Before tackling the task of cleaning a down comforter, check the care labels to find out what cleaning method the manufacturer recommends. If there are no care instructions, your safest option is to find a professional cleaner with experience cleaning down. Otherwise you can wash it yourself or take it to a dry cleaner. However if dry cleaning is done improperly, it can remove essential oils from the down [source: How To Clean Stuff]. Remember, most manufacturers recommend washing down comforters only once every three to five years, unless they're soiled [source: Pacific Coast Feather Company].
Try one of the following methods to clean your comforter:
- Purchase a home dry-cleaning kit for use in your dryer. This works best when the comforter isn't too dirty.
- Wash the comforter in a front-loading commercial washing machine. (Your own washer and dryer may damage or be damaged by the comforter.)
- Use a cleaning solution formulated for down. This is available at camping supply stores.
Here's how to wash your comforter:
- Check for and repair any rips or open seams.
- Spot-treat all stains.
- Set the washing machine on a delicate, warm-water setting.
- Allow the detergent and water to mix.
- Place the comforter loosely into the machine.
- Add a clean pair of white canvas tennis shoes (laces removed) to keep the down evenly distributed.
- Set the washer to rinse twice.
- Gently squeeze some of the water out of the comforter before spin drying. This will protect the machine.
Wet down has a pungent odor, which goes away as it dries. Drying your comforter will take a few hours. Here's what to do:
- Use a dryer that's big enough to give the comforter lots of room.
- Choose an air-dry (no heat) setting or the dryer's lowest setting.
- Put the shoes or a clean white sock filled with tennis balls in the dryer with your comforter. This helps separate and fluff the down as it dries.
- Remove the comforter from the dryer periodically and work out any lumps. At the same time, check that the comforter isn't getting too hot.
- Finish drying the comforter by hanging it in the sun.
Don't store your comforter away for at least a month after cleaning, to ensure it's completely dry. Otherwise it may mildew [source: How To Clean Stuff].