How To Wash A Down Comforter

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Trying to keep your down comforter clean can be a pain, but it doesn't have to be. With a little know-how, you can make your down comforter look as good as new.

In this article, we'll teach you how to wash a down comforter in your home washing machine, and we also include some helpful drying tips. Let's dive deep into this topic. 

Washing your down comforter

Follow these steps to get your comforter completely dry in time for use.

How to Wash a Down Comforter or Duvet
Image Credit: http://thespruce.com

Step 1: Take the comforter out of your bed.

Remove your down comforter from your duvet cover and put it inside a large wash bag, such as a pillow protector. This will keep your duvet from being damaged while washing. If you don't have a wash bag, you can just use a regular cotton laundry bag or even an old pillowcase—any fabric that will prevent your comforter from coming into direct contact with the agitator in the machine.

Step 2: Wash on a gentle cycle

Make sure to choose “gentle” or “hand wash” when you set up the wash cycle. This is important because putting it through a wash cycle with high speed or high heat can damage your down comforter. You're just trying to get it clean, so just separate the feathers and distribute them evenly without ripping or tearing your down comforter's which is not so easy to do with high heat settings. This is also important to consider when doing your laundry and specific types of materials are involved.

Step 3: Dry on low heat

Make sure to dry your down comforter on low heat, so you don't set any stains that are difficult to remove. High heat may cause the down to clump together and, as a result, it will take much longer for your comforter to dry completely.

You could end up inviting mold and mildew into your down comforter, making it impossible to remove.

Step 4: Shake off excess water

Be sure to shake out the remaining water from your down comforter when the spin cycle is complete. Doing this will help speed up the drying process by removing any moisture in the down. This way, you can “breathe” rather than staying wet for a long time.

Step 5: Dry in a sunny place

If you've got a sunroof or patio window, lay your comforter flat across a portion of it until all of the water from inside has been removed. This saves you from having to use a dryer, which could damage the down by causing it to clump together. The sun's rays will naturally separate the feathers in your comforter and help it to dry faster.

You can also use a drying rack or even your balcony rail to dry your comforter. Make sure there is plenty of airflow going through it as it could dry too much if you choose this method.

If you don't have a lot of time, another option is to take your duvet cover and comforter into a laundry room with an indoor clothesline and hang them up to air dry. It's fast and efficient—just make sure your down comforter isn't in contact with any heat source while it's still wet, such as the metal bars along the length of the clothesline or those on some drying racks. You could easily damage your down comforter if you drape it over one of these.

Putting your comforter back together

When your down comforter has completely dried, it's time to put it all back together. Put the protector or wash bag on one end of the comforter, then hold that in place while you flip the other end over the top of it. Try to get this end evenly centered; then tie or zip it closed so there are no loose ends to catch onto anything inside your machine during the next wash cycle.

You can also choose to take this opportunity to replace your duvet cover if you wish, after removing old stains and washing everything separately before putting them back together. This will give your room a fresh look with clean bedding.

What are the most common mistakes that people make when they wash their down comforter?

People commonly forget to unzip their duvet cover before washing it. If you skip this step, your comforter might lose its fluffy look or you might even end up with some mildew.

Another common mistake is putting the wrong material in the dryer. Make sure to follow your manufacturer's instructions for your specific machine. Some of them recommend not using a dryer at all, while others claim to be fine with tumble drying but on a low setting (without any other laundry). Cotton and linen fabrics tend to shrink in high temperatures, so keep an eye on these materials if they're part of your comforter set.

How often should I wash my down comforter?

It depends on how much you use your bedding set and what kind of allergies or sensitivities you have to deal with. Scientists say that the average person sheds about 1.5 pounds of skin per year while they're sleeping, so it's not surprising that some people develop rashes from what ends up in their duvet covers.

Of course, this doesn't mean that you have an unhealthy relationship with your down comforter, but depending on your lifestyle, washing it once every three months may be too long to wait. Some people need to launder their bedding even more frequently because of other circumstances—you might want to do this if someone in your house is seriously ill.

Will washing my down comforter shrink it?

If the comforter has a sewn-through construction, then yes—it will shrink when you're doing your laundry. However, sewn-through means that there are seams on both sides of the comforter so if you don't have anything against this kind of stitching, go ahead and slip your duvet cover inside.

On the other hand, if you have a baffled box design or an actual box stitch (combs instead of stitches), you should be fine to tumble dry without worrying too much about shrinking. In this case, it's usually safe to wash your down comforter in warm water as it doesn't feature any seams to get caught on the inside of your washing machine.

What about my duvet cover? Will it shrink?

Yes. However, there are two ways this can happen—the first one is if you wash your duvet cover with a fabric that's too lightweight or delicate for its threads to handle, and the second reason is that the duvet cover doesn't feature a “shrink-to-fit” treatment. If you choose well when buying new bedding, chances are that both your comforter and duvet cover will shrink at similar rates after being washed together in warm water.

How should I clean stains from my down comforter?

If your duvet cover has a stain that won't come out in the wash, you might want to consider replacing it entirely or at least getting rid of it until your new washing machine arrives.

Make sure to use an all-natural cleaning product (i.e., baking soda) if you're not sure how gentle your down comforter's material is. You can also turn to professional help if you simply don't feel like handling the problem on your own—stop by any nearby laundromat for expert advice.

What about my duvet cover—should I take it to a dry cleaner?

Sure. Just make sure that you pick up a “dry-clean only” duvet cover because otherwise your comforter might shrink or end up raggedy after being cleaned. In most cases, once you find the right material for your duvet cover, it's best to treat it like your comforter and give it the same level of TLC.

Best Way to Wash a Down Comforter
Image Credit: http://overstock.com

How can I remove perfume odors from my down comforter?

Removing perfume odors from your comforter is easy—simply wash it in cold water with a few drops of lemon juice. Don't be surprised if the smell doesn’t leave immediately, but if you feel like it's not gone even after airing out your duvet cover for days, simply repeat this process once more.

Final thoughts on how to wash a down comforter

In conclusion, I believe that you can successfully wash a down comforter in your washing machine, by following the steps described in this article.

Remember to be careful when handling your beautiful down comforter. Remember, one small cut could lead to thousands of feathers being released into the air which is definitely not something that you want to happen.

 

Mark Weber

Mark Weber

Mark started out as an electrical engineer before he became a licensed bathroom remodeling contractor. He loves writing about bathrooms and remodeling in his spare time, as it relaxes him to think of something besides work.

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