Updated at: 26-07-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

When it comes to doing the laundry, washing down-filled pillows, comforters, and other goods might get overlooked. Because of this, many people are concerned about washing down comforters. Despite their size, you can normally wash down bedding and jackets in the washing machine at home. When it comes to laundering, most manufacturers recommend just doing it about once per three to five years. These procedures will help you get the best results when washing and drying down and feather pillows, sleeping bags and jackets when they need to be cleaned.

Can I Wash Down Comforters and Pillows at Home?

Full, queen and king-sized bed comforters are likely too large to be cleaned in a standard-sized household washer. Using a front-loading washing machine, like those found in a laundromat, is recommended for the best results. The more convenient option, especially if you have a front-loading machine, may be down pillows, which are smaller and can be washed in your home washing machine. However, if you have a top-loading washer, you may choose to utilize the front-loading machines at the laundromat. Agitators can be hard on delicate down objects.

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How to Wash Down Items

If there are any special instructions on the label of the item you’re going to wash, always follow them. Repair any holes or old stitches before laundering to prevent the loss of down filling during the cleaning procedure.

Check for blood or urine stains before washing a down comforter or pillow. They might be difficult to remove. An enzyme cleaning works well on these spots. Stains from water or food can be removed with color-safe bleach. The down in your comforter or pillow will not be harmed if you spot-treat stains without removing the cover. To clean your down item, you must remove the stain first.

What Is the Best Wash Cycle for Down Comforters and Other Down-Filled Items?

Make use of a gently or delicate cycle and a small bit of light laundry detergent when doing your laundry. It’s best to avoid hot or cold water, which might irritate the skin. For complete soap removal from the down, an additional rinse cycle may be necessary (see below). Down comforters, sleeping bags, and other objects stuffed with down can also be washed using special laundry detergents. Online and in outdoor merchants, these detergents are often accessible.

Clean white canvas shoes (laces removed) or socks filled with two tennis balls (knotted) can be used to keep down from bunching in the washing machine. Additions like this one will also help to loosen dirt from the things being washed.

If your down jacket or pillow still smells after you’ve washed it, don’t panic; you didn’t forget a step in the process of cleaning a down comforter or washing a down jacket. When damp, down emits a distinct scent. When the down dries, the odor will go away.

How to Dry Down Items

Load your down goods into a dryer that is large enough to accommodate them when the wash is complete. To keep the down fluffy and evenly distributed, stuff a sock with tennis balls or wool dryer balls ($5, Walmart).

What Is the Best Dryer Setting for Items with Down?

Use the air fluff setting or the lowest temperature setting on the dryer. Stop the dryer from time to time to break up any lumps that may have formed in the bedding. Extreme heat can scorch down, so keep an eye on the down to make sure it doesn’t become too warm. A three to four-hour drying time is reasonable.

Only remove the down item from the dryer when it is entirely dry to minimize mildew formation. If the down is still moist, hang it out to dry on a clothesline during a warm, windy day. To guarantee that all moisture has been removed, place the comforter or pillow outside for a few weeks after bringing it indoors. Wrap the comforter with a cotton sheet before storing it.

How Often to Wash Down-Filled Items

There are some down comforters and pillows that explicitly state that they should be dry cleaned rather than washed. Add a duvet cover on top of your down comforter to prevent oils from your skin from permeating the comforter and accumulating dirt, which will reduce the number of times you need to wash it.

Always use a flat sheet underneath the duvet-covered comforter to protect the down. With the sheet, you’re further shielding yourself from sweat and grime from your skin. If no flat sheet is used, wash the duvet cover once a week; if a flat sheet is used, wash the duvet cover once or twice a year.

Stains and dust mites will be kept at bay thanks to the added protection provided by pillow protectors and coverings. To make the cushion even more protected, most covers feature a zipper that makes it simple to enclose the pillow and wash it. Cotton or cotton-polyester blends are used in the production of some types of shields and coverings. These covers protect down pillows from stains and soil in the same way that a flat sheet protects the duvet cover. Wash the pillowcase on a regular basis.

Do this once or twice a year to freshen your down comforter or down pillows. Prior to bringing them inside, let them air dry for two to three hours on a level surface.

Every time you’re cleaning a piece of down, you should begin by checking the manufacturer’s care label. With this information and a few tips, you’ll be prepared to take on any cleaning project involving down-filled items, such as down jackets, duvets, and feather pillows.

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How Often to Clean a Down Comforter or Duvet

Down-filled bedding should be washed once a year as a general rule. Obviously, if your bedding gets dirty, you’ll have to wash it more frequently.

If you want the finest results, use an extra-large capacity, front-loading washer and dryer combination to wash and dry your queen or king-sized comforter or duvet. Most laundromats have these big machines, but be prepared to pay a premium—some charge as much as $6 each load. The trip to the laundromat can be avoided if you have a front-loading, full-capacity washer and dryer at home and are washing a twin comforter or duvet.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Extra-large capacity for larger comforters or duvets in front-loading washing machine and dryer
  • a clothesline or a drying rack


  • Cleansers that are gentle on clothes
  • Tennis ball knotted into each of two pairs of clean socks
  • Softening sheets for clothing (optional)


Put Bedding in the Washer

Make sure your blanket or duvet isn’t folded or crumpled before tossing it in the washing machine. Do your best to evenly distribute the bedding.

Put Socks in the Washer

Toss in a pair of socks filled with tennis balls. These prevent the down from bunching and also help to eliminate dirt, sweat, and body oils from the bedding.

Add Laundry Detergent

To use the machine’s soap dispenser, add a tiny amount of gentle laundry detergent. To avoid soap stiffening, use half the recommended amount for an average load. Bleach is not needed.

Set the Cycle

Warm water should be used for the gentle/delicate cycle. Use an extra or prolonged rinse cycle if it is available on your machine.

Run the Washer

Wash your clothes in the washing machine for the entire cycle.

Check for Soap Residue

Check your bedding for any leftover soap once the wash cycle has finished. The best way to get rid of soap residue is to rewash the bedding without using any detergent. Make careful to properly rinse out any soap residue to avoid clumps in your down.

Remove Bedding From the Washer

Make sure to use caution when removing bedding from the washing machine. Your comforter or duvet cover should not be torn because of the weight of the damp down. The damp down may have a mild odor, but this is quite natural. Once the down has dried, the odor will be gone.

Place Bedding in the Dryer

Make use of the dryer’s extra-large capacity. As much as possible, spread out the blanket or duvet as much as possible, then put the socks with tennis balls. The down will not clump as a result of their pounding activity. Toss one fabric softener sheet on top of the bedding if you’re using it.

Start the Dryer

The lowest heat setting on your dryer should be used.

Check the Dryer and Fluff

Stop the machine every 30 minutes and remove the bedding. To ensure that the down is distributed evenly, give it a little fluff. As a precaution, make sure the down isn’t too heated to the touch.

Continue Drying

Your down-filled bedding will not be totally dry for at least three hours. The risk of mildew and odor if you halt the drying process before the down is completely dry is rather high. When the down in your blanket or duvet feels light and uniformly distributed, it’s dry.

Finish Drying on a Clothesline

Alternatively, you can use a clothesline inside or outside in a warm, dry location to finish drying the bedding. Brightening the fabric and erasing stains are two advantages of using white comforters and duvets.

Make Your Bed

After drying thoroughly, put your duvet back inside its cover and make your bed with your freshly washed linens.

Storing Down Comforters and Duvets

There are two schools of thought when it comes to whether or not you should keep your down comforter out year-round. Packing your down items requires that they be clean and dry before being stored. Wrap the down bedding in cotton, such as a wash bag, and store it in a well-ventilated closet for protection.


It’s worth the effort to fix a hole in your blanket or duvet because they might be pricey to replace. You may quickly and easily fix tiny holes using an iron-on patch. Try hand-stitching the cloth back together or adding a patch made from the same material if your tear is larger.

Treating Stains on Down Comforters and Duvets

Spot-treating any stains on your bedding before washing it in the machine is a good idea. Remove the down filling from the affected area by adjusting or shaking it. Apply a stain remover of your choice after thoroughly rinsing the area with a spray bottle of clean water. A clean white rag can be used to pat down the fabric and allow it to sit for around 20 minutes. Rub the stain with your hands or scrub it with a toothbrush if you think it needs additional work. If required, repeat the procedure before moving on to the next step: washing.

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Tips for Washing Down Comforters or Duvets

  • Do not use an agitator to wash down your bedding, as this will result in a damaged and lumpy comforter or duvet.
  • When washing a down comforter or duvet, avoid using liquid fabric softener because it can penetrate, coat, and destroy the down’s fluffiness.
  • The time it takes to wash a down comforter or duvet may surprise you. Bring a book or something else to occupy yourself for a few hours at the laundromat.
  • Laundry day is a great time to clean your mattress pad and bedskirt together. Dust mites and other allergies will be removed from your bed before you go to sleep.
  • Because down is designed to be washed repeatedly, you shouldn’t stress over how clean your bedding is.

Is it safe to wash feather blankets?

You can wash your feather blankets if you check and follow the instructions on the tag. There are several detergents and bleaches that can harm feathers. Additionally, you should restrict the number of times the blanket is laundered.

Some blanket makers advise customers to only wash their products once a year. Covering your blanket with a thick blanket will extend this interval. You’ll have less chance of damaging your feathers this way because they’re organic and delicate.

Is dry cleaning safer than washing for feather blankets?

Even though dry cleaning nearly eliminates shrinkage of your blanket, it does so at the expense of additional dangers. Dry cleaning might damage feathers due to the active and powerful chemicals used. Some of these are capable of dissolving the feathers’ protective oil coats.

Despite the fact that most dry cleaners are familiar with dealing with this type of cloth, you’ll want to check with the manufacturer first. Visit a shop that has dealt with feathers before, as they have more knowledge and experience with them. On your first visit, it’s a good idea to ask this question.


Our instructions on how to clean a feather blanket were as straightforward as we could make them. It should allow you to handle the cleaning at home on your own. Follow the instructions on the blanket and you’ll have no problems.