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Cleaning and Drying Down Comforters and Feather Beds


I have a down comfortor and a feather bed. The direction says dry clean. I have washed down jackets and vests has anyone had any luck washing comfortors or feather beds.

Jo Anne from NY



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By Rosemary 2 03/27/2005 Flag

I have been washing my down comforters for years. I have one that is 15 years old that I've washed 2 or 3 times a year. I use warm water and just a small amount of liquid detergent. The secret is the drying. You don't want to use too hot a setting on your dryer. My king size comforter usually takes at least 3 times in the dryer because I use a warm setting on the dryer. It's also important to keep taking the comforter out and putting it back in as it tends to bunch up. I take what was on the inside and make it on the outside. You may find some lumps of feathers. You can just rub them out and put it back in the dryer until the whole thing is dry. I've even line dryed mine halfway through and then fluffed it in the dryer later.

Good luck!!

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By Valerie 11 03/27/2005 Flag

Well...I've washed them and dry cleaned them and I admit, they come out nicer after being dry cleaned, but washing them didn't seem to "hurt" them. So go with what you can afford.

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By jenlar1 (Guest Post) 03/27/2005 Flag

I agree with Number @ except I dry Mine on regular heat the important thing is taking it in and out of the dryer to prevent it from bunching together. All also put liquid fabric softner in the washer. Have Fun !!!

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By Judy Molinari 1 03/27/2005 Flag

Hi, I always have washed my down blankets at the laundromat, as they have larger capacity washers. I use the regular cycle and don't use as much soap as you usually would. When drying it is good to add a few clean tennis balls or clean sneakers as it enables the down to be evenly dried and distrubuted.
Judy in NY

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By lahlbrand 11 03/28/2005 Flag

We have a "laundry" not far from me and they wash all feather things...mattresses and down comforters. The charge is by the ounce/pound/whatever they use. I have mine done at least once a year(late spring) so it is fresh when it goes back on the bed in the fall.

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By joesgirl (Guest Post) 03/28/2005 Flag

The 1st thing I do before I wash any of the items is make sure I pick a nice warm sunny day. Then I go to the laundromat that offers large commercial machines. I toss in my comforter & I also wash my down pillows there. Then I go shopping & determine what time I should return according to how long the machine takes. I bring with me a large plastic bag to put the item in & bring it home & hang it on the clothesline. Inexpensive & boy does it smell nice.
Good luck.

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By Dee 3 142 03/28/2005 Flag

I use a front loading washer, a little baking soda to the wash with a little detergent. white vinegar to the rinse softner...line dry as much as you can...then fluff in dryer. add clean sneakers or tennis balls to it doesnt bunch up on you...fold in half..then in half again....dry for 15 minutes and take out and refold, place back in dryer...YOU WANT IT DRY!

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By kidsNclutter 188 03/28/2005 Flag

I would do the front loader washer or commercial laundromat warm but not hot water, Dry in a warm but not hot dryer. Too hot of heat will dry out the feathers making them brittle over time. Ditto for removing the item often & repositioning in the dryer. Run dryer several cycles.

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By Susan K. Beal 3 52 03/29/2005 Flag

I have washed a down comforter in the washing machine, but it isn't the greatest or most effective method. For one thing, most washing machines that aren't heavy duty commercial ones aren't big enough to hold that sort of stuff. Secondly, unless you have a box type down comforter where the down is sewn into separate little boxes, the down is going to concentrate itself in one place, and trying to redistribute it properly is extremely difficult, and my experiences have been far less than successful. I don't know whether laundromats still have dry cleaning machines where you can do your own dry cleaning, but I used to be able to do my dry cleaning myself at one of these places. That was nearly 30 years ago, though. If you only dry clean the thing once a year, the expense isn't that bad. Have them pack it properly for you, too. Your washing machine will undoubtedly be completely unbalanced if you try to wash these things yourself -- especially if they are larger than twin size! You won't get it very clean either, and you might find that because of the bulk and size, it doesn't rinse properly. I wouldn't recommend it at all!

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By Renee (Guest Post) 03/31/2005 Flag

I ahev 2 down comforters that say dy clean only and i have put them in the washing machine on gentle cycle and then in the dryer on low heat and they came out just fine!!

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By couldbeworse (Guest Post) 03/01/2006 Flag

ive been camping on a regular basis (more than once a month) for 17 years now, and ive found out a lot of useful things about anything with down feathers in them (such as sleeping bags). its said that it takes at least 120 years for the feathers to completely dry out, no matter how many times you send your blanket through the dryer. most of the time, after several years, the blanket starts to create mold from the inside out (from lack to dry all the feathers properly). if it were my blanket, i wouldnt risk it because i have allergies to mold. i know its more expensive, but for me at least, ill still be cleaning my sleeping bags through the dry cleaners.

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By Mrs. Jane Orne (Guest Post) 11/01/2006 Flag

Thank u all so much for youre wise words of wisdom on cleaning a featherbed, one i might add that not only my 13 year old son sleeps on but also his dog, not the best smelling featherbed.

I am going to go the Dry Claning route, thanks.

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By Andrea (Guest Post) 01/28/2007 Flag

I live in a small town with no dry cleaner so I have to wash it myself. I use a gentle detergent that is made for down. I put a few tennis balls in the washer and dryer. It breaks up the clumps and helps the down to dry faster.

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By Mitzy (Guest Post) 06/02/2007 Flag

How often should you wash your feather bed? Should this been down as often as you change your sheets?

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By fallon (Guest Post) 06/10/2007 Flag

I sleep on an air bed which is on the floor i also have a feather bed topper on it that i sleep on top of. i went to clean my sheets an i moved the feather bed and found mold or mildew........what should i do to clean it or prevent it from happening again? thank you so much.

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By robertmgood1 1 04/15/2013 Flag

You can wash all of them. Make sure there are no holes or you will be sorry. Wash in cold water with light detergent on a very gental cycle. Dry on low heat for about 1.5 hours. It says to dryclean only because you bought a cheaper comforter with a water soluable sizing to keep the feathers from popping out. I'm in management for a drycleaner. Trust me.

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