Many people consider feather down bedding to be al luxurious as it gets. When pairs with top of the line, high thread count sheets and a fine mattress it can be quite hard to get out of bed in the morning or stay out of bed at night. But as with all things in life maintenance and a little bit of work is required to keep your down comforter, pillows, or other items in good shape. Down bedding is not actually that difficult to care for once you know what steps to take.
How To Keep Your Down Comforters Clean
Storage Of Down Comforters & Pillows
Before you ever have to worry about cleaning your bedding or pillows you have to set a regimen of care and maintenance. If you take the best care of your down bedding you will have less to worry about down the road.
The biggest risks for down stuffed items getting dirty is lack of maintenance. During the summer when many down items are stored in closets, basements, or storage facilities it is important to store down comforters and pillows in breathable bags rather than sealed plastic bags. If any moisture exists in the bag before it is sealed it becomes a threat for a growing mildew problem.
Bags which allow for constant air flow avoid this problem. If you have the space you don’t even need a bag. Simply folding a down comforter and placing it in a closet that is not used very often is usually sufficient, just keep the comforter covered so that it doesn’t collect dust.
Use Of Duvet Covers & Pillow Cases
When down stuffed items are in use they need to be covered to ensure they stay in the best condition. With bedding this happens almost all the time without a second thought. Duvet covers are very commonly used on down feather bedding.
The duvet cover isn’t necessary but it is highly recommended because it acts like a top sheet does for your mattress. It captures most of the dirt and oils from your body before they make it to the actual feather comforter. The duvet can then be easily removed for regular washing unlike the actual comforter which doesn’t normally fit inside standard washing machines.
When duvet covers are used the duvet should be washed as often as your sheets and the down comforter itself should be washed every few years. Without the duvet the comforter would have to be washed much more often and it would become challenging to do this.
Pillow cases act the same way with pillows as duvet covers work for comforters. If you cover your feather down throw pillows in a nice set of washable microfiber throw pillow covers then maintaining a good set of pillows is much easier. You can always throw a pillow into the washing machine but laundering the pillow case is much easier.
Maintenance Of Feather Down While In Use
While you are using your down pillows and bedding you should always take the time to maintain them to keep them clean and in the best shape possible. This often goes without saying but simple fluffing your comforters and pillows often is important and can help keep them from getting to dirty.
The constant air flow of fluffing down feathers keeps your items from getting heavy and bogged down. Basically the more you fluff, the fluffier your pillows and bedspread will be. This can help minimize mildew from forming on packed down and from dirt from causing the down to clump together.
Most people naturally fluff their pillows and bedding all the time but it is good to know there is another reason to do so other than fluffy comfort. With bedding especially it’s important to make sure that your down feathers are distributed evenly throughout he cover. This can be something that occurs when ever you fluff your blankets or after a duvet cover change.
Cleaning Down Feather Pillows & Bedding
Assuming you actually maintain your feather down bedding and pillows properly and store them properly when they are not in use then you won’t’ really have to clean your pillows or comforters very often. Even still cleaning them is not that difficult and if you have a large enough washing machine then it’s not that hard at all.
Most feather down is machine washable. You will want to wash your down items on gentle cycle and with as few items as possible. It’s worth running a pet hair remover over the surface of the pillow or bedspread before washing too because this can minimize the dirt the washing machine has to remove. Because big comforters take up so much space and the gentle cycle is less vigorous, this small step can be helpful in getting your blankets cleaner.
Feather down pillows are a bit easier to clean because they are typically smaller and don’t take up as much space. This doesn’t mean that they need to be washed more often but it is an easier task, especially for those who don’t have a large washing machine.
If you don’t have enough space many Laundromats have large commercial size machines which are fine for comforters and many professional cleaning companies can clean your comforters for a reasonable price if you don’t want to deal with the hassles yourself.
Tips For Washing Your Down Bedding At Home
Above all use gentle detergents in small quantities on the cold/gentle cycle. If possible use a large washing machine which doesn’t have a center agitator as this can be stressful on the comforter. For pillows and thick down comforters you should also rewash the items without soap on the rinse cycle one to two more times to ensure all soapy residue has been washed clean from the items before drying.
When you dry the comforter or pillows make sure to dry them long on the low heat setting. High heat can shrink all non-feather materials and cause problems for you later on. Make absolute certain that your down has dried completely as mildew can easily form in damp down bedding and pillows. Fluffing and laying out flat for a day are good ways to ensure your items are dry after a long dryer session.
If you can try to hire a professional cleaner to clean your down comforters. You don’t have to wash them very often, every few years, but they have the means to wash them without damaging the items. It’s a small price to pay to keep a high value product from losing usable life.