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The Ultimate Guide to Washing a Down Comforter

When it comes to washing a down comforter, you can relax. It’s not hard to do. One of the special things about natural down filling is that it can be washed over and over to ensure a long lifetime to your investment.

While it can be tricky to wash a synthetic comforter, one of the many benefits of down comforters is that they come out of the wash beautifully. With proper care, your down comforter - also called a duvet, or a doona if you are from Down Under - can last many years. Washing your down comforter, whether duck down or goose down, can ensure a long life with your treasured friend.

Do it yourself or dry cleaner ?

Taking a down comforter to the dry cleaner

We recommend that you have your down comforter professionally laundered (not dry cleaned) because it’s easy and worry-free. This means to have your dry cleaner wash the comforter in a commercial-sized washing machine so you can be assured that your comforter will be clean and unharmed. We do not recommend to have your comforter dry cleaned because the harsh chemicals are not good for the down. But, dry cleaning is the sure way to prevent any shrinkage so we put that option on the care tags. Most dry cleaners can do either process but if want your comforter to be laundered, you need to ask to be sure they have washing capabilities because not all dry cleaners launder as well. A survey of dry cleaners across the country showed that it costs from $30 to $50 to have a dry cleaner wash your comforter, often depending on size.

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Washing a down comforter at home

If you have a full-sized washing machine, it’s possible to wash your comforter at home. However, if you don’t have a large enough machine to fit your comforter with ample room, it might be best to head to the laundromat. Just pick the ‘triple load’ machine and follow all the same steps.

Washing a Down Comforter

  • Water Temperature – Hot, warm or cold. We prefer cold water because the fabric can shrink up to 8% in hot water
  • Spin Speed – Use the fastest speed to take as much moisture out as possible
  • Soap – Gentle soap without additives

Optional:

  • Whitening – Use non-chlorine bleach
  • Fabric Softener – Not recommended because it will coat the down and reduce its fluff
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Drying a Down Comforter for Success

  • Heat – Hot, warm or low; your choice
  • Dry time – Be patient, on low heat it will take multiple cycles depending on your machines

Optional:

  • Clean Tennis Balls or Dryer Balls – Add two or three balls to speed up your dry time. It will sound like they are beating up your dryer but they don’t actually hurt it
  • Clumping or Odor – These are signs that your comforter is not dry yet. You want it to be completely dry to prevent mold
  • Dryer Sheets – Ok to use for freshness
  • Line Drying – Not recommended due to risk of damp spots and clumps
  • No ironing or steaming

How often can you wash a down comforter ?

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Keeping your down comforter in a duvet cover will protect it against dirt, stains and spills. An allergen-barrier duvet cover, with its tighter weave, will provide added protection and keep the dust mites out as well. Using a duvet cover can more than double your time in between washings.

Spot cleaning stains is also a great way to extend the time between washings. Push the down away from the area so the down doesn’t get wet while spot cleaning.

Our recommended washing frequency:

  • With use of a duvet cover – wash every 3-5 years
  • Without a cover – wash every 1-2 years

In addition, the best thing you can do to keep your comforter looking new is to fluff it every day when you make your bed. By providing a steady flow of air, your down will continue to loft. Redistribute the down in your comforter as needed for Baffle Box or Euro Box designs. To redistribute the fill, you want to push the down with both your hand and forearm together so that you don’t create clumps. Each baffle box has a small opening in one corner to push the down through when refilling a box that has emptied over time.

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How to store your down comforter

Last but not least, many people store their comforters during off seasons. The key to storing your comforter is breathability. Letting the down breathe by keeping your comforter in a cloth bag will prevent any moisture or odor buildup. It should also be stored in a location where it is not compressed and has room to stay fluffy. Give your comforter a good shake when you take it out of the bag next season and it should be ready to go.

Make caring for your comforter a part of your routine:

  • Daily – Give it a shake
  • Monthly – Wash your duvet cover
  • Yearly – Check for stains and spot clean
  • Every 2-3 Years – Give it a wash

All-natural down is a durable and easy-to-clean material for bedding. With a wash every now and then, your down comforter will stay beautiful and warm for a long time. Lucky for you, care is easy.