How to Wash Goose Down Comforters in a Washing Machine

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Not all down comforters are dry-clean-only.
Not all down comforters are dry-clean-only. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Most people think that down comforters can only be dry-cleaned. This is, in fact, true for some of them. However, most can be machine-washed given a large enough washing machine and some care, and will continue to give good bedding service for decades.

Things You'll Need

  • Large washer and dryer
  • Detergent
  • Stain remover

Consider whether to wash your down comforter in the first place. Most manufacturers recommend washing a comforter once every one to four years. If you wash more often than this, you are putting needless wear and tear on your comforter. Spot-clean it and then air it out instead.

Check to see whether your washing machine is big enough to wash the comforter. If you need to stuff the comforter in, it is too big for your home washing machine. and you will need to go to a Laundromat.

A small washer and dryer are not appropriate for a down comforter.
A small washer and dryer are not appropriate for a down comforter.

Fill the washing machine with water first, and then add detergent. Even with a big machine, your comforter will fill it up and offer no space for the distribution of detergent, so it needs to be dissolved first.

Use stain remover on any spots that look like a short, gentle wash won't be able to handle.

Put the comforter in and wash on a gentle cycle.

Put the comforter in the dryer with an old stuffed sock. Having the sock bounce around in the dryer will keep the down evenly distributed but won't damage the comforter. Run for a 60-minute, low-heat cycle. Then lay out the comforter to air-dry the rest of the way, but do not dry it in the sun.

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