How to Wash a down Comforter in the Washer

How to Wash a down Comforter in the Washer

Recommendations say to wash your down comforter every two years. Good-quality comforters are expensive, and they can last a lifetime when well cared for. Follow these tips before tossing yours in the washer.

1 Don't use your top-loading machine. With a capacity of around 12 to 15 pounds, it usually can't handle a queen- or king-size comforter. Often, the agitator will be in the way. For better results, use a high-efficiency front loader with no agitator. Take it to a laundromat if necessary.

2 Treat it gently. Use cold water and set the machine to the gentle or delicate cycle. Down feathers are fragile, so use a mild soap without enzymes, such as Ivory Snow or Woolite. Do not use fabric softener in the water, as it will cause feathers to clump and not dry properly, leading to unpleasant odor.

3 Spinning and dampness. When the wash cycle is over, check the comforter for wetness. Generally, running it through one or two more spin cycles is a good idea. If it still feels soaking wet, wrap it in beach towels and wring it out to remove excess water. Once it's damp but not soaking wet, it is ready to be dried.

4 Dry and dry again. Use a large dryer for comforters: the bigger, the better. Dry on low heat to avoid damaging the feathers. It will take longer, but it will preserve your investment. Once the comforter is halfway dry, throw a clean tennis ball in the dryer to fluff the down.