Down comforters, or duvets, are known for their plush softness and warmth that is unbeatable by any other material. While you may feel that down comforters are impossible to wash due to their fillers, cleaning them is actually simple when you know how to wash them properly without damaging them.
In this article, we take a look at washing a down comforter with or without a washing machine. Remember to always check the manufacturer's label that came with your down comforter for washing instructions, as well as spot treatment instructions, before you start cleaning.
What You’ll Need
- Baking soda
- Large container or plastic bag
- Vacuum cleaner
- Laundry detergent
- Borax or other laundry booster
- Hydrogen peroxide OR White Vinegar
- Baking soda
- Clean towel
How to Wash a Down Comforter: A Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Find a Good Time
Down comforters take some time to clean and dry, so pick a good day when the weather is hot, and your schedule is free enough for you to dedicate time to cleaning your comforter. You wouldn't want to schedule cleaning your duvet during the cold winter months, after all!
Step 2: Separate Duvet Cover from Filler
Separate the duvet cover from the filler. You may choose to hand wash the cover, or wash it along with the rest of your laundry. Wash the filler alone.
Step 3: Dry Clean Down Comforter
Place the down comforter in a large container or garbage bag, and sprinkle baking soda all over the comforter. Let the baking soda sit for around 10-20 minutes while shaking the container, and shake away any excess baking soda. Vacuum up the entire comforter to remove any residue.
Giving your comforter a dry clean gets rid of any loose dust particles and dust mites that you don't want burrowing deeper into your comforter as you wash it. Do not add essential oils to the baking soda mix, contrary to what most cleaning tips tell you. Oil will weigh down the feathers, and cause them to clump over time.
Step 4: Spot Clean Down Comforter
If your down comforter is white, then create a paste with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to remove stains. Hydrogen peroxide has bleaching properties, but it won't damage the feathers inside. Apply the paste onto stained areas, and let the paste dry before rubbing out. The stain should be completely or partially gone.
If your down comforter is non-white, use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar instead. Similarly, apply the paste onto stained areas, and let the paste sit. You may need to use a towel or soft-bristled brush to remove the stain before tossing the comforter in the washing machine.
Step 5: Wash Down Comforter in Gentle Cycle
Wash a down comforter on a gentle wash cycle, and use mild laundry detergent in the machine's soap dispenser. Add some laundry booster like borax for white comforters - this will help bring back the pristine cleanliness of your down comforter!
You may need to go to the local laundromat for a commercial sized washing machine if your machine at home is too small to accommodate your duvet. You can also hand wash your duvet in your bathtub, but be careful not to wring the comforter. Instead, gently press down on the duvet to wash out the dirt.
Step 6: Rinse the Comforter
After the wash cycle is complete, drain the water, and start rinsing your comforter. You may need to drain and fill the machine a couple of times to wash away all the suds.
How to Dry a Down Comforter: A Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Find a Sunny Spot
Because down comforters are bulky, it often takes a long time to dry. Pick a spot to hang your duvet, and duvet covers, where the sun shines on the area. Doing so would dry your comforter faster, and minimize the chances of it getting mold.
Step 2: Toss Comforter in Dryer with Dryer Balls
Place the comforter in the dryer. Add wool dryer balls or clean tennis balls to help fluff up the duvet, and remove any static charge from drying. Try to space out the dryer or tennis balls, evenly spread across the comforter.
Step 3: Let Machine Start the Drying Process
Place the machine on the medium to low heat setting and let the machine run a cycle. You can opt to place dryer sheets or fabric softener in as well, if you haven't yet. The dryer won't completely dry your duvet, but it will remove excess moisture.
Step 4: Hang Up in Sunny Spot to Dry
Hang up your comforter in a sunny area that is well-ventilated. Let the duvet dry completely. Hang up the duvet cover as well. Ensure the comforter is not even the slightest bit damp before using it. Depending on your area, it may take a few hours to a couple of days to dry your comforter.
Step 5: Shake Out Duvet to Fluff it Up
Shake the duvet gently to fluff it up, and to evenly distribute the feathers to ensure there are no lumps. Fit the comforter filler into the cover, and your dry down comforter should be completely clean and ready to use!
How Often Should You Clean Your Down Comforter?
Ideally, you should clean your comforter filler once every two to five years, depending on your usage. If you use a cover, you can forego washing the filler longer. A duvet mostly requires spot cleaning, which can be done easily with a baking soda paste. You can also take your duvet to the dry cleaners to remove any stains without washing it.
A Clean Sleep
A newly washed, pressed, and dried comforter makes for a blissful sleep, but what about the rest of the room? Keep a clean sleep by cleaning your home from top to bottom with Luce Home cleaning services! We'll get your home cleaned the right way!
For more housekeeping tips and tricks, check out our collection of articles in our blog!