Since down comforters are filled with feathers, special care must be taken when washing them. 

Unless they are dirty, wash down comforters no more than once a year. 

To keep your down comforter from getting dirty, use a duvet cover and wash the duvet cover on a regular basis. 

Here are some tips and tricks for how to wash your down comforter.

 

Tips and Tricks for How to Wash a Down Comforterphoto courtesy of firearcade flickr.com/photos/artistgroup/5192546521/Manufacturer's Instructions
Make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions when washing your down comforter. 

Often manufacturers will tell you to dry clean only. 

If you are able to wash your down comforter in a washing machine, continue to the next step.

 

Holes
Ensure there are no holes or tears in your down comforter. 

Any little hole will allow down feathers to escape. 

Sew any holes before proceeding.

 

Stains
If you have any stains on your down comforter, treat them with laundry stain remover before washing per the stain remover's instructions.

 

Size Matters
Depending on the size of your down comforter, you may not be able to wash it in your home washing machine. 

A twin sized comforter may fit in your home washer, but a queen or king sized comforter will probably have to be washed in a commercial sized washing machine at a laundromat. 

Even if your down comforter fits in your home washing machine, it may be too heavy for your washing machine's spin cycle and cause your washing machine to break.

 

Be Gentle
Wash your down comforter using cold or warm water on the gentle cycle with gentle detergent. 

You can also buy special soap from sporting goods stores made especially for down. 

Do not use fabric softener. 

Make sure to add your detergent before adding the down comforter. 

Use the extra rinse cycle. 

Warning - down has a tendency to have an odor when wet that goes away when dry.

 

Drier Balls
Once the down comforter is washed, it may look a bit gray in color because the white fabric is showing the gray feathers inside - don't worry, that is normal. 

Once again, inspect your comforter for holes (in case one formed when washing).  If you find a hole, make sure to repair before drying else you will have a drier full of feathers. 

Set your drier to a low setting and add 2 to 4 drier balls to the drier to fluff the comforter as it dries.  If you do not have drier balls, clean tennis balls will work. 

Do not use drier sheets. 

Every 30 minutes or so, take the comforter out of the drier and make sure it is not bunched up anywhere causing uneven drying. 

If you think it is dry, hold it up to the light to check for down clumps.  If there are down clumps, then it is not dry yet. 

Drying time for a down comforter will likely take several hours. 

 

Ensure it is Dry
Make sure the down comforter is 100% dry before using.  Any little bit of moisture may cause it to mildew and be ruined. 

Never store a down comforter in a plastic bag that may trap moisture.

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