How to Wash a Down Comforter

If you've been wondering how to wash a down comforter, you have good reason. Down comforters are expensive and the delicate feathers that make these comforters so comfy and warm require special care to help make them last.

How To Wash A Down Comforter Safely

Down comforters get their fluffy feel and extra warmth from the feathers that are used to fill the comforter. While down feathers are great for insulation, they do create a unique set of issues when it comes time to clean. Feathers become quite heavy when they're wet and they take a long time to dry fully. If your down comforter needs to be cleaned, consider these tips:

  • Keep it clean. One of the best ways to make your down comforter last is to keep it as clean as possible. Covering your down comforter with a duvet cover will help keep it safe from spills and stains.
  • Wear and tear. The average down comforter will gain two to three times its dry weight when submerged in water. Most home washers and dryers are not capable of handling this much weight. Subjecting your washer to this type of abuse can lead to costly motor, bearing or drive belt damage.
  • The right tools. To properly clean and protect your down comforter, you'll need to use a front loading, commercial washing machine. While this will mean a trip to the Laundromat, it still beats replacing your comforter or washing machine.
  • Low and slow. When drying your down comforter at the laundry, be sure to use a low or medium setting and allow the comforter to dry thoroughly. If using a medium setting, check the load often to make sure the comforter isn't experiencing heat damage. Whatever setting you use, give your comforter plenty of time to dry. Damp feathers are the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.
  • Tennis anyone? If you are drying your down comforter by yourself, consider throwing in a couple of clean tennis balls. The motion of the balls in the dryer will help fluff the feathers and keep the comforter from bunching up.
  • Waving the white comforter. If all this leaves you more than a bit daunted, don't hesitate to take your down comforter to a professional cleaner. A professional will have the equipment and cleaning supplies to keep your expensive invest safe.
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