How to Wash a Down Comforter (Because It’s Probably Time)
That trip to the dry cleaners? So unnecessary.
Photo by Rocky Luten
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954nina August 28, 2022
I used to have down comforters but a trip to China many years ago convinced me to buy a mulberry silk filled comforter. They feel like a thin blanket but they work amazingly well both in the winter and in the summer. They truly regulate your heat. Now to the story.. (oh and I always use a duvet). After about 5 years I thought it was time to wash it. Put it in my large capacity washer on delicate and that part was fine. Put it in the dryer just to get the major amount of water out (on air fluff) and that was fine but they I spread it out on my patio to finish drying in the sun and when back in the house.. when I came out a stray cat from our neighborhood pee’d all over it!!!! I ran to the dry cleaner and they wouldn’t touch it, went to 3 cleaner none wanted to take the chance so I thought I had nothing to lose so I dumped it back into the washer and this time washed it on the bulk cycle with double rinse and dried it in the dryer on bulk for the lowest time and kept checking it. When it was just slightly damp I spread it out inside the house and it is now perfect! I have 2. My guest get the old down or alternative comforters if they are allergic. But nothing is like a mulberry silk comforter.
Wendy August 27, 2022
I have been laundering my down comforters for about 30 years. I only buy super high quality ones. And I have never treated them different than anything else I launder. I use regular detergent and make sure I dry them a few cycles to ensure the down is super dry to not promote bacterial/mold growth. I do have extra large capacity washer/dryer. They always come out great and have lasted forever. I just recently joined the wool dryer balls pack and just to be honest I haven’t noticed any difference when I use them in keeping my large sheets/blankets, etc from not balling up or shortening my drying time. I started with 6 and now I have 12. I will try when I wash my comforter again. Wondering if I need more balls? How many?
Susanna May 1, 2022
I have never ever had success laundering a down comforter. In fact, I have ruined three this way. I follow all of the recommended instructions and always use a gentle cycle and a commercial machine, but washing them inevitably leads to small tears in the fabric that only grow, and the down starts coming out all over the place. I wish I knew what I was doing wrong.
Kim April 25, 2022
I've had down comforters for years. They go into the dryer just fine. Just tumble dry on medium and run it a couple times: checking and fluffing in-between. It's really just like anything else.....no big deal and no need to stress over it! Just put it in the dryer.
Liz S. April 25, 2022
I have had LaCrosse/TheCompany Store down comforters for 35 plus years (not the same one(s)). I tend to buy light or medium fill and use 2 in winter, 1 in summer. No duvet cover. White or tan comforters ... dog and cat. I have 2 spares so that I can rotate, but I wash/dry them with no fuss. I have always had a large capacity washer and dryer and my current set which is relatively new, no agitator and it has a "Bulky item" setting. But, other than the current set, I still packed in the washer, gentle detergent, dry in dryer. For drying, I used to use old socks with tennis balls for "beating" the down, now I use wool dryer balls and some slightly heavier poly rings. I dry on a medium setting for 40 minutes, then go to low for 40 min intervals. If I need to leave the house (I NEVER leave the washer or dryer going if I am not there!), I drape the comforter over some chairs for some air drying. I do have 5 comforters all together and rotate when I wash. The article has a lot of "this source and that source" vs a first hand experience of the author. For years, La Crosse said do not launder and I did. My comforters have lasted me 8-10 years. My newish (3 years old) washer/dryer set do make the process easier: no agitator and a better dryer than my old set.
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