The most debated question when it comes to taking care of a comforter is whether or not you have to take it to the dry cleaner. The short answer is no, you don’t always have to take your comforter to the dry cleaner, but that depends on the type of material. You can absolutely wash an alternative/polyester comforter on your own, but with some specific instructions and care tips in mind. However, if you have a down comforter or down & feather comforter it is recommended that you do not wash it at home, but rather have it professionally cleaned. There are some daily care tips you can follow which will also keep your comforter fluffy and clean so you can limit the number of washes and trips to the dry cleaner.
Care Tips for All Comforters
In order to avoid the number of times you have to wash or clean your comforter, follow these tips:
- Use a duvet cover – protect your comforter from everyday spills or soils such as food or drinks and staining from body oils.
- Fluff your comforter! – when you make your bed, give you comforter a good fluff by holding each end and shaking.
- Let some air in – sun’s out and there’s low humidity? Hang your comforter outside.
- Don’t sit or lay on top – we know it’s cozy but try to avoid laying or sitting on top of your comforter. Every time you do, you are crushing the down clusters in down and down alternative comforters which can eventually break resulting in a less warm and fluffy comforter.
Washing an Alternative/Polyester Comforter
You can machine wash your alternative/polyester and cotton covered comforters, however like with anything, extra washes always attribute to quicker ware.
If you have followed the care tips you’re already in good shape! But you will need to be careful and follow some tips to avoid damaging your comforter.
With the right washer and the right detergent, follow these steps for the best results:
Step 1 - Washing
Load the comforter (by itself) into an extra-large, front-loading washing machine and select the water temperature. Every comforter is a bit different, so be sure to check the temperature setting and detergent suggestions on the comforter label. When in doubt, put the machine on the gentle or delicate cycle using cool or warm water. Make sure that the machine is able to perform multiple rinse cycles and add a minimal amount of a mild detergent. Using too much detergent or not allowing it to wash out can reduce the warmth and softness of the down comforter.
- Check comforter fabric for damage and deterioration, if damaged do not wash
- Use a front-loading washer with enough room for the comforter to move freely
- Use gentle cycle
- Repeat wash with no soap to ensure all soap is rinsed out
Step 2 - Drying
Add the cleaned comforter and wool dryer balls (or tennis balls) to an extra-large capacity clothes dryer on the low-heat setting. Many people’s home dryers (and washers) are not large enough so going to a laundromat may be necessary. The tennis balls make sure that the filling is constantly moving and drying. Take the comforter out of the dryer a few times during the drying process to fluff and redistribute the material. This will also help ensure it dries thoroughly. When the comforter feels dry, allow the comforter to air dry so air can circulate for 2-3 hours before putting it back on the bed.
- Use low heat
- Check the dryer every 20-25 minutes to make sure fabric does not overheat
- Use wool dryer balls or tennis balls to help fluff the comforter as it dries
- Make sure the comforter is completely dry to avoid mold or mildew
- A comforter can take hours to fully dry, be patient
Step 3 - Storage
If you plan on putting your down comforter away for the season or switching up styles, we recommend removing the duvet cover and storing it separately in a dry place. Wrap the comforter in breathable cotton to store it, do not store it in plastic. If you are storing immediately after washing, ensure that it is completely dry. Storing it wet or damp will result in mold or mildew.
Cleaning Fine Down Bedding
Use a professional dry cleaner to clean any fine down bedding. You have made an investment in your comfort, don’t let that investment go to waste. Down clusters can break, and your comforter can shrink if you don’t properly care for it. We do not recommend you wash any fine bedding yourself.