Many people purchase a down blanket or comforter for the great feel of it with a lofty fill. After some time, you may wonder how to clean it and there are a few options out there, but if you clean it in the wrong manner, you can actually cause tears in it and ruin it, making it necessary to purchase another. One of the major benefits of duck or goose down comforters is that when cared for properly, they come clean and look as good as new for many years.
Read the Label
Every manufacturer of bed covers place a label on them with cleaning instructions to follow. Some are a little more explicit about the instructions than others are. They may say to dry clean only, machine wash, air dry or line dry only. If the tag is missing or worn to the point of not being able to read it, you can contact a professional dry cleaner in your area to get information on what should be done to freshen up your fluffy covers.
Taking Your Comforter to the Dry Cleaner
One of the best ideas for cleaning any down filled cover is to take it to a professional dry cleaner–but have it professionally cleaned and not dry cleaned. The dry cleaner will wash you comforter in a commercial washer, which is larger than most home washers. This allows it to be thoroughly clean and does no harm to it. Don’t have them dry clean it though, because the harsh chemicals are not very friendly to down fillings. Surveys show that it costs between $30 and $80 to have a dry cleaner launder your comforter, depending on the size. This is a bit pricey, but you will have complete peace of mind in this process.
Washing a Down Bedspread Yourself
If you have a front load full size washing machine, you can wash your down covers at home. An alternative is the newer style of washer that is a top load style in a large capacity that doesn’t have an agitator in it. A smaller or older top load machine with an agitator can cause the comforter to be wrapped around the agitator and tear it, so this is not recommended. Another alternative is to take your bedspread to the laundry mat and choose the triple load feature on a washer. No matter which method you choose of cleaning it yourself, follow the same instructions below.
Use cold for the water temperature because the outermost fabric and shrink up to 8 percent in warmer temperatures and will make the comforter lumpy as it squeezes the down filling. Use the fastest spin speed on any washer so it takes out the most moisture possible. If you are using a home washer, run the comforter or blanket through the spin cycle twice for the best results. The best laundry detergent is a gentle soap without any additives. Ivory Snow, Woolite and Dreft the baby laundry detergent are some of the best types of detergent to use. You can add a non-chlorine bleach, such as Clorox 2 color-safe bleach to brighten the color of your comforter. Don’t use fabric softener as it can cause the feathers to stick together and smell.
Drying Down Covers Successfully
You can choose whatever temperature you like to dry your down covers in a dryer. Hot, warm or low all work well, but the hot setting will dry it more quickly. Again, read the manufacture’s label as some only recommend low heat. You need patience on the drying time, if you are doing it at home, as it may need to go through several drying cycles. If you are drying it at a laundry mat, it will dry much quicker because the drum is larger and allows more warm air to flow around it. You can add dryer balls or clean tennis balls to speed up your drying time. They keep the covers from clumping up in the dryer but be forewarned, they do make quite a sound in your home dryer. Make sure your comforter or blanket is thoroughly dry so that it doesn’t promote mold. You can feel free to add dryer sheets for an extra freshness.
If you choose to wash your comforter on a nice sunny day, you can hang it outside to line dry. In order to prevent wet spots, beat the comforter with a broom occasionally to fluff up the down inside and flip it over every so often to prevent the feathers clumping up inside and retaining moisture.
How Often to Wash a Down Bed Cover?
Any type of bedding that has down or feathers in it can be washed every 1 to 2 years. If you keep it in a duvet cover, you will only need to clean it every 3 to 5 years.
Other Care Tips
The best idea to keep your comforter in tiptop shape is to fluff it every day when you make your bed. This provides a steady flow of air so your down will continue to be lofty and light. You can redistribute the fill by pushing the down with both your hands and moving it within the baffles to fill in spots that have gone flat.
Most people store their down bedding in the summer. The key to successful storage is to allow the down to breathe. The best way to store it is in an cloth bag to prevent any odor or moisture buildup. Make sure the bag is large enough so that the bedding isn’t compressed, but stays fluffy. When you are ready to put it back on your bed after off-season storage, give your down bedding a good shake, place it on your bed and you can give it a spritz of Febreeze to add a fresh and inviting smell to it.
Following these tips on care of down bedding of all types will help you to extend the life of it while keeping it fresh and can ensure a long life with your treasured friend.