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Cleaning a Featherbed

It is important to clean a featherbed properly to avoid damaging it and to prevent odors. This page has advice about how to clean a featherbed.
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Quick Answer

It is generally recommended that you take featherbeds to a dry cleaner for professional cleaning, however, many people do clean them themselves.
  • Make sure there are no holes in your featherbed for feathers to escape.
  • Wash your featherbed in cold water with gentle detergent in a large front loading washing machine or a top loading washing machine without an agitator. Use a gentle cycle.
  • If your home washing machine isn't large enough, your local laundromat should have one of sufficient size.
  • Put your featherbed along with several tennis balls (4 to 6) into a dryer.
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  • Dry on low heat for about 1 1/2 hours or until the featherbed is completely dry.
  • Feathers beds that aren't dried completely may develop bad odors and could result mold growth.
Keep reading for more advice below and let us know what solution worked for you.

Solutions

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August 8, 20170 found this helpful

If you have washed your feather bed topper and it smells like a wet dog, you may need to air it out thoroughly before using it. This is a guide about my feather bed smells like a wet dog.

A white bed spread with white pillows

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Questions

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By 1 found this helpful
March 27, 2005

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

Answers

March 27, 20050 found this helpful

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.

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Good luck!!

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March 27, 20050 found this helpful

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 guest (Guest Post)
March 27, 20050 found this helpful

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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March 27, 20050 found this helpful

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.

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Judy in NY

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March 28, 20050 found this helpful

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 guest (Guest Post)
March 28, 20050 found this helpful

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.

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Good luck.

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March 28, 20050 found this helpful

I use a front loading washer, a little baking soda to the wash with a little detergent. white vinegar to the rinse water...no softner...line dry as much as you can...then fluff in dryer. add clean sneakers or tennis balls to dryer....so 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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March 28, 20050 found this helpful

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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March 29, 20050 found this helpful

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 guest (Guest Post)
March 31, 20050 found this helpful

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 guest (Guest Post)
March 1, 20060 found this helpful

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 guest (Guest Post)
November 1, 20060 found this helpful

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 guest (Guest Post)
January 28, 20070 found this helpful

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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Read More Answers

May 12, 20040 found this helpful

How do you clean featherbeds? Can you wash them in the washing machine like you can a down comforter?

Cindy

Answers

By guest client (Guest Post)
May 12, 20040 found this helpful

If you take them to a laundromat and use the extra large extracting machine it will do the job. I find that clean tennis shoes (4) thrown in as well will fluff up the feathers and it dries in no time.

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By guest client (Guest Post)
May 12, 20040 found this helpful

I recently bought a non-allergenic feather bed from Target on sale. Love it!

It said not to wash it. If you have a stain on the feather bed, dab the spot to clean. I forgot all the details ... just don't wash it!

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By guest client (Guest Post)
May 13, 20040 found this helpful

I had to wash my featherbed recently. While the tag said "dry clean only," I took a risk and "hand" washed it in my bathtub. (That was a sight, let me tell you. Think "Lucy in the grape vat making wine.") If it didn't work, I would've had to buy another anyway. It washed fine, but was very heavy when wet. It was helpful having another person to move it initially. Took forEVER to dry, though. I used the low setting on 35 minutes and took it out and fluffed it between drying sessions (probably about 8 or 9) to evenly distribute the feathers. Worked, though. It's back on my bed, good as new.

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Answer this Question...

September 26, 20040 found this helpful

In an effort to remove urine stains from my featherbed I soaked it in my tub. I hung it outside to dry, then replaced it on the bed. It has a horrible smell. Is there something I can do to remove the smell?

Sharon from PA

Answers

September 26, 20040 found this helpful

Hi,
Get some enzyme pet stain remover like Nature's Miracle or PetZyme and soak it again. You can get it at any pet store. Let it sit in there for at least an hour. No need to rinse it out. Hang the feather bed on the line until it is dry. Hopefully, this should get rid of the smell. If you are unable to go through the whole process again, spray it down with the enzyme mixture. The enzymes eat the bacteria that cause the smell.
- Susan

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 27, 20040 found this helpful

You can also find enzyme stain remover at your local janitor supply store, sometimes cheaper than the pet store.

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January 1, 20070 found this helpful

Where can I take my down featherbed to be professionally cleaned? My child had the flu and vomited on the featherbed and also had a diarrhea accident on it.

Syl from Hayward, CA

Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
January 3, 20070 found this helpful

Most dry cleaners will clean a down comforter, I'm sure it the same for a featherbed. These can be washed too, in a large machine, prferable a front-load without a center agitator. Whenh you dry it, throw a few tennis balls into the dryer with it to fluff the down. I always wash my comforter.

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July 22, 20040 found this helpful

Is it possible to remove mildew from a featherbed or duvet?

- Karla

Answers

July 23, 20040 found this helpful

Hang them on the clothesline in bright sunlight for several hours and it will disappear.

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