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Getting Rid of Odors on Down Comforter

Last winter I bought a king size down comforter, it is dry clean only. When I took it out (I stored it in the duvet cover in a plastic bag that a blanket comes in) it smelled like maybe feathers. I didn't like the way it smelled. My sister said I could wash it at the laundromat. I took it there and washed it in a large machine.


I dried it there also for maybe an hour and a half. Now it smells different and even worse. It smelled up my whole house. This was last night, I put it in my dryer for another hour, but it still smells and so does my dryer. What can I do? Is it ruined?

Laura from Staten Island, NY

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November 28, 20080 found this helpful

No, I don't believe you ruined it. I advise that you have it professionally dry cleaned. Let them know that the comforter has an odor, and ask if they can remove it.

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November 30, 20080 found this helpful

When you dried it, did you put a shoe in with it? This is necessary to unclump the feathers and spread them around evenly. If there are clumps of wet feathers still gathered together, the odor will remain. I had a down coat, and it was machine washable and with a shoe in the drier it fluffed back up nicely with on odor.


Good luck,

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November 30, 20080 found this helpful

Everything with feathers takes much longer to dry than you think. Wet feathers smell pretty bad. I suggest you keep drying it with tennis balls or a clean sneaker to fluff up the feathers so they will not clump together. Maybe add some dryer sheets as well for a better scent. Before taking the comforter out, "pinch" deep into the feathers. Do they still feel moist or cold? If so, keep drying it!

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By Nancycorinne (Guest Post)
December 2, 20080 found this helpful

I agree that the feathers probably did not fully dry. I suggest you re-wash it and plan on putting it through several dryer cycles. Instead of sitting at the laundromat, maybe a friend would let you use their dryer in exchange for some light housekeeping.

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July 23, 20090 found this helpful

The down comforter I bought came with that animal smell. The ad description said the down was cleaned and treated to be hypo allergenic. I wonder if treated down would smell this bad.


I am very close to returning this. I know how to launder down, but I'm not sure it is ok for this one to smell so bad.

When aggressively washing down comforter like I've read on some sites, trying to get rid of the odor, be careful not to wash away the coating on the down which is part of its warmth-making. I don't see how adding vinegar etc. could be a safe thing to do, only a woolite type product and cold water and cool drying for a long time, followed by airing out and feeling for clumps as a previous poster said. Don't let there be clumps!

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October 20, 20150 found this helpful

I have always just set them out in the sun to air out. This works especially well if you have cedar trees!

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