How often should I wash my down jacket?
It depends how much you wear it and what you’re doing in it. The average lifestyle wearer/commuter/weekend warrior probably ought to think about washing it once or twice a year. Someone who wears only a down jacket throughout a season in it might consider a few times the season. It also depends on the jacket construction. You should always to the care labels on down garments. Excessive washing can cause wear and tear and stress seams.
Down jackets can start to compress and get clumpy after repeated stuffings in packs, bags, etc., but a quick tumble in a dryer on low heat can fluff all that down back up. If they get wet and start to smell—an odor that is unmistakable—it’s definitely time to wash it. Follow care labels.
• Soak your down jacket for up to 60 minutes. Again, go for a down-specific detergent.
• Rinse by lightly squeezing out excess water (don’t wring it!) and follow the drying steps below.
If the care instructions allow machine wash or dry cleaning.
• Machine-wash your down jacket on a gentle cycle at 30 degrees °C. If it’s available, select the ‘extra rinse’ option. Use a down-specific soap or detergent.
• Skip the spin cycle. It’s better for your jacket to drip dry and/or use a tumble dryer.
• Once the wash is complete, carefully remove your jacket — it’ll be heavy — and lay flat to dry on a clothing rack. As you do this, gently fluff up the down.
• It’ll take around 24–48 hours to drip dry depending on the weather conditions. As it dries, keep giving it the occasional fluff, particularly around any wet clumps of down.
• When the jacket is almost dry, put it in the tumble drier on a low heat and check it regularly. To maximize the loft of your down jacket, throw in two to three tennis balls. This will really help fluff up your down jacket.
• It will save you a massive amount of time and worry. Machine-washing down jackets at home is a time consuming and tedious process, o and the fur cleaning process another risk in itself. The main reason we recommend having your down jacket or parka professionally dry cleaned is to ensure that your investment is well protected and secure. Bringing your jacket to a reputable cleaner with a gentle, yet thorough cleaning process will give you the peace of mind of knowing that your jacket is in safe hands.
Things to avoid:
Down is a tough performer against the cold, but when wet, needs a little extra attention from you. To ensure you don’t damage your jacket, here’s what you should avoid:
• Fabric softener. Stick to a down-specific detergent for the best results.
• A dry clean. The solvents they use in the dry cleaning process can damage your jacket.
• A top loader with an agitator. It’s a rougher wash, and your jacket deserves a gentle hand.
• The spin cycle. Down is heavy when it’s wet, so err on the side of caution to avoid damage.
• Wringing. Don’t wring your jacket, no matter how heavy it is. If you must, gently shake any excess water off while supporting the weight of the jacket.
• Use or storage of your down jacket while it’s wet. Otherwise you’ll both be wet and smelly.