How to Wash a Down Vest


The look of a down vest can be both casual and stylish, working well for both genders and all ages. A down vest can keep you warm without overheating, often adding just the right amount of warmth during outside activities. Because your vest has down filling inside, maintain it carefully to ensure the down stays lofty and light. Wash your down vest properly, following manufacturer instructions, so that your vest stays attractive and warm for years.

Things You'll Need

  • Gentle or pure laundry detergent
  • Tennis balls
  • Zip zippers and close any Velcro closures on the vest.

  • Set the washing machine to a delicate cycle with cool water. Add the gentle or pure laundry detergent (without harsh chemicals and artificial scents) and place the down vest into the washing machine. Wash the vest alone.

  • Monitor the washing machine and stop it after the final rinse, before the machine begins the final spin. Some manufacturers suggest additional rinse cycles to ensure that all the soap rinses out of the down. Reset the washing machine to repeat the final rinse -- do this up to five times for a thorough rinsing -- and then allow the machine to complete the final spin.

  • Remove the vest immediately after the spin cycle finishes.

  • Turn the vest inside out while still zipped and place it into the dryer. Add two or three tennis balls to the dryer and set the dryer to a low heat. The tennis balls will fluff and move the down as it dries, ensuring the down does not stick together inside the vest.

  • Start the dryer and monitor the drying process. Stop the dryer and remove the vest every 30 minutes. Shake out the vest to make sure the down inside stays separate for drying. Return the vest to the dryer and continue drying it in 30-minute increments, shaking the vest each time to redistribute the down. Continue drying the vest until the down is completely dry. You will know the down is dry because it distributes evenly throughout the vest. If the down continues clumping in a few areas, it is still wet.

Tips & Warnings

  • Follow washing instructions for your down vest. If the manufacturer suggests dry cleaning, wash your vest this way to ensure it lasts for years.
  • It is extremely important that you dry the down completely after washing. If you don't dry the down, it may develop mildew inside the vest, which can lead to odors.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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