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How to wash your down clothing

How to wash your down clothing
7 April 2020 No comments

Down jackets are brilliant insulating pieces, designed to keep you warm and well protected from the cold. Usually filled with a blend of down and feather, it's a delicate insulation that needs a little TLC to keep it working like new.

Through use, down items will lose their loft and start to pick up odours, while jackets that were initially treated with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating will need reproofing to maintain performance.

The thought of washing and drying down can be daunting, but as long as the correct cleaner is used then the washing is straight forward. When it comes to drying, a tumble dryer is essential. The key is to make sure the item is thoroughly dry before storing, so it can loft properly to maximise its performance.

Cleaning & Proofing

Down Washing Products

Most new jackets have a Durable Water Repellent treatment applied to them at manufacture - it's because of this that water runs off the fabric. Over time, dirt and oil will mask the DWR causing the outside to absorb water; this reduces breathability, comfort and performance.

Unlike normal detergents Grangers and Nikwax Down Cleaner removes dirt, oils, odours and stains without affecting the down or the DWR coating, making your clothing work like new again.

Once your items are clean, the DWR can be reapplied with the proofer.

How To Use Down Wash

    • Close all zips and Velcro flaps and loosen all drawcords.
    • Using an appropriate cleaner, shake bottle and pour correct amount into the machine drawer or wash ball. See bottle for specific amounts.
    • Wash on a delicate (gentle) cycle, along with a low spin setting. Usually, wash-in products are formulated to work from 30˚C helping save energy and protecting the environment.
    • If reproofing, follow the same instructions for washing or use a spray.
    • Down products ideally need to be tumble dried. This process will take time, as the down filling needs to be dried thoroughly before storing. Tumble dry on a low heat - too hot and the seams and outer shell fabric could melt. Remember to always check the label of your garment for exact care details.
    • Ensure the down is 100% dry before storing, otherwise, the down will stay clumped together and won't be able to loft effectively (i.e. your down clothing won't be as warm!)
      *Always follow washing label instructions

Tennis Ball washing down

Top Tips

      • Do not wash your down garment in a top-loading washing machine; the centre agitator could damage the clothing.
      • Regularly remove the item from the dryer, lie flat, and pull apart the clumps of down within the jacket, this will help to re ‘fluff' the down and speed drying times.
      • Adding a clean tennis ball or balled up pair of socks to the dryer will also help de-clump the down.

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