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November 26, 2021

A popular wardrobe staple for those that love spending time outdoors is a down jacket or coat. Perfect for resisting the elements and staying warm with cozy feather insulation, down jackets and coats are a wonderful option for those who enjoy charting their adventures outdoors. While down jackets and coats are a fantastic cold-weather option, the task of cleaning down garments can be a tad more complicated. Often designed to keep water out as much as possible, these jackets can trap sweat within and get dirty quite easily with enough use. This is why learning how to clean a down jacket is a necessary step to embracing these garments within a winter wardrobe.

In this article, we’ll explore how to clean a down jacket with helpful steps for success. From using the appropriate supplies to drying the garment correctly, correctly cleaning a down jacket ensures that the garment’s lifespan is extended and valuable outer gear can be cherished for ages.

Before Cleaning a Down Jacket

Figuring out how to clean a down jacket is simple as long as you properly prepare for the task. The fluffy down feathers within a jacket’s lining are perfect for staying warm, but require specific washing accommodations and preparation to be sufficiently cleaned. By gathering the appropriate materials and ensuring the down jacket is ready for cleaning, you can easily wash a down jacket to feel fresh and new. To properly prepare a down jacket to be cleaned, one must:

Remove Items from Down Jacket

No one likes opening up a washer to find that they’ve lost a $10 bill or receipt paper has shredded all over their belongings. Before cleaning a down jacket, make sure that all items are removed from the pockets. Down jackets tend to have many pockets within the lining as well, so make sure to check inside and out for good measure. If you have a heated jacket or coat, make sure to remove any batteries and connecting cables from the garment before getting it wet.

Gather Appropriate Supplies

Washing a down jacket needs a few unique materials that might not be required when washing jeans or basic items. Collect these supplies beforehand to avoid unnecessary waiting and to ensure the cleaning process is streamlined. Make sure that your laundry room is stocked with:

  • Gentle Laundry Detergent: While there are detergents created for specifically down garments, gentle detergent is just as effective and more commonly on-hand. Gentle laundry detergent is the best bet for cleaning down apparel. The many natural oils within a down jacket’s feathers keep jackets fluffy, and harsher detergents can strip these down and leave unwanted lingering odors after cleaning.
  • 4-5 Tennis Balls: When down material becomes wet it instantly bonds together, which makes the drying process for down garments a tad more involved. To fluff up the inner feathers, adding 4-5 tennis balls to the dryer can help move the jacket around appropriately during the drying cycle.

How to Clean a Down Jacket

Now that the down jacket has been properly prepared and the appropriate materials have been gathered, it’s time to wash and dry a down jacket to revitalize the garment. By following these helpful tips for cleaning a down jacket or coat, your down garments will be on their way to feeling brand new in no time.

1. Secure the Right Washer

For washing down jackets and coats, it’s suggested to use a front-facing washer rather than a top-down machine. Top-down machines have a tendency to tug and pull at garments, which can be bad news for the delicate nature of down garments as you don’t want feathers to be ripped during the washing cycle. If your laundry room doesn’t have a front-facing machine, consider heading to a laundromat for the task.

2. Spot Clean and Wash on a Gentle Setting

Before placing a down jacket into the washer, make sure to check for any brand-specific cleaning requirements. In the meantime, tackle any especially dirty areas with a gentle detergent to spot clean the coat and simplify the washing cycle. Once the jacket is ready, place it inside the washer and ensure it’s on a cold water setting, with a gentle wash cycle.

After running the jacket through one wash cycle, begin another cycle without using any detergent. This extra cycle allows the feathers within the down jacket to get an extra rinse to avoid lingering odors.

3. Dry the Down Jacket on Low Heat

The most involved step in learning how to clean a down jacket is easily the drying stage. Down material absorbs water, so the jacket will likely feel substantially heavier after getting out of the washer. Before placing the jacket in the dryer, make sure to check specific drying recommendations to see if hang-drying is suggested. Otherwise, ensure that the tennis balls are inside and that the dryer is on the lowest heating setting and tumble-dry. Too much heat can easily damage the inner lining of the jacket, so multiple drying cycles should be anticipated.

Dryer sheets and fabric softeners are not suggested for drying down garments, as the aroma can cling to feather unfavorable and potentially harm weather-resistant fabrics. Occasionally remove the jacket from the dryer to gently shake out the material and check on the drying progress. Once the jacket is lighter, non-clumpy, and fully dry, the jacket should be clean and ready to be worn.

Conquer the Outdoors with a Heated Jacket from Kelvin

Knowing how to properly clean a down jacket and outerwear is crucial for making sure we’re able to truly enjoy the experiences and adventures waiting for us outdoors. If you’re looking for a way to elevate your outerwear this winter, explore Kelvin Coat’s heated outerwear to guarantee every moment spent outside can be cherished. Our heated jackets and parkas are a stylish and innovative way to keep cozy in any environment. Explore the full Kelvin Coats selection today.