How To: Wash a Down Comforter

Ever wondered if it's okay to wash your down comforter? Worried that washing might ruin it, and dry cleaning is your only option? Well, it is possible to wash a down comforter. Here's how:

You should never wash your down comforter more than once a year at most. Use a duvet cover in between washings to keep it clean, and wash the cover as often as needed.

  1. Washing a down comforter requires an extra large capacity front-loading washer (like those found in a laundromat). Most home washing machines are not equipped to handle the bulk of a comforter, so if you have your own washer/dryer at home, it's best to take a trip to your local laundromat for this one.
  2. Wash the comforter on a gentle cycle with a small amount of mild or all-natural detergent. Too much soap can strip the down.
  3. Run the comforter through two rinse cycles to ensure that all the soap has been washed out.
  4. Dry the comforter in a extra-large capacity dryer on low. This may take a few hours, but it'll ensure that all the down is completely dry to prevent mold growth.
  5. Add a couple tennis balls to the dryer to help fluff the down as it dries. The goal is to prevent the down from clumping and mushing together. Also, take the comforter out a few times throughout the drying process and fluff it up.
  6. If you're unsure if the comforter is completely dry, try holding the comforter up to an overhead light. If you can see clumps through the fabric, put it back in the dryer. If the down seems to be evenly spread out and diffused, it's probably pretty close to being dry.
  7. If it's still damp after a few hours and you have a backyard, you can lay the comforter out in the sun on a sunny day so that the air can circulate on all sides.

Related Links:

How To: Wash a Pillow
Fresh Sheets: How Do You Make the Freshness Last?
Have You Lived Without a Dryer?

Image via Flickr member Deron Bauman