How to Wash a Down Comforter

How to Wash a Down Comforter

How to Wash a Down Comforter

Choosing the right bedding can make all the difference when it comes to a good night’s sleep. Imagine sleeping wrapped up in a soft marshmallow cloud. Sounds nice, right? Sleeping with a luxurious down comforter can make a huge difference! Using a down comforter will make you feel like you are literally sleeping on cloud nine. Down comforters are great for everyone and come in various sizes and thickness. Which is great for people that tend to run hot or cold during the night. 

Many of you may steer clear from purchasing a down comforter because you think that they are high maintenance. Almost every down comforter is too large and fluffy to fit in your standard washer, and the majority of down comforters have that dreadful ‘dry clean only’ tag. Who wants to spend up to sixty dollars having their down comforter dry cleaned? 

A handful of down comforters, like those filled with lamb’s wool, should always be professionally dry cleaned. Keep that in mind when purchasing your down comforter. Most down comforters are filled with the soft underlayer of waterfowl feathers. This is what we refer to as goose down or down filling. Luckily goose down filling is naturally washable and does not necessarily need to be dry cleaned. For those of you who don’t like feather down comforters, there are synthetic down comforter alternatives. These comforters are filled with a machine washable fiber filling and usually, never need to be dry cleaned.

It may come as a surprise to you, but most down comforters only need to be washed every 3 years or so. That’s right, 3 years! This infrequent washing will help keep the shape and fluffiness of your down comforter and will make it last for a very long time. Constantly washing your down comforter will cause the filling to bunch in certain areas and can be tough on the seams. There may come a time when you have a washing emergency. Whether you’ve spilled something on your comforter or your pet has had an accident; you may need to wash it immediately. Don’t stress, just use these simple steps for washing your down comforter, without paying a dry-cleaning bill.


Materials Needed

  • Mild laundry detergent (liquid detergent is best to avoid clumps of dry detergent being trapped in the comforter)
  • Two tennis balls
  • A sock (tube socks work best, just make sure the sock is large enough to hold both tennis balls and be tied.

How to Wash a Down Comforter


  1. Before you get started, you should check your comforter for rips in the fabric, and loose seams. You can quickly mend these problem areas by hand with tight stitches. This will keep you from losing any filling during the washing and drying process. 
  1. If you’re washing your comforter because of a spill or accident you need to pretreat the soiled area. This is a good time to check for stains anywhere else and treat those as well. Make sure to pull the fabric away from the filling while treating. This will keep the cleaning agent from stripping the down filling and damaging it. 
  1. If you own a front load washer, feel free to wash your down comforter at home. However, make sure your comforter has plenty of room. Most household washers can’t take the capacity of anything more than a twin size or smaller. Never put your comforter in a top loading washer. This can damage the washer and tear your comforter. Head on over to your local laundromat after pretreating your comforter. 
  1. Find a large load washer and put your comforter in. Try not to ball it up and fluff it once you put it in the washer. Grab your sock, put your tennis balls in and secure it with a knot. Toss your sock in the washer. Add a small amount of mild laundry detergent and select your load cycle. You should choose a warm water cycle with an extra rinse cycle. 
  1. Once your comforter is done being washed transfer it to a large-load dryer. Give your comforter plenty of room so that it can dry easily. Toss your tennis ball filled sock in the dryer too. This will help fluff your comforter while drying and break up the filling to avoid bunching. Choose a low heat setting to avoid shrinking. You don’t want to go home with a comforter two sizes too small.


Tips and Tricks

  • Invest in a duvet cover. They are much easier to wash and can help make your down comforter last longer.
  • If you don’t have tennis balls on hand, you can use a clean pair of unlaced canvas shoes to help fluff the comforter while washing and drying.
  • If your dryer is large enough, skip drying your comforter at the laundromat. Just make sure you use a low heat cycle and make sure your comforter has enough space.
  • Make sure that your comforter is completely dry. Down can have a funny smell if left damp.

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