Although most quality down comforters won’t need to be cleaned during the average life time (5 to 10 years), accidents do happen. Plus, some people tend to sweat more when they sleep (especially if the comforter is super warm!). Regardless of why you need to clean your down comforter, here are the four best ways to get the job done.
Dry Cleaning Your Down Comforter
The fastest, easiest and most effective way to safely clean your down comforter is to have it dry cleaned. Dry cleaning will leave your down fluffy and not weight it down with harsh chemicals, soaps or waters. Down can start to smell if it gets wet, so dry cleaning is the option recommended by almost every single down comforter manufacturer in the world. Plus, there’s no mess, hassle or fuss on your end—simply take it to the dry cleaners, let them handle it and then go pick it up when it’s done. Simple!
Getting Rid of Spots and Stains on Your Down Comforter
Of course, if you have some small stains and spots on your comforter (I’m looking at all of you that eat in bed!), you don’t have to take it into the dry cleaners. A little spot cleaning will do just fine. Use a fabric cleaner that doesn’t have detergent in it like Zero or Woolite. Dilute this with water (1 part cleaner, 1 part water) and take a soft cloth to the comforter.
Be sure you move the down away from the fabric area you are cleaning since the goal here is not to get the down wet. Rub the solution onto the spot or stain and gently loosen the stain from the fabric, lifting it rather than rubbing it in. Use a separate cloth dampened with water to remove the solution from the area and then dry with a clean towel. If you can, use a hair dryer to completely remove the moisture from the cleaned area.
Cleaning Your Down Comforter in the Washing Machine
While it isn’t generally recommended, you can clean your down comforter in a washing machine if you aren’t able to get to a dry cleaner and the situation is immediate. To do so, make sure that you are using a front loading washing machine. For larger down comforters (queen and up), you’ll need a commercial size tub. For smaller down comforters, a standard domestic washing machine will do just fine.
- Set the wash level to the smallest load size and use cold water only
- Set the gentle or delicate cycle on the washing machine
- Use a liquid soap with no detergent such as Zero, Woolite or Norwex. Don’t use any fabric softener
- Let the soap dilute in the water completely before submerging the comforter into the cold water
- Make sure the blanket is evenly distributed inside the tub and then close the lid and let the cycle complete
- Put the comforter through a second and third cold rinse to ensure that all detergent is out from the down
Putting Your Wet Down Comforter in the Dryer
Finally, it’s vital that you dry the down comforter after you take it out of the washing machine. This is a time consuming process, but an important one. Follow the instructions below to the letter, being careful not to skip any steps or you risk ruining your down comforter altogether:
- Immediately place your washed down comforter into the dryer at the lowest heat setting possible.
- The warmest setting you should use is cool, but going with less heat is better. Heat shrinks the shell of the comforter and also damages the down
- Start the dryer and every five minutes during the drying period, stop the dryer and remove the down comforter
- Shake the down comforter vigorously to unclump the down. This ensures that the down dries evenly
- Should the comforter start to bunch or stay on one side of the dryer, toss in some clean white towels to prevent it from bunching
- These towels will also absorb some of the moisture from the down so if your comforter is larger or extra wet, you might want to toss towels in from the beginning and the remove them halfway through (to take the moisture out from the dryer—you can add more dry towels if you like)
- When the down comforter is completely dry, do not put it right on the bed. Instead, hang it outside to air out and air dry some more
- Never use a wet down comforter as it will form mold and mildew inside of the down
Author Bio – This guest article is written by James Andrews working for Down Comforter World specializing in providing reliable service and luxurious quality products.