M.G. asks from Minneapolis, MN on April 15, 2009
Cleaning a White Goose down Comforter
Has anyone successfully washed a white goose down comforter in their own home washer? I have an old down comforter that I’d like to wash but I hate the idea of having to dry clean/professionally launder it. I have a front-loading washer (so no agitator) that it will fit in but I’m concerned about potential damage to the machine…?
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thank you for all your thoughtful responses! I was successful in washing the goose down comforter in my home washing machine; it came out even better than I had anticipated! I was glad a few of you had mentioned to expect the foul odor because there certainly was a yucky smell until things dried out. It did take ages and ages to completely dry in the dryer, but the tennis balls definitely helped fluff things up.
J.C. answers from Minneapolis on April 17, 2009
I have washed all of my down items, I have 4 nice pillows and two down comforters and the only suggestion I have is that sometimes the feathers ball up and stay wet forever when you are drying them. I use two tennis balls in the dryer cycle to break up the wet feathers and it makes them dry faster and come out all fluffy.
N.R. answers from Des Moines on April 16, 2009
I've had success with washing feather pillows in my top loading washer but here are a few problems I ran into with pillows. To balance the load wash 2 pillows at the same time as they get very heavy when wet. If the fabric is fairly old, the stress & weight of the wet feathers may cause a tear and you could end up with a machine full of loose feathers (this happened to me once). The feathers will be smelly until they are COMPLETELY dry which may take a LONG time in the dryer. As the feathers dry & get fluffy, the outer surface may feel dry but the inner feathers will still be wet. The dryer the feathers get the more the smell goes away. When the pillows are nearly dry I put them on the deck to dry in the sun. That seems to really freshen them up and eliminates the wet feather smell. I would think that some of these same principles would apply to a comforter.
1 mom found this helpful
M.H. answers from Rapid City on April 16, 2009
My advice is, take it to a laundromat and use one of their extra large frontloading machines. I have an extra-large king-size down comforter, and also a super-capacity toploading machine, and I know that even if the comforter would fit, it wouldn't have room to get clean in there.
C.D. answers from Omaha on April 16, 2009
Goose down should be professional cleaned. Home washing down feathers MAY cause damage to the feathers themselves and MAY cause mold and mildew to develope on the inside where you can't see it. In addition washing them in the machine will break the feathers themselves causing flatness in the comforter therefore you may have feathers poking out everywhere.
K.L. answers from Madison on April 16, 2009
I've always washed my down at home with no problem in my front loader. I tend to use low heat when drying which does take a while. I concur with the tennis balls in the dryer :)
V.R. answers from Green Bay on April 16, 2009
I do it all the time and my comforter is perfectly fine! my machine is fine as well, I never had any feathers anywhere or damaget to the comforter or the machine.
T.N. answers from Minneapolis on April 16, 2009
M., I have a top loader and have washed mine many times. I do have to stay nearby in case it gets unbalanced during the spin cycle, though. Then I just run down and redistribute it. I also throw it in the dryer for 15 minutes - just so it isn't soaked and can fluff a little, before I hang dry it the rest of the way. Works beautifully.
S.R. answers from Wausau on April 16, 2009
I used to work at Lands' End and have a couple of goose down comforters from them. From time to time I have had to wash them but I have a top loader not a front loader. In my laundry cabinet I keep 3 clean golf balls just used for this purpose - use them also when washing winter coats with down in them. I just place the golf balls in with the comforter and then in the dryer as well - the balls are very noisy but work well to prevent clumping. People use tennis balls and old clean gym shoes as well.
T.V. answers from Lincoln on April 16, 2009
I washed one in my washer. The tag said dry clean only, but the last time I had it done the spots didn't come out. I fugured it was already ruined, so I put it in the washer with a little bit of bleach. It turned out fine. It was cleaner than when I had it dry cleaned, there wasn't a spot on it.