How to Machine-Wash a Duvet

Updated February 21, 2017

Many duvets are filled with down and must be treated with care. But duvets come with covers that can be washed like any other bedding. This is convenient because you get a clean cover for your bed without risking damaging an expensive duvet. If you follow a few simple steps, you can wash a duvet in a washing machine without damaging the duvet or the filling.

Check the label on the duvet to be sure that it can be washed in a washing machine. Many duvets will have detailed cleaning instructions on the label, and taking the time to read and follow these instructions can help your duvet last for years.

Make sure the duvet will fit easily inside the washing machine. You do not want it to be crammed in because it won't get cleaned or rinsed effectively.

Get rid of dust on your duvet, either by vacuuming it or gently shaking it. If you are concerned about the vacuum damaging the fabric, put a nylon stocking over the vacuum hose rather than using a brush or upholstery attachment.

Test if the material is colour fast by putting a small amount of the detergent and stain remover in an inconspicuous corner of the duvet. Wait a couple of hours and then rinse. If the colour stays, you can proceed to wash the duvet.

Put the duvet in the washing machine. Either follow the instructions on the label, or use cold water on a gentle cycle with a mild detergent.

If you want to put your duvet in the dryer, check the label first. Tumble dry using air only or a mild heat on a gentle cycle. Check the dryer frequently to ensure the duvet is drying evenly.


Put a clean tennis ball in the dryer with your duvet to prevent the filling from clumping up.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum
  • Washing powder
  • Washing machine
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About the Author

Karen Sheviak has more than 10 years of experience as a writer, researcher and copy editor for "Canadian Living" magazine. She has worked as a freelance editor for other magazines including "Toronto Life." Sheviak has a Bachelor of Arts in English and history from the University of Toronto and a diploma in journalism from Centennial College in Toronto.