Best Way to Wash a Down Comforter

by Lindsay Champion

You might find it difficult to clean down comforters because they are bulky yet delicate items. Comforters are large and cumbersome while their down filler is subject to clumping, especially if you clean them in a washing machine. Fortunately, there's hope for your down comforter. Deciding on the best way to wash a down comforter requires heeding the washing instructions found on its tag. Follow these steps to ensure your down comforter is properly cleaned and dried.

Washing a Down Comforter:

  1. Look at the tag. Examine the washing instructions on the comforter tag. If the tag says "dry-clean only," disregard the following steps and pay to get the comforter dry cleaned by a professional. When you take the comforter to the cleaner, tell them the comforter is full of down.

  2. Spot clean. Spot clean any stained areas with a down-cleansing detergent. Apply a dab of the detergent to stained areas before wetting them with a small amount of water. Work the detergent and water into lather and leave it overnight.

  3. Load the machine. Load the down comforter and down-cleansing detergent into a front-loading washing machine. If you don't have a front-loading washing machine, go to the laundromat. Down comforters become heavy and bulky with water and can damage the balance of top-loading washing machines. Comforters can also become tangled and rip in washing machines that are too small.

  4. Go easy on it. Wash the comforter on "delicate" or according to the instructions on the label. Add an extra rinse cycle to your wash to ensure the detergent is completely washed from the comforter.

  5. Dry it. Dry the comforter on medium heat. Remove it every half hour and smooth the down to prevent clumping. You can also add a few clean tennis balls to the dryer to help fluff the down as it tumbles. The drying process will take about three hours. Continue the process until the comforter is completely dry, or mildew might develop.

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Updated November 28, 2014