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How To Wash Your Down or Down Comforter



  Modern bedroom

Martin Barraud / Getty Images

Down and down comforters bring the fluffy, luxurious hotel home with a timeless style. It may seem like an intimidating, highly specialized task to clean the down duvet, but it's actually quite simple. Chemical cleaners can refresh and upholster your sheets, but there are do-it-yourself methods of cleaning your covers.

What you need

Cleaning a down comforter is not difficult, but it's not as easy as throwing your jeans into the washing machine. Since down comforters are big, you need a big machine. Front loader windows work best. Since they have no agitator, there is less risk of tearing or damaging the blanket. Front loaders also allow the comforter to tumble efficiently. However, you will need a pretty big one: if your washing machine is too small, the weight of a wet duvet could damage it.

This is where the local laundromat comes into play. The washers and dryers there have more capacity than models designed for home use, and they are probably the best choice for efficiency ̵

1; but if you have an extra large front loader at home, you're in luck.

Once you've found a washing machine that works for you, you should have at hand:

  • Mild Cleaner
  • Tennis Balls
  • Spill Removal Spray

Preparation

Before you do your quilt in the Washing machine, check for stubborn stains that strike your eye. Use a stain removal spray to detect these areas. Spray a generous amount of stain remover on the stain, gently rub it in and let it work for as long as time permits.

Examine your duvet for holes or cracks in the fabric. You should repair them before putting the blanket through a wash and dry cycle. Failure to do so risks further damage and feathers entering your machine.

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Use an extra-large, high-efficiency front loader washer to clean or lower alternative comforters.


Alina Bradford / CNET

Washing

Use warm water and a mild detergent that never bleaches to wash your duvet. Be careful not to add too much soap. Down feathers are naturally water repellent, so their wearers stay warm and dry. Too much soap can remove the down of natural oils, leaving a lumpy, matte and less effective comforter.

Choose the delicate cycle on your washer and run the duvet through two rinse cycles to remove any soap residue.

Drying

You need to dry the duvet over low heat, which means it may take a few hours for the duvet to dry completely. Throw one or two tennis balls with the quilt. The punch effect of the tennis balls in the dryer helps to refresh the comforter and prevent the down from clumping together. You can also buy buffer rings specially designed for softening comforters, but a tennis ball works similarly.

If you do not have tennis balls or fluffy rings, remove the blanket a few times while it is drying and then hand-fluff it. If it is still damp after a few hours of drying, remove it and hang it in a sunny, warm place where the air will circulate.

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Cotton and plastic storage bags keep dust out, while the comforter can breathe.


The container business

Between washes

As long as you use a duvet cover, your duvet should only be washed once or twice a year. Between the washes, keep it covered and occasionally ventilate it by hanging it outside to refresh it.

If you have a brand new comforter that looks wrinkly or lumpy, give it a good shake or throw it in your dryer to freshen it up.

What not to do

You should never use harsh cleaning chemicals or bleach on a down comforter. It is also not necessary to iron it (try the drying knit above). Allow the quilt to dry completely before use to prevent mold growth.

Muslin down comforters have a lower thread count between 100 and 180. If the blanket is made of cotton, the thread count may be 250 or more. Luxurious quilts with a thread count of 400 or more (probably satin) should only be dry-cleaned.

No matter what your bed should look like, a down comforter is a luxurious way to hide at night. With a little time and effort, you can keep your duvet clean and fresh for many years.


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