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How to Wash a Down Comforter

In the dictionary, a comforter is defined as a bed covering that is thick, usually made of two layers of cloth that has a filling. There are two types of comforters, one that has a natural filling and the other is the one that is filled with synthetic fibers. In this article, we will be discussing the one with the natural filling as well as the proper way on how to wash a down comforter.

What is a Down Comforter?

So first, what is a down comforter? A down comforter is made of tiny bits of fluff which are commonly beneath the feather, and these are commonly harvested from ducks and geese. These feathers have a natural capability to give heat to these birds during cold weather which is why they are used in comforters. Moreover, the quality of natural down is measured by its fill power which is the number of cubic inches an ounce of down can fill.

To illustrate, if an ounce of goose down has a fill power of 800, then that means it can fill 800 cubic inches. A higher fill power suggests a bigger down cluster. There are only two types used—they are the duck and geese down. Geese are wild, and their feathers are warm and closely clustered. On the other hand, ducks are usually farmed, and their feathers are harvested first before they become well clustered, and because of this, they are less costly.

How to Wash a Down Comforter: The Step-by-Step Guide

You can wash your down comforters at home, but one problem is that most home washing machines are not large enough to wash them, especially the ones that are queen or king sized. Some people have their down comforter professionally cleaned, but if you want to do it yourself and save money, we have the solution for you.

If your home washing machine is not capable of handling a large load of laundry, an option is to do it in your local laundromat where there are commercial grade washing machines and dryers.

The following are the things you will need:

  • Mild detergent
  • Wool dryer balls or two clean socks filled with one tennis balls each

Step 1

  • Load the comforter in the washing machine. Make sure that it is not crumpled or folded; then try laying the comforter out as much as possible so it could be washed properly.

Step 2

  • Add the wool dryer balls or the socks with tennis balls. The purpose of this is to keep bunching to a minimum. This also helps remove sweat and body oil and dirt.

Step 3

  • Put a small amount of detergent in the dispenser. Be careful not to put too much because excessive amounts of detergent can strip the natural insulation ability of the feathers or down. Another important note is to never add bleach, but if you want to use some, make sure it’s oxygen or non-chlorine bleach.

Step 4

  • Set the washer to gentle cycle or low setting with warm water. Also, set it to rinse twice to make sure that all soap residues are washed off.

Step 5

  • Take the comforter out and check if it still feels soapy. If it is, you would need to rinse it one more time. In addition, it is important to wash off all soap residues because this can cause your down to be clumpy.

Step 6

  • Remove the comforter gently from the washer. Do note that wet down has a weird smell but that is normal, this odor should be gone once the comforter is completely dry. Additionally, some feathers are not all white so, you may notice some gray or black feathers in your comforter.

Step 7

  • Move the comforter to the dryer, including the wool dryer balls or socks with tennis balls. Again, spread out the comforter really well and set the dryer to low. This process will take hours, but it needs to be completely dry to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
  • Stop the dryer every 30 minutes to give the comforter a bit of fluff to keep the down evenly distributed. Also, make sure that the comforter is not too hot because too much heat can cause the down to burn.

Step 8

  • When it is finished drying, take out the comforter. You will know that it is dry when you don’t feel any clump and the down is already evenly distributed. Even if the comforter seems dry, it is still best to hang it outdoors for it to get some sun. The sun will also kill any bacteria that the washing might not have washed off.

Now that it is completely dry, you can start making your bed and enjoy the warmth that this comforter can provide.

Dry Cleaning: The Advantages for Your Down Comforter

Even though washing your down comforter at home can save you heaps, having it professionally cleaned also has its advantages. First, professional dry cleaning does not use water, so the risk of mold and mildew formation is at a minimum. Another advantage is that down comforters come out fluffier and fuller because of the solvent used to clean it. Finally, some feathers are too delicate which is why professional cleaning is the best option.

The Conclusion

The steps on how to wash a down comforter are actually very easy; however, it will require a lot of your time. It is important to follow the steps that we have enumerated here to ensure that your comforter comes out fluffy when it is dry. After all, down comforters do not come cheap, so it is imperative to wash them properly. Proper washing makes sure that you can use your down comforter for a long time.

If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, as mentioned above, you can have your comforter professionally cleaned. It can be costly, but you can make sure that your down comforter is safe and clean.