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When it comes to caring for a bed’s comforter, many often wonder if it’s best to have it dry cleaned or if you can get by with washing it in an ordinary machine at home. Caring for your bed’s bed spread is more complicated than you may think. For example most manufacturers recommend washing a down comforter every 2-3 years. Will you know what to do and when to do it to yours when the time comes? Here are some tips for caring for your comforter and protecting its quality.
One of the most important thing you can do is read the law label or care tag for proper cleaning instructions. These sewn on labels offer tips like dry clean only, machine wash, air dry or line dry only. These care instructions are the basis for any cover you decide to clean or have cleaned. Another important tip is to contact a professional cleaner in your community especially if the tag is missing or worn. They are familiar with most filler materials and fabrics and can offer tips helping you make the correct cleaning decision.
One of the most economical ways to clean your comforter in a large front loading washing machine if you are fortunate enough to own one. Unfortunately, top loading washers only have a capacity of 12–15 pounds. When various comforters including down are placed in a machine and they get wet they can weigh up to 50 pounds. Not only will your top loader washer’s agitator get in the way, your comforter will be too big and heavy for the spin cycle. Queen and king size comforters fit more easily in front load washers or extra large capacity commercial machines and as a result get are more thoroughly cleaned.
It’s best to use cold water and the gentle/delicate cycle. You should avoid traditional detergents such as Tide or All, especially if you have a down comforter since feathers are delicate. Soaps without enzymes like Ivory Snow and Woolite work best. You can even use Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. Another thing you should avoid is using fabric softeners because they can cause the feathers to clump together and smell.
The key to preventing mildew and mold is to make sure your comforter dries thoroughly. An essential part of this process is to run your comforter through the spin cycle twice, especially if your comforter is on the heavy side. Down comforters take a long time to dry. One way to help a down comforter dry quicker is to wrap it with dry towels to ring out the moisture. After the second spin cycle is through, remove your comforter and check to see if it’s still soaking wet or simply damp. If just damp, then it’s ready to be dried in the dryer or hung on a clothes line.
Large commercial sized dryers work best with over sized laundry items like heavy comforters because there’s enough space for the comforter to open up for air to move more freely. It’s best to run your dryer on low heat so that you don’t ruin the down feathers inside your comforter since heat can scorch or burn the feathers. When your comforter is half way dry, a good way to fluff the feathers is to throw in two brand new or clean tennis balls.
When it comes to assessing whether or not your comforter is completely dry or not, your nose knows. When a comforter is completely dry it will be fluffy and smell fresh. If the feathers inside your comforter are still damp, your nose will smell it.
If you plan to dry your comforter on the clothes line, be sure to beat it with a broomstick to fluff up the feathers. It is recommended that you flip the comforter over occasionally to prevent the feathers from sitting in one spot and clumping together and retaining moisture. Spraying Febreeze on your comforter is another way to add in freshness.
Having a fresh clean comforter is an important part of your bedspread’s useful life and proper care is more than spritzing it with a little Febreze®. With some regular tender loving care you can climb into a bed that is summery fresh and clean and laundered properly it will last for years and keep you and yours comfy and cozy throughout the night.