How to Wash a Comforter
Comforters keep you warm and add a decorative touch to your bed. Keeping them clean helps your bedding smell fresh and can extend the life of the fabric. Fortunately, you can wash comforters with ease when you know what products and appliances to use. This guide will show you how to wash a comforter and provide tips on how to get the job done right.
Types of Comforters
Comforters are categorized by the type of materials that they are filled with. They usually have one of the following fillings:
- Polyester or down alternative
The most common fillers are down or polyester. Either filling is washable at home. Cotton, silk and wool are harder to wash at home. It's normally recommended that these comforters be professionally cleaned.
Can you wash a down comforter? Contrary to popular belief, washing a down comforter is easier than washing a polyester one. Natural down filling washes easily. Knowing how to clean a down comforter will keep the natural fibers fresh and make the comforter last longer. As for polyester-filled comforters, the ease of wash will depend on the quality of the filling. Lesser quality polyester will bunch and clump, so it may be worthwhile to get it dry-cleaned.
Tough stains may not come out in a regular wash cycle, so pre-treat them for the best results.
- First, spread the comforter out on a flat surface. Next, use your hands to gently move the fill away from the stain.
- Then, apply a fabric stain remover that is safe for the comforter material directly to the stain. Let the product rest for the amount of time that the manufacturer specifies. Once enough time has passed, blot the stain by patting it with a soft cleaning cloth.
- Rub the comforter fabric together to loosen debris. When the stain is no longer visible, rinse the comforter with cold water.
Tip: Using a duvet cover can make dealing with stains simpler. When the cover gets dirty, you can remove it from the comforter and launder it separately.
Tips for Washing a Comforter
Before you pop your comforter in the washing machine, there are a few things to take into consideration.
- Read the label: The product care label will give you the washing recommendations for your comforter. If it says "dry-clean only" do not attempt to wash it at home, since it may ruin your comforter.
- Use a large capacity machine: Comforters are bulky. Putting it in a small washer or dryer may damage the machine and comforter. If you do not have a large capacity machine, go to a laundromat. Laundromats typically have larger capacity machines for use, and it's less expensive than taking your comforter to a dry-cleaner.
- Wash alone: Comforters, especially king-size comforters, will take up most of the room in the washing machine and dryer. A comforter needs space in order to get properly clean.
- Brighten yellowing: Sweat, sunlight and detergent residue can all cause all-white comforters to turn yellow. Create a brightening soak by mixing in 1/2 cup of regular bleach for every 2 gallons of cool water. Use a liquid measuring cup to ensure you add the right amount of bleach. Once the solution is ready, drop in the comforter and allow it to rest for about five minutes. Then, remove the comforter and launder it immediately.
Other general washing recommendations:
- Mild detergent
- Warm or lukewarm water temperature
- Delicate cycle
- Low drying cycle
- Do not iron
How to Clean a Comforter
The steps for how to wash a down comforter and a synthetic comforter are similar. Washing comforters will take some time. Make sure you have plenty of time set aside to ensure your comforter gets dry, especially if you have to go to a laundromat.
- Select water temp: Set the washing machine to warm-cool water. Never use hot water. This can cause the down material or duvet cover to shrink.
- Select delicate cycle: Set the washing machine cycle to delicate. If possible, set the machine for an extra or extended rinse cycle. This will help remove more water from the comforter to speed up drying.
- Add laundry detergent: Add a mild detergent to the washing machine. Use detergent with little to no additives. Turn the washer on and let it run through the full cycle.
- Check: Once the cycle is complete, check the comforter for any residual soap or moisture. If you feel any, rewash with plain water. Soap residue can causes clumps in down or polyester-fill comforters.
- Dry: Put the duvet or comforter into a large capacity dryer. Spread the comforter out then add wool dryer balls. The balls will help keep the down or down-alternative comforter from clumping. Set the dryer to the low setting unless the fabric care tag gives you other instructions. Most comforters will take two to three hours to dry completely. Depending on your machine, you may need to restart the dryer periodically.
- Fluff: Once the comforter is completely dry, remove it from the dryer. Shake it to fluff up the fill. If the fill has shifted or bunched up, place the comforter on a flat surface and push the fibers apart with your hands.
Tip: It's imperative to throughly dry your comforter. Leaving any part of the comforter damp or wet can lead to mildew growth and mold.
How Often Should You Wash A Comforter
If the comforter is protected by a duvet cover, you only need to wash your comforter every three to five years. If you do not use a duvet, you should wash the comforter every one to two years or if it becomes stained. When you comforter is not in use, place in an airtight linen bag and store it in a cool, dry area.
It's recommended to cover your comforter with a duvet to keep dirt at bay. Anti-allgeren duvet covers can help protect against dust mites. The duvet cover itself can be washed every one to two weeks or as needed.
Now that you know how to wash a comforter, you’re ready to keep your bedding clean. Read the fabric care tag for specific instructions.
Ready to get the laundry supplies and appliances you need to get your bedding fresh and clean? The Home Depot delivers online orders when and where you need them.
Explore More on homedepot.com