How to wash down jacket – Best ideas

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Last Update: 28.May.2020

by Willie Test

Camping

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Usually, the down jacket is filled with the feathers of geese and ducks. Due to the lightweight and warm material, these jackets are suitable for thermal clothing, sleeping bags, and bedding.

Washing this jacket in a regular way can decrease its lifespan. And cleaning such material can be pretty tough. If you use harsh detergents, the feathers are not going to take a stand firm them. You must also dry the fabric fully so that it can properly function for insulation purposes. 

To get the most out of your jacket you need to wash it on a regular basis but in the right way. And what is the right way? We’ll explain to you every bit of how to wash down jacket in this article. But first…

Down Jacket

What should you avoid when washing your down jacket?

Down material restricts cold but it needs special care when it becomes wet. To make sure that you don’t impair your jacket you must avoid the following:

  • Don’t use fabric softeners and only stick to the specific detergent for down materials.
  • Don’t go for a dry cleaner because the solvents used in this process are not good for down material.
  • You should put your jacket in the top loader because it requires a gentle clean.
  • When wet, down jacket becomes pretty heavy so make sure that you set the spin cycle cautiously.
  • Make sure not to wring this jacket regardless of the weight it gets. If you have to wring, then make sure you support the weight properly.
  • Don’t use your jacket until it completely becomes dry. You will get foul numbness smell if you wear it when it is slightly wet.  Similar is the case with storage. Make sure that you dry it completely before storing it in a cabinet.

These were some critical points that you need to keep in mind before washing this jacket. They will make sure that your jacket remains intact for a long time. 

Now we’ll explain to you some of the best ideas to wash it.

Best ideas to wash down jacket

Pre-Cleaning the Jacket

Before you get your hands wet, the best practice is to carefully go through the label of your down jacket. This will guide you on how to take care of it. It will also include any cleaning or washing instructions. 

Clean Down Jacket

This label will tell you whether to hand wash your down jacket or you can do the machine washing. Some down jackets only need professional cleaning. 

If the jacket only requires minor cleaning then only pre-cleaning is necessary and you don’t need to fully wash it. 

Make sure that you have fastened all the slaps as well as the fasteners. When wet, down materials tend to rip pretty easily.

Down Jacket Slaps

Therefore, you need to take care of anything that possibly catches or pulls during the wash process. 

    • Button up all the buttons
    • Do all the zippers
    • Close all the hook-loop fasteners
    • Secure all the flaps
    • Empty the jacket’s pockets and secure them. 

Down Jacket Slaps

Get rid of any excess mud or dirt using a dry and clean cloth. Wipeout any dirt, debris or mud from your jacket. By doing so you will make the entire cleaning procedure a bit easier. It will ensure that you won’t have to deal with any large-sized slumps of dust or mud. 

Now spot clean all the tough stains by using a special-purpose down soap.

Special-purpose down soap

You just have to pour a small amount of the soap on all the affected areas of your jackets. These may include any sweat or oil patches, tough grime or stains. Let the soap infuse in the jacket for approximately 15 minutes.

Some of the soaps that you can use for this purpose are: 

    • Granger’s
    • Nikwax
    • ReviveX

You should use warm water to soak the jacket. Just fill your bathtub or washbasin with warm water and place your jacket in it. Now start agitating gently using your hands. Let it soak for about 10 to 15 minutes. Soaking your jacket before washing assists in removing any excess debris dirt as well as the soap that you used during spot cleaning. 

After this, move your jacket away and drain the tub. Now remove any excess water from the jacket by gently squeezing it. 

Machine Washing the Jacket

  • Before you add the sap, make sure the machine’s compartment for detergent is clean. Even the residue can be damage the down material. Using a piece of cloth, wipe clean the dispenser for getting rid of the leftover detergent or soap. 
  • Now add the down soap as per the instructions from the washing machine or the soap manufacturer. 
  • For cleaning your jacket use the same soap that you used for spot cleaning. 
  • Now place the jacket into the machine and set the timer. Make sure that you wash the jacket alone and prevent it from pilling or catching. Set your machine to cold wash before you start the cycle. 
  • Only use a front-loading machine or a highly efficient top loader without an agitator in the center otherwise it will rip the jacket apart. 
  • Now run the 2nd rinse cycle for getting rid of any detergent that remains. 

Washing the Jacket by Hand

  • Fill a large-sized sink with cold water and the down specific soap with the recommended amount. 
  • You can also go for a laundry tub or even a bathtub for this purpose.
  • Now press your jacket and soak it into the soapy water.
  • Gently agitating the jacket with your hands will help in releasing the dirt.Washing down jacket 
  • Let it soak for about 15 minutes. 
  • When your jacket becomes wet and heavy. Don’t pick it up to prevent any damage. 
  • Drain the water without picking the jacket and rinse it with clean water.
  • Now refill the tub with clean water and soak the jacket for about 10 minutes. Then drain the water again.
  • Now gently squeeze out the water before picking it up and dry it. 

Drying the Jacket

The drying procedure of this jacket is a pretty long one but you can speed it up by removing any excess water from the coat. 

  • Put the jacket in an extra couple of spin cycles after you have rinsed it for the second time. You can also increase the speed of the spin. 
  • Gently squeeze the jacket with your hands and get rid of any excess moisture if you don’t want to use the washing machine. But make sure that you don’t wring the jacket. Just hang it for drying or lay it on the radiator. 
  • You can also place your jacket in the dryer and also place a couple of tennis balls. These balls will bounce around in the dryer and will fluff up the feathers. The feathers won’t clump together this way. 

Final Thoughts

Down material requires special attention. Therefore, you need to be very careful when washing your jacket. It is one of the best pieces of apparel that you can wear on cold nights. So take care of your super comfy down jacket.

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