Washing Down Comforters


When Kirk and I got married, he brought with him two favorite down comforters. I’d always chosen cotton and polyester blend bedding; because I let the dogs on the bed, I need to wash the bedding a lot! So I cringed as I saw this lovely pale pink comforter get dirtier and dirtier as Maggie slept on it every night. I know, we could just not let the dogs in the bed, and it’s really only Maggie who gets up there. But she’s such a cute snuggler, I just can’t resist! And Kirk doesn’t tell her no either! She usually sleeps by my pillow every night.

So, I went to the Web for advice on cleaning feather down comforters. It turns out, you can safely wash them in a front-loader washing machine; and I’ve done it several times now. The great thing about front-loaders is that they spin the load at such high speeds, they drive most of the water out of the load  with centrifugal force before it goes into the dryer. So, clothes- and down comforters- are almost dry when they come out of the wash! One of the many reasons I love my front-loader so!

I’ve read several recommendations to dry the comforter with some tennis balls, or tennis shoes, in the dryer- to help fluff the feathers via some pounding action. I did this the first time (we have lots of tennis balls for the dogs), and it worked, but have since found that it’s not necessary, at least in my dryer. The only caveat is that the comforter does have a weird smell when wet-exactly like a wet chicken, because it is! But, the smell goes away once dry. It takes a little longer than a regular clothes load to dry the comforter, and I remove it and rearrange it several times during the cycle to make sure all sides get equally dry. But, it’s the same as washing any other large comforter.

I guess this makes sense, after all, chickens dry fine after getting wet, so a feather down comforter should too, given the right conditions. So, hooray, we can keep the down comforters!

4 thoughts on “Washing Down Comforters

  1. Doris says:

    Lol, funny, my dad always wanted to live way out far away like in a cave or something so he wouldn’t have to pay taxes. So I’ve always carried that thought with me that I could live in a cave if I had to . . . until I got my front loader! Definitely will have to go with me when I move to that cave! My clothes are cleaner, uses way less water, less time in the drier, and even less soap. Cannot live without it. Yup, it would have to go with me to the cave, lol!!

    • workingcollies says:

      Doris, I sure love my front loader as well. My mom’s friend is from Europe, and she says that there, definitely the front loader is tops, almost everyone has them. So I don’t know why they haven’t taken off in the U.S. Maybe people just can’t get over the price difference? But for me, with washing lots of jeans and big dog blankets and such, I’m certain the energy savings has paid for it many times over, not to mention my time, it does big stuff so much faster. And it can handle really, really dirty stuff, like I wouldn’t be afraid to put a towel with dog poop on it right in with my own clothes, knowing for sure that everything will come clean. I can’t say I would have done that with my old-style washers! That thing is awesome! 😀

  2. Jo says:

    OK, I can’t help grinning that your husband’s favorite comforter is pink… 🙂 I use a duvet on our down comforter which is easy to take off and wash when it gets too doggy.

    I would like to wash the down comforter part though to get it fluffed again so it’s good to know I can wash it in our front loader and dry it safely -thanks!

    • workingcollies says:

      Jo, yes, it’s funny that he had a pink comforter, I think it was a hand-me-down from his parents or something! 🙂 The other one he has is heavier and does have the duvet cover; but I find that the “dogginess” permeates that and gets into the comforter still. Not to mention, if a wet muddy dog gets on the bed to dry herself, or to wipe her greasy beak after eating dinner or something, it soaks through! 😛 We try to keep the door shut during the day to cut down on that, but of course we often forget, and find a mucky dog sound asleep on the pillows- all damp! 😛

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