How to Clean Down and Feather Bedding

When it comes to spring cleaning, there are a few household items that stump even the pros. Down and feather bedding is often on that list. Is it really dry clean only? Is airing it out on the clothes line enough? Will caring for it improperly make it go flat?

The American Down and Feather Council (ADFC) has answered all of these questions and more with its easy tips on how to clean down and feather bedding as well as daily care, and storage.

How to Clean Down and Feather Bedding:

  • Contrary to popular belief, down comforters and blankets, as well as down or feather pillows, can actually be washed on a delicate setting with down-cleansing detergent and placed in a dryer set on low heat.
  • Try the tennis ball trick: put a few tennis balls into the dryer to help fluff up the product while it tumbles around. You may want to cover the tennis balls with a sock to prevent any fuzz from transferring to the bedding.
  • When in doubt, check the tag. The manufacturer will usually include washing instructions specific to that product. If you can’t find it, check the manufacturer’s website.

How to Care for Down and Feather Bedding:

  • Shaking out pillows and comforters daily or weekly will restore the product’s fluffiness, or “loft”, and will help increase its performance.
  • Protecting a down and feather comforter with a duvet cover will help shield it from spills, stains, and body oils.
  • Airing out your comforter for a few hours every three to six months is recommended.

How to Store Down and Feather Bedding:

  • When not in use, down or feather comforters, blankets, pillows, and featherbeds should be stored in breathable – not plastic – bags. Cotton storage bags are a good option.
  • Make sure down and feather bedding is completely dry before storing and keep it in a dry space.

Bonus tip: while you may think warmer temperatures mean it’s time to pack that down bedding away, reconsider. Down and feather bedding’s breathable construction means it will wick away moisture from perspiration, keeping you cool and regulating your body temperature while you sleep. You can control the level of warmth of your down bedding is by selecting the right “fill power” (how much down is in the comforter). A lower fill power might be just the thing for spring! Check out American Down and Feather Council’s shopping guide to find out what to look for when selecting down bedding.

Luckily, down bedding doesn’t need to be washed frequently. Unless there is a stain or spill, washing it about once every year or so is usually enough. Make it part of your spring cleaning routine to freshen up your bedroom and keep your bedding in great shape for years to come.

About the American Down and Feather Council (ADFC):

The American Down and Feather Council (ADFC) is a voluntary assembly of manufacturers of natural fill bedding products, as well as dealers, buyers, sellers and processors of feathers and down for use in home fashion products. The goal of the ADFC is to further the common interests of the down and feather products industry and to maintain and improve product quality.

Guest post by Stephen Palmer,  President, American Down and Feather Council

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