How to Clean a Down Comforter: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Clean a Down Comforter: A Comprehensive Guide

A down comforter can add a soft, cozy addition to any bedroom’s comfort and style. In addition to being a timeless piece of your bedding set, down comforters and duvets are easy to clean at home. However, you will need to take a few steps to ensure your down comforter is properly cleaned and maintained.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover all the details on how to clean a down comforter. We’ll discuss what type of washing machine is needed, whether you should dry clean a down comforter, how to dry it, and proper storage methods. Here are our top tips for caring for your down comforters and duvets.

Woman laying on bed with down duvet and pillows


Preparing to Clean a Down Comforter

Check the Tags

Before tossing your down comforter into the wash, there are a few steps to take. First, read the care label. Your comforter might have specific instructions you need to follow. Don’t ignore any restrictions, as this could lead to damaging your down comforter.

Check for Damage

Once you’ve checked the tag, give your comforter a thorough once-over. Look for any holes, and repair these worn-down areas with small, fine stitches. Otherwise, you could lose a lot of down stuffing while cleaning your comforter.

Pre-Treat Stains

Finally, pre-treat any tough stains. Wet the area with water, apply the stain remover, and pat it with a clean white rag. Let it sit for about 20 or 30 minutes. For stubborn stains, rub the fabric gently together or softly scrub with a brush. Repeat if needed. Then, start the washing process.



Washing a Down Comforter

Consider Your Washing Machine Style & Size

Front-loading washing machines without agitators work best for cleaning a down comforter. King and queen comforters need washing machines with an extra-large capacity, while twin-size comforters tend to be okay in a full-capacity machine. Take your comforter to the local laundromat if you don’t have a suitable washing machine at home.

Put the Comforter in the Wash

Load the comforter into the washing machine on its own, checking that it’s not crumpled up or folded over.

Add Detergent

When washing a down comforter, use gentle laundry detergent. There are specialty detergents specifically for down comforters, too. Pour half of the recommended amount, as this will help keep your comforter from stiffening up from too much soap.

You’ll also want to avoid using fabric softener, which can coat down fibers, causing them to clump and flatten, ultimately reducing their insulating properties.

Select the Cycle

Choose the gentle or delicate cycle and opt for warm water. Selecting hot or cold water can be too harsh on down fibers. Adding an extra or extended rinse cycle is also a good idea to ensure all the soap has been washed off. Like fabric softener, soap residue can cause the down to lose its fluff.

Drying a Down Comforter

When putting a down comforter in the dryer, place it inside as evenly as possible. Add a couple wool dryer balls to help keep the down from clumping together.

Set the heat to the lowest setting and expect the drying process to take at least three hours. Stop the dryer every 30 minutes, remove the comforter, and gently fluff it to distribute the down evenly. Make sure the comforter isn't getting too hot, as too much heat can scorch the down fibers.

You can hang the down comforter on the line outside to finish drying in the sun if you'd like. Ensure the comforter dries thoroughly so it doesn't clump together and develop an odor or mildew.

Down duvet insert and pillow on chair

Alternative Cleaning Methods

Dry cleaning a down comforter is only necessary if specified in the care instructions. However, you may want to have the comforter professionally cleaned if it's made with fine fabrics or a delicate weave.

If you don't have a big enough front-loading washing machine at home, you can either handwash it or take it to the dry cleaner to be professionally washed in a commercial-sized washing machine.

From time to time, you may also need to spot-clean your down comforter to keep it fresh between washes. To treat a stain, follow the steps listed above.

Caring for Your Down Comforter

Add a cover to your comforter or duvet to protect it from dirt, oil, and stains and keep it fresh between washes. A flat sheet can also add an extra layer between you and your down comforter, protecting against dirt and body oil.

To keep your down comforter nice and plump, shake and fluff it while making your bed every morning. You can also hang it outside occasionally to let the sunshine and air keep the comforter's scent fresh.

When not in use, store your comforter in a well-ventilated place. It must be clean and entirely dry before it's put away. Avoid using compression bags as this can ruin the down. Instead, opt for a breathable laundry bag.


When all is said and done, a down comforter is luxury bedding that’s relatively easy to clean and extremely comfortable. With the proper care and maintenance, you can expect to enjoy your down comforter for many years to come.

At Peacock Alley, we have luxury down bedding in all the right styles. Our high-end comforters are filled with the finest European goose down that offers year-round warmth. For those who want the very best in quality linens, our bedding ensembles offer the highest quality down to bring you a premium sleeping experience.

How to Clean a Down Comforter: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often should a down comforter be cleaned?

A: Down comforters should be washed every couple of years. To keep your comforter feeling fresh, shake and fluff it every day while making your bed, hang it out on the line occasionally in the sunshine, and consider topping it with a duvet cover for added protection between washes.

Q: Can a down comforter be ironed?

A: Avoid ironing your down comforter, as too much heat can damage the down feathers. Instead, add a bit of moisture to your comforter and toss it into the dryer on low heat with some dryer balls.

Q. How should you handle a down comforter with a tear or hole?

A: If your down comforter has a hole or tear, stitch it up with matching thread before cleaning it in the washing machine.

Q: Can a down comforter be washed in a front-loading washing machine?

A: Yes. Large front-loading washing machines are ideal for down comforters and duvets since they’re big and bulky.

Q: What types of detergent should be avoided when washing a down comforter?

A: Avoid washing your down comforter with fabric softeners, as they can ruin the down fiber and loft.

Back to blog