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How to Wash a Down Comforter

Down comforters are bed coverings made from down feathers. They are a popular choice of bedding and have many advantages. For example, the feathers in a goose down comforter help to hold heat efficiently on colder nights. Plus, they are breathable, which can help to keep you dry and comfortable at night. They are also very long-lasting, which means that you need to maintain them properly, hence the need to wash them regularly.

But it can be challenging to know how to wash them effectively: Can you wash them at home? How often should you wash them? And what is the correct way to dry your comforter?

To find out the answers to these questions, as well as some useful tips and tricks, here’s a complete guide to how to wash a down comforter at home:

 

How often should I wash my comforter?

How often you choose to wash your comforter comes down to personal preference, how often you use it, and how much dirt and dust it will be exposed to. Some cleaning guides recommend that you wash it at the beginning of each season – which would mean washing it four times a year. However, some people choose to wash it 2-3 times a year, especially if it’s already protected by a duvet cover, which will protect it from dust mites, dirt, and sweat.

If you’re not using a comforters cover, however, it should be washed more often. It’s estimated that the skin shed by a human each day can feed up to 1 million dust mites. Therefore, if a cover does not protect it, you should wash it every month and immediately treat any stains that might occur.

Should you wash a down comforter before using it?

When you’re deciding whether to wash your new comforter before using it, it’s always best to check with the manufacturer and see what their instructions are. Most manufacturers do recommend that you should wash all new bedding – which includes down comforters – before use.

Some of the reasons for this include:

  • The packaging can contain potentially harmful chemicals. You might notice the smell whilst opening the packaging.
  • In-case there is any color bleeding, which can cause skin irritation.
  • If there are any defects, you will be able to return it.
  • To find out how much they shrink after washing.
  • To see if the color fades after washing, and by how much.

Can you wash a comforter that says dry clean only?

A lot of people believe that a down comforter always needs to be professionally dry cleaned. However, as we all know, dry cleaners can be very expensive. In fact, it’s estimated that it costs an average of $30 to have it dry-cleaned, depending on its size. And there’s actually no evidence that it’s essential that it’s cleaned professionally – just think what you could do with the saved money!

Instead, you can wash and dry it yourself. Down comforters can be washed in a washing machine at home very effectively if you know how to. This can save you time and money and can give you outstanding results.

Can you put a goose down comforter in the washing machine?

If you’re looking to wash your goose down comforter at home, it is possible to do it in a washing machine. Whether you’re able to do this at home will depend on the size of the comforter, and what size washing machine you have. If you have a bigger king size comforter that won’t fit in your washing machine at home, we recommend that you use a machine at a laundromat, as they will have larger, commercial-sized machines and dryers.

So, how do you wash your goose down comforter in the washing machine?

Here’s a step-by-step guide for washing your comforter:

Step 1: Read the instructions

Before you wash your comforter, the first thing you need to do is to read the instructions, which should be found on the care tag. This will help you to determine how it should be washed and will give you any specific instructions where needed. Always bear these instructions in mind when following the next steps.

Step 2: Put your comforter in the washing machin

The first step is to put your comforter in the washing machine. While you’re doing this, try and keep it as flat as possible and avoid folding it if you can. Then, add some wool dryer balls or two clean socks with tennis balls inside to the machine. This will stop the comforter from becoming crumpled. It also helps to get rid of any excess dirt, body oil, or sweat.

Step 3: Add your detergent

Next, you need to add your detergent to the washing machine. It’s best to use a mild detergent for this. Try and find a detergent that has no additives. This will help to protect the comforter.

The detergent should be used sparingly. If you use too much of it, it can strip the feathers of their natural insulation. If your comforter is white, you can also add some bleach – just make sure that it’s non-chlorine. However, don’t add anything else to the washing machine, especially fabric softener, as this can affect the quality of the comforter and result in it losing some of its natural fluffiness.

Step 4: Choose the right wash cycle

Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle or a low setting wash. It’s best to use warm water, but you can use hot or cold if you prefer. After the washing cycle is finished, use two rinse cycles to ensure that all of the soap is properly washed off.

Step 5: Take your comforter out of the washing machine

Take the comforter out of the washing machine so that you can check it. If it still feels soapy, that means there’s still excess detergent on it, and you will need to rinse it again. It needs to be completely washed on before you move on to dry it.

Can you dry down comforters?

Now that you have washed your down comforter, you need to know how to dry it properly. It’s important to remember that, immediately after washing, it will probably look very flat. This is completely normal, and it should go back to normal after it’s dry.

Here’s a step-by-step guide for drying your comforter:

Step 1: Put the comforter in the dryer

After taking the comforter out of your washing machine, first, fluff it out to try and avoid any extra creasing. Next, put it in the dryer, along with the dryer balls or tennis balls, which will help you avoid having lots of creases when you take it out. You can also add a scent to the comforter before you put it in if you wish.

Step 2: Set the dry cycle

When drying your comforter, it’s best to set your dryer to the lowest possible speed. You should also make sure that the temperature isn’t set too high, as this can cause it to burn. It’s best to use a low heat setting.

It’s best to dry the comforter in 30-minute cycles, so you can check in between and make sure it isn’t too hot. This total dry time could be several hours, but it’s essential if you want to make sure the comforter is appropriately dry.

Step 3: Take it out and air dry

Lastly, take your comforter out of the dryer and make sure it’s completely dry. One of the signs that it is dry is that it will be evenly distributed and not clumpy. In order to ensure it’s thoroughly dried, you would then hang your comforter outside for, at least, several hours. This way also kills off any bacteria and leaves it smelling fresh.

Check it throughout the day to check for any dampness. You want to make sure that there’s no moisture left, as it can flatten the feathers. Keep fluffing it regularly. Then, once it’s dry, you can take it down.

How do you freshen a comforter in the dryer?

If you don’t have the time to wash your comforter, you can freshen it up using a dryer. This can be a great way of keeping it smelling great in between washes. Here’s how you can do this:

Step 1: Spray the comforter to freshen

To start, spray a little bit of water on the comforter. Try and spray it as evenly as you can and cover the entire exterior. If you would prefer, you can also add a scent to the spray to your taste.

Step 2: Put it in the dryer

Next, put the comforter into the dryer along with a fabric softener sheet and some wool dryer balls or two clean socks with tennis balls inside. Try not to fold or scrunch the comforter too much while you do this.

Step 3: Set the dry cycle

Set the dryer to “fluff” cycle and let it run for around 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, take it out and check that it’s fresh smelling. Then, shake it out gently to ensure the filling doesn’t bunch up.

How do you wash a comforter without a washing machine?

If you have a large comforter that won’t fit inside a washing machine, then there is an alternative way that you can still wash it at home and here’s how:

Step 1: Fill your bathtub

Start by filling your bathtub to halfway full. Use warm water. Then, add a cap of mild laundry detergent and mix it with the water. Don’t add anything else to the water, though.

Step 2: Soak and wash your comforter

Immerse the comforter fully into the water and allow it to soak for several minutes. Them, wash it gently by hand for a few minutes to remove all of the dirt and oil.

Step 3: Rinse away the detergent

The next step is to rinse out the comforter. You should use cold water to do this. You will probably need to rinse the comforter several times to ensure that all of the detergents have been washed away – otherwise, this can damage the fill material.

Step 4: Hang outside to dry

Once you’ve finished rinsing the comforter, remove it from the bath and squeeze out any excess water – don’t wring it out, a this will crease it. Then hang it outside to air dry, in the same way as you would if it was machine washed.

How do you Spot Clean Your Comforter?

When a small grease smear, bloodstain, or other mark makes your comforter look grubby, spot cleaning is the easiest, fastest, and most effective option for treating the area.

It can also be a good idea to spot treat them before machine washing. Spot cleaning stains are also a great way to extend the time between washings. Just follow these steps:

Step 1: Manipulate the filling

To address the fabric directly, manipulate the comforter filling to move it away from the stained area. So the down doesn’t get wet while spot cleaning.

Step 2: Use a cleaning agent

Keeping in mind the guidelines from the comforter’s tags, you should spot clean your comforter with a pre-treatment stain remover. Apply a small amount of gentle cleaning agent. Popular options include diluted Woolite, baking soda and water paste, or a 50-50 solution of water and vinegar. Never use bleach. Wet the area with a spray bottle.

Blot the stained area with a clean, white cloth.

Step 3: Continue until the stain has vanished

Let the treatment soak for a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the stain.

If the spot remains, rub the fabric together to loosen the stain or using a toothbrush to scrub away the soil. Then, rinse with a bit of clean water. Repeat if necessary.

Squeeze the excess water out and blot with a clean, white cloth.

If you are spot cleaning before washing it, just treat your comforter with a stain remover spray and place it in the washing machine with two tennis balls slipped and knotted inside a clean sock. And then follow the instructions mentioned above.

Step 4: Hang outside to dry

Dry the cleaned area with a blow dryer or allow it to air dry.

Why do down comforters smell when washed?

Depending on how your feather comforter is manufactured, it’s possible that it can smell after being washed. This will depend on the quality of it and how it’s been cared for. The odor may also be more apparent when the comforter is new.

The damp from washing it can give an odor immediately afterward. This is entirely normal, as the feathers on the inside can mildew or mold from the damp. The smell should disappear after the comforter has been dried. However, if it doesn’t, it could just need airing. You can do this outside if the weather isn’t humid. This should reduce the moisture, get rid of the smell, and can also help your comforter retain its fluffiness.