How to Clean a Feather Mattress in a Washing Machine

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It's generally recommended that down bedding, such as feather mattresses (featherbeds) and comforters, be taken to a professional dry cleaner to avoid irreversibly damaging the bedding. However, down items can be cleaned in a washing machine in your home or at a laundromat if you want to avoid the cost associated with professional services. Self-laundering your feather mattress requires considerable more care and additional considerations.

Things You'll Need

  • Front-loading washing machine
  • Large-capacity dryer
  • Gentle detergent
  • New tennis ball or new canvas sneaker
  • Use a large front-loading washer and large dryer to machine wash and dry your feather mattress. Good Housekeeping's Kathleen Huddy warns that top-loading machines, which have center agitators, will damage your feather mattress. If you don't have access to a front-loading washing machine or large dryer, locate a laundromat that does.

  • Machine wash your feather mattress in warm water on the gentle cycle using a gentle detergent. Harsh detergents can cause the down in your feather mattress to disintegrate and leave the fabric cover brittle. Never use bleach.

  • Tumble dry the feather mattress on the lowest heating setting in a large-capacity dryer. Huddy advises putting a new tennis ball or new canvas sneaker in the dryer to fluff the down as it dries.

  • Take care of residual wrinkles on the mattress' ticking by gently steaming them out. Never use an iron on your feather mattress.

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