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How to clean down jackets

Updated February 21, 2017

Down jackets can be a great investment for winter wear. Depending on the brand you purchase, they can be a financial investment as well. With proper care and washing, your down jacket can last for years to provide the warmth and comfort you seek. Although professional cleaning is always an option, you can wash a down jacket at home and avoid the extra cost of dry cleaning.

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  1. Select the delicate cycle on your washing machine. Fill with cold water and add mild detergent to the washer. You can purchase detergent designed for washing down fabrics, but if you are unable to find this type of product, any mild detergent will do. Place the jacket in the washer and allow to wash and spin dry.

  2. Remove the jacket and shake gently to remove excess water. The outer layer may be resistant to water that may not be removed during spinning. Hold above the washer and allow to drip if excess water remains.

  3. Place in the dryer with 2 clean tennis balls. You can also use a clean tennis shoe for this. The balls will help the down fluff as it dries.

  4. Dry on low heat and check the jacket every 10 minutes to prevent overheating. Shake and fluff the jacket and continue to dry until the jacket is completely dry.

  5. Tip

    Wash in a front-load washer that does not have an agitator, if possible. Add a large dry towel to the dryer to absorb moisture and speed drying. Dry down jackets on the line on a sunny dry day and fluff in the dryer.


    Avoid high heat as this may damage your jacket. Always read the washing instructions on your particular jacket.

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Things You'll Need

  • Detergent for washing down or mild detergent
  • 2 Clean tennis balls/tennis shoe

About the Author

Nannette Richford

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.

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