How to Wash a Down Comforter

How to Wash a Down Comforter. Many people only rarely wash heavy or bulky fabric items, such as comforters, rugs and window coverings. Some are too big to fit in the washing machine, and others are composed of delicate materials or need special care. Down comforters fit all those categories.

Wash a Down Comforter

If you have a down comforter and would love to refresh it with a wash, find out how you should wash it.

Evaluate Your Down Comforter

  1. Recall when you last washed your comforter. Depending upon the type of goose down used, manufacturers recommend washing your comforter once every 1 to 5 years.

  2. Check the label on your comforter or any care-instruction literature that came with your purchase. If the label says, "dry clean only," dry cleaning is recommended for the best result.

  3. Air out a down comforter that has been washed too recently, but needs freshening. Hang it over a line or in a spot where air can get to it. However, keep it out of the sunlight.

Clean Your Down Comforter Gently

  1. Take your down comforter to the dry cleaners for the best care, regardless of whether it is labeled washable.

  2. Take your comforter to the laundromat to wash it yourself. Configure the washer for its largest capacity, warm-water wash and gentle or delicate cycle.

  3. Let the washer fill first, and then add soap to ensure even distribution before putting the comforter in or follow the machine manufacturer's directions to start the cycle.

  4. Dry your comforter thoroughly on low. Let it air dry awhile longer, until any moisture is gone.

  5. Tip

    Follow the comforter manufacturer's cleaning directions. The outer fabric may require specific care. Twin-size comforters may fit in your home washing machine, but use commercial washers for larger ones. A machine that gives the item plenty of room to move around will reduce twisting or knotting. You can air out a comforter a few times a year, cutting down on too many washings.


    Washing a down comforter too often reduces its life span. Sooner or later, the down filling will break down from use and flatten, but washing accelerates this process. Wash it only when necessary. Ignore a "dry clean only" label at your own risk. The makeup of some comforters may demand less agitation than your washer will give them. If you wash such linens, you may ruin them on the first try. Do not use bleach or stain remover on your down comforter.