What temperature should the water be for cleaning a down comforter?
By Teresa from CA
Use cold water, good luck.
You really shouldn't wash a down comforter. You should take it to the cleaners.
I have had great luck washing down over the years..comforters, parkas etc. I wash in warm water and tumble dry low. It takes several times thru the dryer for all the down to "unclump" and actually dry and fluff up again. It will look like new.
Wash your down comforter like any other comforter except I do mine on the gentle setting. Remember to add a package of clean tennis balls to the dryer when drying--this will beat the clumps up and give you a nice loft after your comforter is done. It works great:)
My sister gave me a duvet when she came over from England. I take it to the laundromat were they have the big washers and I wash it in cold water with Tide and plenty of Downy. I have had no problems with it. It comes out nice and soft and I have had it for over 10 years now.
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What should the water temp be?
Look along all four sides of the comforter to see if there is a label with laundry instructions. Look closely because on a down comforter sometimes the label 'sinks' into the seam and is hard to find.
The most important thing in washing a down comforter is to be sure there are no holes, rips, tears in the cover to let feathers out of the bag (sorry, couldn't resist) during washing (and drying) - nothing worse than even so little as a handful of wet feathers in the washer. The weave of the fibres on the cover should be close and tight, too, to prevent the quill ends from poking through.
If no label can be found you need to decide what the cover is made of-if it's a non-natural fibre like acrylic or polyester you'll need to wash it on a 'synthetic' cycle, or set the washer control for 'permanent press' to be sure the washing water is at a lower temp and agitation action set for less vigourous action.
If it feels like cotton, throw it in the machine at the hottest temp and agitation cycle you've got. That's the sure way to really get any bedding really clean and sanitized. Don't worry, the cotton can take it, and so can the feathers.
Which ever cycle you use to wash, be advised the comforter will look 'dead' when you take it out. All of the wet feathers will be clumped at one end of each individual channel, and you will think you've 'killed' your hideously expensive comforter. Don't worry, you haven't.
To dry, you're going to be best off using a tumble dryer. Toss a new tennis ball in with the comforter and set the dryer on a long cycle. The ball will ensure 'fluffing' during the drying cycle, the long time will ensure complete drying of all the clumped feathers. You may want to stop the dryer after a half hour-45 minutes to shake the comforter vigourously (helps distribute the feathers) and then restart the drying.
It you have to air dry it, be prepared to wait days for the feathers to fully dry. Shake it several times during the drying process to ensure feathers are broken free of the clumps-this should speed the drying a little.