How to Wash a Down Comforter
Many of us love the extra warmth we get with a down comforter, but they can get soiled and full of pollutants like any other comforter. If you have a down comforter, keeping it clean and comfy isn't hard if you wash and dry it correctly. A good guideline is to wash down-filled comforters about once per year. If you don't use a top sheet or duvet cover, you may need to wash the comforter more often.
Dry cleaning is always an option, and sometimes a recommendation, so check your down comforter's label for the specifics. Dry cleaning will minimize shrinkage compared to other cleaning options, but you also end up with harsh chemicals being used on your comforter.
Here's how to wash a down comforter safely:
- Just like with other comforters, check for any tears or loose seams and repair them before you wash the comforter. Pre-treat stains carefully to avoid getting too much of your stain remover into the down fill.
- For best results, use a large capacity front load washer. Remember, bulky bedding needs room to move around for a thorough cleaning. If your washer isn't built for this, keep reading or turn to the commercial washers at the laundromat, which can handle the job easily.
- Select the warm water setting and the gentle or delicate cycle, add your detergent, and put your comforter in the washer. If you're using a top load washer at home, give the washer a few minutes to mix the water and detergent for an even clean.
- If the washer has an extra rinse option, use it to ensure all the detergent and dirt are rinsed thoroughly.
- For top load washers, push your down comforter into the washing machine, making sure it's spread out as evenly as possible and completely submerged.
- To keep the down from clumping, add three tennis balls to the wash. The tennis balls will add more agitation for removing dirt and help keep the down fill evenly distributed.
- Wet down is heavier than many fills, so remove it carefully when it's through washing to prevent damage. A slight musty odor is normal with wet down and will go away once it's dry.
- Down comforters should be dried in large capacity dryers if possible. Put your comforter in the dryer with your three tennis balls to help the down dry uniformly. You can also add a dry towel to absorb the excess moisture and remove it when you fluff the comforter.
- About every half hour, remove the comforter and fluff to keep the down fill spread out so the comforter will dry faster. When you redistribute the down fill, make sure the heat isn't too hot, or it could scorch the delicate down.
Drying a down comforter can take several hours. If possible, remove it from the dryer while it's slightly damp and hang the comforter outside to dry naturally. Either way, it's essential to get the down fill completely dry to prevent odors and mildew.
How Often Should I Wash My Comforter?
You don't need to wash your comforter nearly as often as sheets
, but comforters still get dirty and require a good cleaning once in a while. Start by checking the tag on your comforter for cleaning recommendations. If you use both a flat sheet and a duvet cover, your comforter will stay cleaner longer because it isn’t in direct contact with your body.
Warmth, dead skin cells, and moisture like perspiration are the perfect breeding ground for dust mites. Because your pillows
, sheets, and mattress can become soiled and full of allergens, they may require more frequent cleaning. Under normal conditions, washing your comforter every few months is a good guideline. This will keep the comforter clean, free of allergens, and looking newer longer.
Now that you know how to wash a comforter, and how often, what other things in your home could use a good cleaning? Check out our handy cleaning guides
and learn how to clean, disinfect, and maintain just about everything in your home.
Whether it's by using our popular residential cleaning services
or doing it yourself with our pro tips, The Maids is dedicated to helping you and your family enjoy a cleaner, healthier home. Find out more when you get your free online estimate