How to Clean a Down Comforter?

by Katy Bowers | Last Updated: March 27, 2017

clean comforterNothing is better than sinking into the cloud-like fluff of a soft down comforter after a long day – but to keep it nice and comfy for years to come, it’s essential that you use the right techniques when cleaning your duvet so that you don’t damage its precious stuffing.

As it turns out, down comforters can go an impressive 5-10 years without being cleaned if you are using a duvet cover.

But when those pesky stains do appear out of nowhere, a good cleaning is in order.

Down comforters are filled with delicate duck plumules, which is why it is essential to use the right cleaning techniques to prevent stripping the feathers of the natural coating that makes them so soft.

Unfortunately, while comforter manufactures may be experts in creating dreamy coziness, they’re not so good at printing care labels that don’t fade overtime. Have no fear, however – we have applied our Super Cozy Stuff expertise (and some professional research) to determine the best ways to clean a down comforter to keep it looking and feeling as good as new.

Cleaning Fresh Spills and Stains

When it comes to spills and stains on your comforter, catching them fast can save you a lot of time and hassle during cleaning.

Whether your pup jumps on your bed with muddy feet, you accidentally spill your morning coffee, or you get another type of small stain, you may be able to save your duvet with a bit of spot cleaning.

To spot clean a fresh stain, follow the following steps:

  • Step #1 – Pull the fabric of your comforter away from the filling inside.
  • Step #2 – Mix one cup of water with a few drops of mild chlorine-free detergent or dish soap.
  • Step #3 – Using a cloth, dab the mixture on the stain.
  • Step #4 – Rinse off the mixture with clean water.
  • Step #5 – Use a blow drier on a medium heat to dry your comforter.

Cleaning Stubborn Spots

If your down comforter has attracted tougher stains, you may need a stronger solution to spot-clean those persistent blemishes.

For stains that need to be sanitized, like those caused by surprise nose-bleeds and accidents from your little one, you can use an enzymatic cleaner to rid your down comforter of unwanted bacteria while fighting discoloration.

You can also use a non-chlorine bleach solution to brighten fabrics but it is best to only use it for spot cleaning (pushing the filling away from the fabric) so that you don’t damage the inner particles.

Machine-Washing Your Comforter

Down comforters don’t need to be machine washed very often, but when the time comes, it is essential that you use the right settings to prevent accidentally ruining its delicate filling.

Use the following steps when machine washing your comforter:

  • Step #1 – Spot clean any tough stains with a mild detergent solution.
  • Step #2 – Check for any tears in your comforter and sew them shut to prevent further ripping during the washing process.
  • Step #3 – Use an extra-large front loading washing machine so that your comforter has plenty of space.
  • Step #4 – Select a gentle cycle with cold to lukewarm water (hot water can cause your down to shrink up to 8%) and a double rinse if available.
  • Step #5 – Add a small amount of chlorine-free mild detergent. Do not use a softener as this could strip the down feathers of their natural coating and decrease your comforter’s loft.

Drying Your Comforter

Once fully washed and rinsed, you will also need to machine dry your comforter, but be prepared – this step takes some patience.

To dry your comforter, use the following steps:

  • Step #1 – Set your dryer to a low heat setting and a gentle tumble cycle.
  • Step #2 – Add wool dryer balls to your dryer to keep your comforter evenly distributed. If you do not have dryer balls you can subsite them with clean tennis balls.
  • Step #3 – Stop your drying machine 4-6 times to fluff it. This will also help prevent filling clumps.
  • Step #4 – Let your comforter cycle until it is completely dry – this may take several hours – to prevent mold growth.

Down Comforter Life Hack

Each time you wash your down comforter, you run the risk of damaging the feathers inside, causing them to bunch up or lose the natural coating that make them so fluffy. However, you can save yourself from having to frequently wash your comforter by protecting it with a duvet cover.

Duvet covers envelop your comforter like a pillow case, preventing dirt, debris, and your body’s natural oils from seeping into the filling. These covers are removable and machine-washable, keeping your bed as clean as it is cozy.

By using these washing tips, you can get the most out of your down comforter with years of clean and cozy sleep.