How To Wash A Down Jacket At Home

A DIY Guide To Successfully Washing Your Down Jacket In The Washing Machine

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If you need advice on how to give your favorite down jacket a good cleaning in the washing machine without damaging it, you’ve come to the right place!

I know the feeling. You have this super expensive down jacket that cost you anywhere between $100 to $500, and you’re scared to death of damaging it in the wash. But, it can be done safely and successfully.

With that said, we’ve created a DIY guide to washing your down jacket at home—even if you don’t own a fancy front load washing machine.

Is It Safe To Wash My Down Jacket In A Top Load Washer?

Yes, it is safe to wash a down jacket in a top load washer. The reason that a front load washing machine is recommended to wash down jackets in the first place is because it doesn’t have an agitator, which can literally shred the outer layer of your down jacket.

However, when you set your top load washing machine on the delicate/hand-wash cycle, you’re locking the agitator in place, which stops it from turning, and the only thing that moves around is the drum; slushing the water around and then transitioning into the spin cycle.

But, you still want to take precautionary measures, because your down jacket can still snag on the agitator, even though that part is locked in place. So below are some tips and tricks to carefully wash your delicate jacket even in a delicate cycle.

What Laundry Detergents Are Safest For Washing Down Jackets?

Down jackets are delicate, and using the wrong detergent can ruin your down jacket. Hence, washing your down jacket with regular laundry detergent is not recommended for several important reasons:

  • Regular laundry detergents are full of additives, oxidizers, enzymes, fragrances and fabric softeners.
  • Regular detergent can strip down feathers of their natural oils, which are responsible for that nice fluff that down jackets have.
  • Regular laundry detergents can also strip away the coating that provides water repellence.

With that said, it is best to use down-specific laundry detergent such as Allied Down Wash, which is an eco-friendly laundry detergent that doesn’t contain palm oil nor any other harmful additives. It also has a comforting coastal pine scent that you will really enjoy.

How To Wash A Down Jacket And Not Ruin It

Women’s The Northface Metropolis Jacket
The North Face Women’s Metropolis Jacket

Step 1 | Prep Your Down Jacket

Take your down jacket and place it into a large mesh laundry bag, which you can easily find on Amazon. Mesh laundry bags made specifically for delicates can keep your down jacket in place, and will keep it from snagging on the agitator of a top load washer (even if the agitator is locked).

(If you’re washing your down jacket in a front load washer, you do not need a mesh bag, but you certainly can still use it.)

Step 2 | Prep Your Washing Machine

Set your water temperature setting to cold (30 degrees), and your wash cycle to delicate/hand-wash. Once the water starts pouring into your drum, add your down-specific laundry detergent, followed by your down-jacket (in a mesh bag mentioned above). DO NOT ADD LIQUID SOFTENER!

Step 3 | Make Sure Your Down Jacket Gets An Extra Rinse

If you’re able to, set your laundry machine on the extra rinse option to make sure that you rinse off as much detergent residue as possible, especially if you have hard water. Hard water can be a bit stubborn, and has a hard time removing excess residue on the first try.

Step 4 | Time To Dry

  • Take your down-jacket out of the mesh bag, and transfer it into your dryer. Then, make sure it is set on either low or air dry. Anything higher than this setting will damage your jacket.
  • Avoid softener sheets at all cost, and instead, throw in a wool dryer ball or two. Wool dryer balls speed up the drying process, and help fluff your down jacket—restoring it back to its original cozy state.
  • Throughout the drying cycle, you can unzip your jacket and turn it inside out so that every inch of it dries effectively.

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