Down jackets (puffer jackets) are very popular during the autumn and winter season of the year. Many of us enjoy wearing them, but what to do when the down jacket gets dirty? How to wash down jacket so that she keeps her original shape and stays warm?
Down jackets are filled with under feathers of duck or geese (or a combination of those two), and therefore are very warm and comfortable for wearing. Down is fluffy and it’s a great heat insulator. It creates thousands of small air pockets that trap warm air and keep you warm during the cold winter season.
There is a measure of down fill – more down in the jacket, it will have better heat retaining properties. Down fill is also an indicator of quality – higher the number, down jacket will be more quality. Numbers are going between 400 and 900 and most of the jackets will be between 500 and 800, which is very good or great on the down fill scale.
And now that we know what this type of jacket is, let’s see how to wash down jacket without ruining it.
First, brush all the dirt or mud from the jacket, using a soft brush. Close the zip on the jacket and turn it inside out. Before you put the jacket into the washing machine clean detergent and fabric softener compartments of any leftovers, so that your jacket, once washed, doesn’t smell stale or has white stripes. Detergent compartments are easy to clean with warm water.
Set the washing machine to cold or delicate wash. If you can find it, use a special detergent that is designed for down. Regular detergents can damage feathers and leave stripes on the jacket.
When your jacket is washed, dry it in a tumble dry at low heat – it will take a bit more time, but don’t turn it on a high heat program. Use dryer balls while drying down jacket, so that the feathers can fluff and don’t end up clumping. Down jackets should never be air-dried because of this reason – feathers could clump down and the jacket will be unusable.
Can I wash a down jacket in the washing machine?
Yes, the down jacket can be washed in the washing machine – it’s almost impossible to wash manually, but don’t use any kind of bleach or fabric softener on down jackets. Also, never use a high-temperature program, since feathers are really fragile. Set washing machine at low temperature or delicate (wool and silk) program. That way feathers won’t clump – and that would cause a jacket to lose its heat performance.
Is it bad to wash a down jacket?
Most people are afraid to wash a down jacket since they think that washing will ruin the material and the filling. Down jackets get dirty like any other clothes and therefore they need to be washed. The down jacket won’t end up ruined if you follow our washing instructions. Use special detergent, low temperature, and dry it in the tumble dry. In the same way, you can wash a down sleeping bag. Still, if you’re not sure about washing just take your down jacket to the dry cleaner.