Caring For and Cleaning Your Down Comforters and Pillows
- Keep your down comforters and pillow dry (except when washing of course, which we'll talk about further on). Down is a natural product and will mildew if left wet, which can smell really bad. If left wet long enough down, like any natural product, will rot.
- Protect your down comforter with a duvet cover, your down pillows with a pillow protector. These coverings will protect your bedding from fabric yellowing caused by perspiration and body oils, wear and tear, dirt and stains. It's a good idea to wash your pillow protectors at least weekly in hot water. It's only necessary to wash your duvet cover as needed.
- If you use a duvet cover, you may rarely, if ever, have to wash or dry clean your down comforter. It's good to wash your comforter just once every 3 or 4 years or so if needed. Pillows once a year. Washing more frequently will remove the natural oils from the down, causing it to loose it's natural insulating ability.
- When it's time to launder your down bedding you should always follow your manufacturers recommendations, or you can send it to a professional cleaner who will launder your down comforter in water with gentle cleaning solutions. This is a preferred method, as dry cleaning leaves a chemical odor. If you do have an experienced cleaner locally we can recommend Blanc Plume.
If you do wash your down comforters and pillows yourself:
- Before washing make sure that the fabric is not too old or deteriorated from body oils, or weakened from age.
- Use a front loading washer, like those found in commercial laundromats. Using a top loading agitator style washer can cause damage to your bedding. Regular laundry detergent is fine, or you can use soaps specifically designed for down bedding. Do not use dish soaps or detergents designed to remove grease or oils.
- After washing, while the down comforters or pillows are wet, you may notice a pungent odor. This is natural with all down products, and will disappear when the bedding is completely dry.
- When putting your bedding in the dryer, make certain that there is enough room for the items to move freely in the dryer. This will help prevent "hot spots" on the fabric, and possible burning. Your should also check your items frequently, every 20 minutes or so, during the drying process to avoid overheating. Be certain to dry your items completely so they don't mildew. It will take about 3 hours to dry 2 pillows, longer for a down comforter, using a large commercial dryer on medium heat.
- When storing your down comforter, make sure it is kept dry. Keep it in it's cover, or wrap it in a cotton sheet. It should be able to breath, so don't wrap it in plastic.
These guidelines are intended for general use only, and may not apply to your comforter or pillows. Always refer to the care instructions that came with your down bedding.