What Do I Do When My Down Comforter Is in Clumps?

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Down comforters provide a luxurious, cozy covering to help keep your warm on a cold winter’s night. However, after years of tossing, turning, improper care and storage the down comforter’s feathers may begin to clump. There are several methods to release the clumps to salvage your down comforter’s look and feel.

Dryer and Tennis Balls

Place the down comforter alone into the dryer with two to three clean tennis balls. Turn the dryer to a medium or low setting and run it for 30 minutes. Remove the comforter and inspect it for any remaining clumps. Continue to run the dryer for 30 minute increments until the lumps are eliminated. The combination of the heat and tennis balls gently breaks up the lumps. Avoid setting the dryer on high to prevent scorching or damaging the fragile comforter or feathers.

Hanging it Outdoors

Locate a sturdy place that accommodates the length of the down comforter, such as a clothes line. If one is not available, cover two to four saw horses or durable lawn chairs with towels and drape the down comforter over them on a sunny, blustery day. Allow the comforter to remain for at least eight to 12 hours and allow wind to gently break apart the clumped feathers. Bring the comforter inside immediately if it rains to prevent staining or destroying the covering or feathers.

Manual Removal

Spread the blanket on a flat surface, such as your bed or a clean floor. Run your hands over the comforter and gently pull apart the clumps. Continue to manually break up the clumps until they are completely, or mostly, eliminated. This is a time-consuming alternative if your dryer cannot accommodate the comforter or if the weather is unreliable.

Prevent Clumps

Shake the down comforter every morning to redistribute the feathers before they have a chance to form clumps. Before storage, remove any smaller clumps and fold the comforter before placing the comforter in a plastic bag, cedar chest or plastic tote. Avoid sitting or lying on top of the comforter to prevent crushing and creasing the feathers and creating clumps. Follow the washing instructions on the down comforter’s label, especially if the piece must be dry cleaned.

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