How to Refluff a Down Comforter After Washing
A flat and matted-down comforter is not only a terrible disappointment, but it won't keep you warm, since the insulating capacity of the comforter comes from the spaces between the pieces of down. Comforters should not be washed more than once every three to five years, if possible, because too-frequent washings can harm the down, stripping it of its natural oils. The key to fluffing a down comforter after washing to the do the fluffing as you dry it, not after you dry it. Once matted down, it may be irretrievable.
Dry the down comforter in an extra-large capacity commercial dryer. (You should also have washed it in an extra-large capacity, front-loading washer to avoid having it damaged by a washer with an agitator or one that is not large enough.) Set the dryer to low heat. Excessive heat will damage the down and could cause it to catch fire.
Put two tennis balls into the dryer with the comforter. The tennis balls will help fluff up the wet down as it dries. Avoiding having the down clump or mat at this stage is critical, because it is a mistake you will not be able to repair.
Run the dryer on low for 30 minutes. Remove the comforter, fluff it and return it to the dryer for another 30 minutes. Repeat this sequence until the comforter is dry, which will probably take a few hours. Make absolutely certain that the comforter is dry before you use or store it. A damp comforter will cause mold or mildew to form, which will ruin the comforter. If you get tired of hanging around the Laundromat and have a clothesline at home, you can hang the comforter in the sun to finish drying.
- The down comforter will have an unpleasant smell when you remove it from the washer. The odor will disappear once the comforter is completely dry.
- Use a washable duvet (comforter cover) to protect your down comforter from getting dirty. You can wash the duvet as often as necessary, and you will have to wash the comforter much less often.
Tanya Lee is a professional writer with more than 30 years experience. She has published extensively in the field of education and as a journalist, the latter in such publications as "High Country News" and "News from Indian Country." Lee holds a M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
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