by Katie Duzan
With all the use that down comforters get, they need cleaning every once in a while. Keep in mind that cleaning a down comforter is not like doing regular laundry; there are special steps you need to take to properly care for and extend the life of your down bedding. Here's how to clean a down comforter the right way.
Determine who should wash it. Figure out if your down comforter can be washed at home or if it needs the attention of a dry cleaner. If your washer at home is small, you may want to consider taking your down comforter to a laundromat. King-size down comforters will generally need to be washed in an economy-size dryer to get thoroughly cleaned. Your washer's owner's manual should tell you how large of a comforter it can handle.
Take it to the cleaners. If your down comforter can't be washed at home, take it to a professional cleaner in the area that has experience cleaning down comforters. They can best care for the comforter and clean it well.
Check for problems. Wherever you decide to wash it, start by checking for problems. Rips or tears need mending before you try to wash and dry your down comforter. The cleaning process can further damage a comforter's weak spots, and it will lose some of its filling if they are not repaired. Dry cleaners often have an in-house seamstress or tailor that can take care of the issue before your comforter is washed.
Spot treat it. Use a pre-treatment stain remover on problem spots or apply detergent to them before washing. Allow it to soak for a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the stain.
Check the settings. The washer needs to be on the delicate setting for washing. Also, if the washing machine has an extra rinse cycle, use it.
Throw in some footwear. Put some clean but washable footwear into the washer with the comforter. The footwear will keep the comforter from bunching up and help the down stay evenly distributed. Flip-flops work great for this purpose. You may also want to look at buying a rubber dryer ball that can be placed in the washer and fulfills the same purpose.
Dry it thoroughly. Place the goose down comforter in the dryer with the shoes. Set the dryer on its lowest heat setting and remove the comforter periodically to make sure it doesn't burn. Mildew can grow in damp comforters, ruining them, so it's important to thoroughly dry the comforter. After drying, let the comforter set out for a few hours before putting a duvet cover over it to ensure there are no damp spots left.