shirt, you avoid washing it in hot water or it will shrink.  It’s the same thing with carpet bags.  It will void the warranty and you’ll be left with rectangular bags.  Don’t do it.

Boiling Will Damage Your Bags.

Look at this comparison between bags that were soaked in hot tap water (on the right) and one soaked in 185°f heated water. You can see how much the 185°f bag as shrunk. You can see how the seams have puckered and how the bag is now not true.  Ultra bags are balanced and precision sewn to specific standards. After the shrink, the bag will be out of spec and play differently. 

Go for the Tap.

Tap water can reach 130°f. That is more than hot enough to get the fabric binders loose. You can also handle a bag at these temperatures. This means you can work the bag in while it’s soaking in the water or under running hot water from a faucet. Working the bag with your hands helps agitate the fabric and gets the binders to break away from the fabric. 

When breaking in Ultra’s carpet bags (Viper-R, Widow-R and Vapor-R) you should never bring water to a boil or use a heat source. Hot tap water is all you need to achieve the desired results.  You are just trying to loosen up the fabric binders, mostly in the top side fabrics.  The carpet side is pretty soft out of the plastic and really just needs to be thrown to break in. Getting the top sides to soften is best done with hot tap water and working the bags with your hands in the water.  You wouldn’t boil your hands, don’t boil your bags.

Ultra’s 1hr Break-In Kit gives you everything you need to get your bags (carpet bags too) ready for play in less than an hour.  This method is the only method we endorse to accelerate break in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *