Washing a Down Jacket?

We have been gifted a small sized 75% down jacket, for a petite person. I fixed the zipper, and now we have to find a new owner! So, since we now have a nice little down jacket, how can I launder it safely? The label says "dry clean only" but I do not permit dry cleaning chemicals to touch my skin, much less the unsuspecting new owner.


Its shell is rip stop black nylon, and who knows what is the composition of the 75% down inside. How can I launder this jacket and have it come out of the washer and dryer in tip top shape? Thank you all ahead of time!

Jane from Baltimore, Maryland

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January 7, 20090 found this helpful

I have washed down jackets in the washer, on gentle, and then dried it with a number of tennis balls bouncing around in the dryer with it. They help to plump up the feathers again while it's drying!

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January 12, 20090 found this helpful

I did the exact same thing. Wash the down jacket in the washing machine in soapy warm water and then tumble dry with tennis balls.


They fluff the down up again after it gets compressed in the washer. I wash my down pillows this way all the time, too. You don't have to dry clean down.

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January 13, 20090 found this helpful

My very long down coat is 9 years old this winter, but in great shape. However I did not want to spend the money to clean it. I decided to try washing it myself and if it got ruined I wouldn't be too upset since it is so old. I didn't even use tennis balls in the dryer. I could tell by the inside that the quilting was quite close. Where could the feathers go?? It came out just fine and I'll never pay to have it cleaned again.

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January 18, 20090 found this helpful

Oh! I forgot to ask, what is a good soap/detergent to use for the feathers? I really thank you for your feedbacks!

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March 8, 20090 found this helpful

I bought a yellow down jacket from a garage sale (knowing it wouldn't be yellow for long). I figured since I only paid five dollars for it I wouldn't be out that much if it didn't work to wash it in the washing machine. I gave it a try and it came out fabulously. Just make sure to dry it completely in the dryer.


I dried it on a lower setting for longer just because I thought the hottest setting would be too much for it. I didn't even dry it with tennis balls or anything else to fluff it up and it came out nicely fluffed. Now I can wear it without worrying about getting it clean as it probably lasts about two weeks before it needs another good cleaning.

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