A folded down comforter

How to wash down comforters: a complete guide

Washing down comforters can be an intimidating task without the proper instructions. Luckily, caring for your down comforter is a simple process that can help maintain its quality and fluffiness. Read on to learn how to properly wash your down comforter.

What is a down comforter?

A down comforter is a comforter filled with down feathers, either from ducks or geese, which are made from fluffy filaments that trap heat. This combination of fluffiness and warmth makes down comforters a lightweight option to keep you warmer than many other comforter options.

Down is a natural insulator, is light and lofty, and breathes to lift away perspiration.

How often should you wash down-filled comforters?

Depending on whether you have a duvet cover for your down comforter, you should only need to wash the comforter itself, at most, every two years. If you do have a duvet cover, you can go longer without washing the comforter itself as long as you routinely wash the duvet and inspect it for stains. Small spills should be spot treated as quickly as possible to avoid stains.

How to wash a down comforter

First, remove the duvet and check the comforter for stains. If there are any present, treat the stain before inserting the comforter into the washer. Before washing your down comforter, check your care tag for special instructions. Then add a gentle laundry detergent and the comforter and run on a bulky/sheets cycle. Finish by drying your down comforter on a low-heat setting and repeating until it is fully dry. Continue reading for a detailed step-by-step guide.

  • Washing machine

  • Gentle laundry detergent

  • Dryer

Folding back a weighted blanket

Step 1: Check for stains

Similar to other comforters, it is important to check down comforters for stains before washing. If you discover a stain after removing the duvet cover, wet the area and pretreat it with a mild detergent. Pat the stain with a damp cloth and wet the area once again to remove it. Repeat these steps until the stain is gone.

Adding laundry detergent to the laundry dispenser

Step 2: Insert comforter and add detergent

Check to make sure your washing machine is large enough, then insert your down comforter. Your comforter should take up no more than ¾ of your washing machine so that it has room to agitate and tumble. Use a gentle, fragrance-free detergent.

A finger pressing a laundry wash cycle

Step 3: Select wash cycle

If your washing machine has the option, select the bulky/sheets cycle to wash your down comforter; otherwise, choose the delicates option. To choose the right temperature, refer to your item’s care guide for instructions.

A running washer filled with clothes

Step 4: Dry your down comforter

After referencing the care tag to determine the right dry settings, place your comforter in the dryer. Then, set your dryer to low heat/tumble and start. Midway through the cycle, remove the comforter and give it a good shake. Then place it back in the dryer and complete the cycle. Repeat until the comforter is dry.

Tips for washing a down comforter

When washing a down comforter, the first step is to assess the size of your washing machine. If ¾ of your washer’s drum can’t hold your down comforter, it won't be able to wash properly. When running your washer on bulky, make sure to balance your load.

Down comforters are larger laundry items and require extra attention in the drying process. Once you have washed your down comforter, place it into your dyer. Halfway through the drying cycle, take out the comforter, shake it and check for damp spots. If you find any, the comforter is not completely dry. Place your comforter back in the dryer and repeat this process until all damp spots are gone.

How can you keep a down comforter clean longer?

Keeping a down comforter clean longer can be as simple as following the proper cleaning instructions on your care tag and treating stains as soon as they happen. It’s also important to check the care instructions of your down comforter as some require dry cleaning as opposed to washing.

How do you store a down comforter?

Make sure to store a down comforter in a breathable space when it’s not in use. In the hotter summer season, you should place the comforter in a cotton bag and store it where it won't be compressed. Letting your down comforter air out can help keep it fluffy and help prevent potential smells of musk or mildew.

Explore Whirlpool® washers

Sometimes you need a little extra help keeping up with your laundry. Whirlpool® washing machines deliver the clean you need with flexible features like quick wash cycle and intuitive controls on select models. With Whirlpool® Large Capacity Front Load and Top Load Washers, it’s easy to clean your down comforters in an appliance that fits your home.

Learn how to wash household items with Whirlpool

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