Down Alternative Comforters: Cleaning and MaintenenceWendy Waldrop
'Can you wash a down alternative comforter?' is one of the most frequent questions asked by down comforter buyers. The simple answer is yes, you can wash a down alternative comforter! Washing your comforter can not only be easy but will ensure your bed is kept feeling and looking cozy, fresh and appealing to lie down in. .
Table of Contents
- Why do People Choose A Down Alternative Comforter?
- Here are the most important things to note and the steps in which to wash your comforter at home, provided your washer meets the prior conditions:
- Protect Your Down Comforter:
- Extra cleaning tips:
Why do People Choose A Down Alternative Comforter?
One of the biggest benefits and reasons why people buy alternative down comforters is the ability to keep themselves warm on a cold winter's night without blowing their budget. Alternative down comforters have the ability to keep you warm even on the coldest nights.
Another big benefit to the bedding is that the bedding filling is light and breathable, which means it can help wick away sweat or moisture from the body at night. Down alternative comforters tend to keep their shape and hold up well to last for many years looking to be in great quality. Overall, these benefits make purchasing a down alternative comforter a good choice for many.
Unfortunately, there are many people who buy an expensive and cozy down comforter only to find out they are allergic to the filling. For these people, a down alternative comforter is the solution to their comforter sleeping woes. Down Alternative comforters have the same look as the original down comforters but are allergen free for people with allergic sensitivities, guaranteeing a comfortable and successful nights' sleep.
As the previous reasons display, a down alternative comforter is a great choice for someone looking for something like a down duvet. Knowing how to care for one can make all the difference in extending its quality, color and life, and can keep it looking just as new as the day you bought it. With the right knowledge and care, is it possible to wash most synthetic-filled comforters yourself rather than going the more expensive alternative route of professional dry cleaning, but when in doubt- a dry cleaner is a safe option!
The large fees of professional dry cleaning ARE avoidable. This article will demonstrate how to wash a down alternative comforter at home and maintain the upkeep without losing its fluffiness. Cleaning a down alternative comforter is also a cost-effective process in general. It is important to heed carefully the washing instructions to clean a down alternative comforter to avoid ruining the quality and lifespan of your comforter, if you choose to wash your comforter at home.
This information is essential to know as down comforters show spills and messes easily if you have small children or pets or any food around your bed. The light color means it can easily get dirty, and it is good to learn about the washing process for your comforter sooner than later, as accidents are many times inevitable. If you miss a step or do not follow the instructions completely, keep in mind that your cleaning can damage your down comforter permanently, so take special care if not having it cleaned professionally.
Most of the down alternatives we purchase are indeed machine washable. However, pay attention to the size of your washer to ensure it isn't too small to fit the comforter into the machine. Failure to do so may distort or compress your blanket filler to make it lose its original shape. If you are having trouble finding a large enough machine, generally neighborhood laundromats will usually have larger commercial machines.
Please be advised that it is only possible to clean a down alternative comforter at home if you have a big enough machine that is front loading, rather than a top loading machine. Top loading machines have agitators that can damage or tear your fabric in the wash. Therefore, make sure the machine is both large capacity as well as the front loading type.
Here are the most important things to note and the steps in which to wash your comforter at home, provided your washer meets the prior conditions:
Step 1- Read the Tag
To double check the safety of putting your comforter in the machine, check the tag for washing information. The instructions should be printed on one of the small tags of the blanket. If the blanket clearly states dry clean only, it might be a better idea to take it into a professional. Some tags will say it can be washed in a machine. Proceed to the next step if this is the case.
Make sure you tell the dry cleaners it is a down blanket, to ensure proper care and cleaning. Being safe by taking a comforter with a dry-clean only label will lessen the chance of damage to your comforter.
Step 2- Loading the Comforter
As previously discussed, make sure your machine is both large capacity and front loading, if the tag states other options besides dry clean only, as to not damage the down alternative comforter.
Gently load your comforter into the machine, do not force it in. If it does not fit comfortably, the washer is too small. Next, add a mild soap or detergent to the wash. There are soaps that are specially made for washing down alternative comforters. This can be found at your local home goods store. Try to avoid using regular or more harsh laundry detergent. Cold or hot water can damage your down comforter, so use warm water instead. Set your washer on a delicate cycle. Make sure your comforter can be nicely submerged into all the warm water before you close the lid.
If the comforter is white, it is safe to add bleach and can be beneficial to keeping the original brightness of the comforter and avoid the dulling that can happen over time.
It is also suitable if you have the time to let the machine run for a couple minutes before loading the comforter to mix the detergent and water, as sometimes a big load prevents a proper mixture solution from forming. It is essential that the soap is able to reach all areas of the comforter.
Step 3- While Washing
Set your washer to warm and on the delicate washer setting. If there is an extra rinse option, you can enable this. If not, this is OK- simply run your comforter manually through a separate rinse cycle in your washer. The extra rinse helps to clear the residue from the soap that may have built up on the comforter during the wash.
Step 4- Before Taking the Comforter Out
Before you finish the wash, be sure that all detergent has been washed away from the comforter so that if not, you can run another rinse cycle. Since the comforter is much heavier and dense than most things that go into the washer, stop the cycle before it hits spin and manually squeeze out some water. This is helpful for ensuring the spinning process moves with ease and it makes the fabric lighter to dry quicker and more efficiently.
Step 5 - Unloading the Comforter
After completing the wash cycle, it is safe to remove the comforter from the machine. When you see your comforter, it should look a bit flatter and thinner than normal. This is normal. Look at your comforter, it should look smoother, less bulky and flatter than the usual. You may also notice a slightly darker hue of fabric if the blanket was white. Don't worry, this sometimes happens in the washing process and the whiteness will return eventually as the cleaning process finishes. Wet fluff is sometimes darker than white, and it will gain back its color after drying.
Step - 6: The Drying Process
Complete drying of a down alternative comforter is a critical step to the cleaning process. It is important to pay just as close attention to the drying process as the washing as to avoid ruining the down alternative comforter.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while drying your comforter:
1. Air Drying
A safe option to avoid shrinking or damaging the comforter is air drying it. It may take up to three days longer than a machine dry, but it will ensure the comforter is protected from risks of shrinking or damage to the fabric of the down. Be patient with the process, as down comforters are thick and take time to dry. You may want to place a temporary comforter on your bed until the down can dry fully.
For the reasons of comforter protection, some people prefer the option of air drying to machine drying. Avoid line drying as there is a possibility to develop a build up of mildew, but laying the blanket in a sunny and clean area will help to give the fabric time to dry completely and more quickly. However, as recommended earlier with the washing- check the manufacturing tag. Some comforter manufacturers do not suggest air drying.
2. Drying on Low:
If you are feeling a bit impatient to wait on the air drying process, it is possible to use the dryer on a low heat setting without damaging the comforter. It is essential you be patient with the drying process, even with a machine dryer. Do not set the heat option to a higher level in order to speed up the process. You will run the risk of shrinking or damaging the fabric. As with the washer, make sure the dryer is large enough to comfortably hold the comforter to avoid any possibility of damage.
Check your dryer every half hour when it is close to finishing, so that you are sure it is completely dry. Be sure to dry it completely and if not, lay it out in a flat and sunny area to finish drying.
It may take anywhere from four to eight hours to fully dry. It is crucial you stick to the low dryer setting even if you would like it to be done sooner to prevent damage to your down alternative comforter.
Protect Your Down Comforter:
Down alternative comforters are not made for frequent washing most of the time. Some manufacturers will note on the tag to only wash every few years or when soiled only. Excessive washing can ruin the delicate fabric structure.
One of the easiest way to protect your comforter from getting dirty is to invest in a duvet cover. This way, you can just wash the cover rather than the full down comforter. It can keep your bedding in prime condition. Also try not to lay on the comforter, rather just under to avoid crushing the fibers.
Finally, if you need to store the comforter somewhere, it must be stored in a cool and dry place. Make sure that your comforter is completely dry before you store it away, to prevent mildew from forming.
If you plan to place the comforter back on your bed, it is recommended to give the comforter a good shake every few days to fluff the inside. If storing it away, keep the blanket in a large mesh or breathable back to prevent mildew from forming. You'll also want to make sure the storing area is ventilated.
Extra cleaning tips:
Before washing, always inspect the fabric for rips or tears. Stitch up and repair the fabric so that the filling does not come out in the washing or drying process. If a duvet cover is used, you only are advised to wash it no more than once yearly, prior to storing it away, or if it becomes soiled and unable to remove the stain with a spot cleaner. It is also advisable to wash it prior to the first use, to remove any chemicals from the manufacturing and get rid of any odors, replacing your down alternative cover with a fresh and clean scent.
Down alternative comforters are a wise investment and will keep you warm and cozy at night through all seasons. Keep good care of your comforter and it will last you well through the years. If you clean it properly, it will also look as in good condition as it did when you first bought it. Keeping your comforter clean can be easy using the steps listed above.