How do you freshen feather pillows? I wash my children's pillows in the washing machine, but I can't do that with feather pillows.
Jen from Central Florida
Most sporting goods stores have down soap made specifically for washing sleeping bags and down filled clothes. It works just fine for down pillows, too. It is a mild antiseptic soap that does not remove the natural oils from the feathers. If you use regular detergents, the down becomes brittle.
Dry at low heat with small balls or kid's sneakers in cloth baggies. Ideal are the royal blue velvet baggies with a gold draw string, that Crown Royal Whiskey bottles come in. It is popular with fishermen, but you can easily make one with some left-over velvet. The feather bag for real goose down is usually a very thin but super tight duck weave, not a rip-stop weave, and is often quite fragile. Velvet does not hurt even the thinnest inner bags.
For sleeping bags or duvets it is best if you go to a big laundromat and use the biggest machine that they have. I spent a few winters in tents in the arctic, sleeping well in cozy down sleeping bags, and I learned to never allow harsh dry cleaning liquid or regular detergent to ruin good down. At -55 in an unheated tent you can sure tell the difference quickly!
Have FUN! DearWebby (03/07/2009)
Have you tried using the washer/dryer? I washed/dried my feather down comforter. My dog had slept on it, and it smelled enough that I was willing to risk it. When I took it out of the the cold wash; something looked wrong. I figured: I am already knee deep, I will just finish the job. I put it in the dryer, low heat. I untwisted it a few times in between the drying. When the dryer stopped It was like new! I laid it flat on the bed right away. Bright white, fluffy down comforter.
If your pillow is older and you are worried about fabric ripping: put 2 extra pillowcases on it, going against each other. (03/07/2009)
I have been washing down items in the washer for 20 years and nothing happens to them. I pretty much do the same as other viewers replied; that is wash in the washer and dry in the dryer with tennis balls or clean shoes. Make sure you dry completely or the feathers will bunch together, rot, and smell. There is no way to get rid of that. (03/08/2009)
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