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The One Thing You Need To Do Before Switching To Lighter Bedding

down bedding

After what feels like an interminable winter, the weather is starting to warm up a bit around here! I’ve been throwing the windows open every chance I get, which has been doing wonders for my mood and getting me thinking about spring!

One item on my pre-spring to-do list is to get my down bedding cleaned up before I store it away for the season. And if you have down pillows or a down comforter, it should be on your to-do list too! (After all, it’s much less pleasant to pull a musty-smelling blanket out of storage than it is to take out one that still smells freshly washed.)

Related: How to Wash a Weighted Blanket

So I thought that in today’s blog post, it would be helpful to share all the tips and tricks you might need about cleaning and caring for down bedding. Because investing a little TLC into your down bedding now will only benefit you down the road! :-)

down bedding

How To Wash Your Down Bedding

Since down bedding can be really bulky, it may be worth a trip to a local laundromat to wash it. Most laundromats offer large machines for washing bulky items, and you’ll run into fewer issues than you might if you insist on squeezing them into your home washer!

Related: How to Machine Wash an Electric Blanket

When washing down bedding, use a small amount of a mild laundry detergent, like my homemade laundry soap or a store-bought one like Woolite.

down bedding

Once the wash cycle has completed, machine dry the item on low heat with a few wool dryer balls to help fluff it back up. (When drying a down comforter, it can help to occasionally remove it from the dryer, shake it out a bit, then put it back into help it dry more evenly.)

down bedding

How Often Should I Wash My Down Bedding?


Wash your down comforter only as needed, up to twice a year at most, to avoid stripping the feathers of their natural oils and loft. Keep it in a duvet cover and wash the cover weekly to help protect your comforter and keep it clean.


You should wash your down pillows in your washing machine every 3 to 6 months. Washing your pillows regularly (whether down or not) is important in order to remove bacteria and dead skin that can cause musty smells.

down bedding

3 Bonus Tips For Caring For Down Bedding

Tip #1: Air It Out

Never underestimate the power of fresh air and sunshine when it comes to keeping things fresh and clean! Any down bedding item will benefit from being aired out outdoors, and you can do this as often as you want to freshen them up.

It’s also a good idea to hang down bedding outside after washing and drying it, even if it already looks and feels completely dry. The fresh air will circulate through the feathers and help dry out any damp clumps that may be trapped inside.

Tip #2: Spot Clean It

You don’t have to wash the whole blanket or pillow to deal with a small stain. Just use a bit of Dawn dish soap and some warm water to spot treat the stain. Then dab it with a clean, damp cloth to remove the stain and any soap residue.

Tip #3: Don’t Panic

The natural colors of down feathers will show through more when your bedding is wet, so don’t panic if you see shades of dark brown inside your comforter or pillow! Down feathers can be brown, or white with black edges, which can look a bit like mold in the right (or wrong) light. But never fear—as your down bedding dries, it will return to its normal appearance. :-)

down bedding

If you follow these simple tips, your down pillows and comforters are sure to continue serving you well for years to come!

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Homekeeping Tips

  • I’m soooo afraid to wash a new white one, I was watching TV in bed & wrapping Christmas presents, I had a blue felt pen that leaked on it, tried to remove it, no luck. Don’t know what will happen if I wash it UGH!

    • Try spraying that ink stain with hair spray, it worked on the pockets of my husband’s shirts. Then I bought plastic pocket liners and he put his ball point pens in those.

  • I think all this is a great idea; however, there are those of us who have front loading machines and cannot add or agitate waters at beginning of cycle. . Something I did not consider when buying. Any suggestions for this issue?

    • I would put extra soap or stain solution right in the interior of the washer-not sure about home front loaders but the laundromat ones tend to leak the extra amount out if the door is open, so I just put inside the washer now. As for adding extra water you are sick with what the washer gives but set for the biggest, heaviest & most water used load. Like the extra heavy bedding setting which is what you definitely want anyhow because it takes longer to make sure all the bedding soaks up the water. Extra rinse if you have that. Wash a second time or a third time if really really needed but if you have an extra rinse & spin only option use that with your vinegar or fabric softener. Sometimes there is just a spin or extraction setting & that is great for spinning out extra water to cut down drying time.

  • I don’t like washing my down pillows as they take too long to dry thoroughly, I strip off the pillow cases and put them into the dryer on high heat for 60 minutes. It leaves them fresher, fluffier and is so much easier to deal with………………..

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