How to wash and take care of down jackets

The unique properties of down means special care needs to be taken when washing

To help maintain maximum loft and increase the lifespan of your down jacket is it important to wash periodically (no more than twice a year). The unique properties of down means special care needs to be taken when washing. These washing instructions are for machine wash.

1. Do up Zips

Before washing your down jacket brush off any loose mud or dirt. Do up any zips or velcro and close any flaps. If possible turn the jacket inside out.

2. Use a Front loading Machine

It is best to wash your down jacket with a cleaner specifically designed for down or technical outerwear. Household detergents and softeners can damage the down and feathers and also strip the fabric of its water-resistant coating (if applicable).

Do not wash your jacket in a top-loading washing machine; the center agitator could damage your jacket. If you do not have a front-loading washing machine at home wash at a laundrette with a front-loading machine.

3. Clean Out the Drawer

Make sure the detergent compartment of your washing machine is clean of any detergent or softener (for the reasons described above). You may wish to run your washing machine on a hot wash with nothing in it to clear any residues from detergent or softeners.

4. Use a Gentle Washing Program

Set the washing machine to a cold wash on a delicate or wool cycle (or the equivalent gentle setting).

5. Use Detergent Properly

Pour the appropriate amount of cleaner into the detergent compartment. Set the machine to rinse a few times on the slowest/longest spin cycle to ensure no cleaner residues are left in the down.

6. Don’t Air Dry – Tumble Dry

A down jacket should not be air-dried. Not only will air drying take a very long time there is more risk of the feathers clumping together and the jacket starting to smell (it takes a while to dry). Down jackets should be tumble dried at a low heat.

Do not be tempted set the drier to a high heat as you risk melting the seams and outer shell fabric. Remember to always check the label of your garment for exact care details.

7. Use Tennis Balls for Extra Fluff

Adding tennis balls or similar into the drier stops the feathers from clumping together and helps to re ‘fluff’ the down.  To prevent clumps of down forming you can remove the jacket every now and then from the drier (hold the jacket flat and not at one end) and fluff.  Ensure the jacket is 100% dry. Remember to use same colour object to avoid discolouring the jacket.

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