How to Wash A Down Jacket

29 responses

  1. Lynn
    November 22, 2007

    You’ll ruin it! If you get something on it, wipe it off with a damp cloth. If you can’t get it off, take the jacket to the cleaners and let them clean it right.

    Reply

  2. Lynn
    November 22, 2007

    You can wash a down jacket at home. Do it on cold water gentle and then dry on fluff or very low heat, the way you’d dry a sweater. You can dry if flat if you need to, but putting it in the dryer will fluff up the down.

    Reply

  3. Lynn
    November 22, 2007

    You can get a home dry-cleaning kit that works in your dryer. It smells funny, but it works.

    Reply

  4. Lynn
    November 22, 2007

    I heard that you were only supposed to machine wash down-filled clothing in a front loading washer. Something about the post in the center of a top loader beating the down pockets up too much.

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  5. Lynn
    November 22, 2007

    They make special detergent just for things that have down in them. My mom always did it right in the regular washer.

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  6. Rebekah
    September 24, 2008

    Well, I washed my down jacket and all the feathers are stuffed into the corners; it looks like it is RUINED. Is there any way to fix this total mistake???

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  7. Erin
    December 3, 2008

    My jacket came with instructions to wash. They say tumble dry several times on medium heat with 6 tennis balls and the down will fluff up again. I have not tried it yet.

    Reply

  8. Rachel
    February 9, 2009

    Drying with tennis balls is what I do. It will fluff it right back up!

    Reply

  9. Ann
    January 1, 2012

    I can only find colored tennis balls. Won’t this stain the fabric of my down jacket? It’s a light gray. I can’t find any white ones unless I bleach out the colored ones.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply

    • Melanie
      April 27, 2013

      Ann,
      I often put three yellow tennis balls in the dryer with my beige down jacket or white down comforter and have never had a problem. I had never considered that they could transfer dye (good call); maybe I got lucky and bought tennis balls that don’t bleed easily. Try tossing the tennis balls in with a couple of old towels first to see if any dye transfers. My three tennis balls are for laundry use only, and after about a dozen dryer cycles, they are still bright yellow.
      Another idea is to treat the tennis balls with a dye fixative, such as RIT (available at Walmart).
      White tennis balls are available online from MyGrannary, as well as from Home of Poi. I found both via Google Shopping.

      Reply

  10. Billy Bob Joe
    March 18, 2012

    I think you just take it to the dry cleaners; my instructions are in Korean.

    Reply

  11. Joyce
    October 16, 2012

    Mine washed beautifully. I used a delicate detergent, on a small load, dried in dryer with two yellow tennis balls (no color rubbed off). My machines happen to be front loaders, though.

    Reply

  12. Jacintha
    December 9, 2012

    My jacket from Zara went totally flat. I put it in the dryer but it’s still flat. Its like there’s no feathers left at all. Dont know what to do?

    Reply

  13. Helen
    January 20, 2013

    The tag on my white down coat say that I can’t use bleach on it. I washed it once, following the instruction. Now, my coat has yellow lines by the seams. Any ideas how to get rid off those yellow lines? Thanks.

    Reply

    • Melanie
      February 5, 2013

      Helen,
      Look at the tag to find out what fabric the coat is made with and then research the best way to whiten that material.
      For example, my down coat is 100% Polyester. So, I would first try to whiten the yellow with diluted lemon juice. In your case, I would probably use a Q-tip to apply the diluted lemon juice just along the seams, then let the coat dry in the sun and repeat the process until the seams are restored. The same process is recommended for Nylon.
      I would also recommend that you read the ingredient list for your current laundry detergent – it may be that your detergent contains chlorine and that is the cause of the yellowing. Try switching to a different laundry detergent, and you could try using a stain-removing laundry detergent to whiten the yellowed seams as well.
      Source: Mama’s Laundry Talk – Have Your White Clothes Turned Yellow
      Source: HowToCleanStuff.net – How to Whiten Yellowed Nylon

      Reply

  14. Carl
    February 1, 2013

    Modern washers have a “hand wash” cycle. I found that this works great on my best down equipment. I used regular detergent and it worked well. After the wash, I take them out of the front load washer and just hang them near my air-tight wood stove. After they have dried, I put them back in my dryer with zero heat and let them tumble. This spreads out any down that was clumped. I did this procedure about five times now for my best down-filled clothing and I had zero problems every time!

    Reply

  15. Emma
    January 19, 2014

    My one says wash at thirty, but do not tumble dry and do not dry clean? So, how am I meant to dry it?

    Reply

    • Melanie
      January 20, 2014

      Emma,
      You can hang the jacket to air dry, or lay it flat to dry.

      Reply

  16. Ruth
    March 21, 2014

    I’ve washed my North Face jacket several times, with no problems. Just use mild detergent on a wool cycle. I havn’t got a tumble dryer so I just put a bit of effort into refluffing it by pulling apart the clumped down while it dries, giving it a good shake, etc.; it’s fine! The jacket is five years old now and hasn’t lost any of its volume or warmth, and big bonus, it doesn’t smell!

    Reply

  17. Philippa
    April 28, 2014

    HELP. I have a lovely Macpac feather jacket. I have been in Rarotonga for 4 months and took it with me to have when going back to NZ in the winter!
    It has been hanging up with plenty of air, but is covered in mold!!!!!! : (
    I don’t have a front loader washing machine or a dryer…… can I hand wash it in mild eco wash? Would appreciate any help. : )

    Reply

  18. Laura
    May 4, 2014

    I’ve washed my down jacket as instructed on the care label and dried with tennis balls on the lowest setting. I followed everything exactly and even researched a bit before doing so as I was a bit apprehensive. So why has the color run onto the inside lining of my jacket? I can’t get it out and now it’s ruined!!

    Reply

  19. Chloe
    November 30, 2014

    I washed my boyfriend’s puffy North Face jacket in the washing machine, took it out and all the features inside were all stuck together and flattened. How do I get it back to normal??

    Reply

  20. Rosemary
    January 19, 2015

    I accidently got Windex (window cleaner) on my brand new navy down jacket. The jacket now has brown stains on it. Is there anything I can do to get these stains out?
    Tks.

    Reply

  21. Sandra
    January 28, 2015

    If you aren’t sure about the tennis balls transferring their colour in the dryer, then put them inside some white cotton socks.

    Reply

  22. Carol
    February 16, 2015

    Sometimes you have to pick the wads of feathers apart every so often in the drying cycle to keep them from globbing. What I want to know is – does anyone know how to keep down clothes from floating to the top in a top-load machine??

    Reply

  23. Amanda
    December 10, 2015

    I would like an answer to the floating jacket in a top loader as well!! I washed twice and rinsed/spin cycled twice and it still floated every time.

    Reply

    • Melanie
      December 13, 2015

      Amanda,
      The only thing I can think to do for a front loader would be to put something in the jacket to weigh it down. A small pillow might work, or even just some towels, both of which would get heavy once soaked with water. A thick car wash sponge also might work; those get very heavy when wet. If not, you could try something like the rubber dryer balls or anything else that is heavy, unbreakable, and can be washed in hot water – maybe a couple pairs of Crocks shoes?

      Reply

  24. GG
    January 4, 2016

    Washed my Obermeyer expensive ski jacket because it said to wash cold and use gentle detergent. It went flat and has never been the same and it’s not as warm. I am so sad; I loved this jacket.

    Reply

  25. Jean
    January 7, 2016

    I have a white Patagonia down parka, which after one winter was dingy gray and had lots of dark stains (I live in Chicago). I washed it twice with detergent and hot water, dried with yellow tennis balls, and while I never had problems with the down, it never got clean. I found advice online that suggested dish soap, so I scrubbed the parka with diluted Dawn and a scrub brush, all over (took about a half hour) then put it in a commercial, top load machine with laundry detergent on hot cycle, then again to the dryer, normal cycle, with three yellow tennis balls…and it came out looking almost new, fluffy, and smelling great. If you have the time I HIGHLY recommend this method.

    Reply

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