Washing A Down Comforter – How To Clean A Down Comforter

By: Mrs. Mathis

Image by Stacy Bass
Many newlyweds struggle with questions about how to clean a down comforter that they received as a wedding gift. Because it is a high end item, you do want to take care when washing a down comforter. However, there is no reason why cleaning a down comforter should be intimidating. After all, the birds wash themselves outdoors with very little training and never seem to suffer any damage.

Hand Washing A Down Comforter

When it comes to washing a down comforter, the safest way is by hand. Fill a bathtub with slightly warm water with a little detergent added. Submerge your comforter in the water and press it gently to provide slight agitation. Remember when cleaning down comforters in this manner to avoid pushing the feathers together in such a way that they clump.

When you are finished washing a down comforter, drain the tub and rinse the comforter with warm water. A secret weapon in this step of down comforter care is a hand-held shower head. You can use this to spray the comforter thoroughly and remove all the subs.

Can I Machine Wash A Down Comforter?

Yes, but probably not at home. Washing a down comforter requires a very large, front loading machine usually found at a retail laundry establishment. If you choose to machine wash your comforter, just make sure to use the largest machine available and wash the comforter on the gentle cycle, with warm water. Remove it promptly.

Down Comforter Care: What About Drying?

After cleaning a down comforter by washing by hand or machine, you need to dry it as quickly as possible to avoid any souring, or worse yet, mildew. Experts on down comforter care are pretty evenly divided on whether air or machine drying is best. Ultimately it depends on your time and circumstances.

To air dry the comforter, hang it from a clothes line on a warm sunny day. Rotate it after the first hour to encourage the down to settle back into place. An even better option is to lay the comforter over at least two lines outdoors so that it dry more or less flat.

If you choose to machine dry your comforter you should use a commercial dryer. This is probably the best option to use after cleaning a down comforter at a commercial laundry. Just move the comforter over to a front loading dryer and dry. Most experts on down comforter care recommend throwing something like a couple of clean tennis balls in with the comforter to prevent clumping. You could also add a couple of clean towels to the dryer.

So now that you know how to clean a down comforter, you can be confident that the feathers in your bed are at least as clean as those on any bird.

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