How to Wash Down Jacket

Do you own a down jacket but not sure how to wash them?

A down jacket is an essential item in your backpacking gear. They keep you warm and safe during cold conditions. However, most people believe that regular washing will damage their down jacket. However, this is not true at all. Frequent washing can help your down jacket last longer.

If you wash your down jacket properly, it can last you for decades. You can wear it at night during your stay in the backcountry. These heavily built jackets are strong enough to take a lot of abuse. But one of the most common mistakes you can make is not to wash them more often.

Many people believe that washing down jackets will tear them up and cause them damage. However, it is not the case. Washing these jackets regularly will keep them fresh and safe from smells and stains. One of the advantages of cleaning them is that it restores your jackets’ insulation.

The frequent washing will increase the loft on your jacket and hence, keep you warmer. When adequately washed and dried, they will fluff up and have increased insulation. You will find them to be almost as new. Besides, it is pretty easy to wash these down jackets. Read further for the complete step-by-step guide on how to wash down jackets.

Types of Washing

Machine washing

If you are washing a down jacket in a washing machine, you should keep it in a gentle cycle. Temperature control of around 30 degrees C is ideal. If your device has an ‘extra rinse’ option, you can use it.

There are down jacket-specific soaps or detergents available in the market as well. However, you should skip the spin cycle. Instead, using a drip dryer or a tumble dryer is ideal in the case of down jackets.

Hand washing

You should first soak up your down jacket for around 60 minutes if you clean them with your hands. You can use the same down-specific soap or detergent mentioned earlier. Then, you should rinse the down jacket by squeezing the excess water. However, you should be careful not to wring it before drying.


Finally, after washing your coat carefully, you should take the down jacket. It would be very heavy, and you should lay it flat on a rack. You should fluff up the down jacket. It takes around a couple of days to dry down the jacket completely. Moreover, the weather conditions. You can keep fluffing on wet parts.

After the jacket is almost dry, you can keep it in the tumble drier. One pro tip is to throw in some tennis balls. Moreover, this step helps to fluff your down jacket even more further. The feathers do not clump together with the presence of these balls. After removing the jacket, you can and then from the dryer, hold the jacket on both sides and fluff.

How To Wash A Down Jacket using Machine [Top Loading]?

types of washing a down jacket

Step 1: Dust off the down jacket through a brush

The first step that you should do before washing the down jacket is dusting off mud or dirt. Open up all the zips, velcro, or flaps and turn the jacket inside out. Then use a solid brush to dust off any dirt particles present in the down jacket.

Step 2: Clean the drawer of the detergent compartment

The next step is to clean the drawer of the detergent compartment. You should make sure that there are no detergents or softeners from the last wash. You can also perform hot wash with an empty washing machine to clear any leftover detergent or softeners.

Step 3: Setting the cycle

Now the next step in this process is to set the cycle. You should go for a cold wash in a gentle setting that is equivalent to a wool cycle. One thing you must remember is to go for a top-loading washing machine. This is because the center agitator is quite aggressive and can damage your down jacket.

Step 4: Pour the down jacket-specific cleaner.

Finally, you can pour your down jacket-specific cleaner into the compartment. You can use the amount mentioned in your down jacket. The cleaners that are designed explicitly for down jackets do not harm them at all.

Other regular detergents and soaps can damage the feathers and reduce insulation. They are an essential part of any down jacket. It can also take off the water-resistant coating present in the down jacket. After setting for rinse multiple times, you can choose the longest wash cycle.

Step 5: Dry the Jacket

One thing you should not air-dry your jacket. This process will have a damaging impact on the feathers as they clump together. It will also take a long duration of time to dry. You will experience a smell in your jacket if it is not dried in a certain amount of time.

The best way to dry your down jacket is to tumble dry at low heat. You should be careful not to use the high heat option as it can melt the outer shell fabric and the seams. Some down jackets have different requirements, so you should check all the details before going through this procedure.

What To Avoid When Washing A Down Jacket?

Down jackets are ideal against freezing conditions. But when wet, these jackets need proper care to save from damage. The things that you should avoid while washing a down jacket are as follows:

A dry clean

Dry cleaning is not ideal for a down jacket. It is because there is a particular solvent that gets used in the dry cleaning process. These solvents can damage your down jacket and make them unwearable.

Therefore, you should avoid dry cleaning your down jacket. Besides that, you should not use a top-loader with an agitator. Your down jacket will not be able to handle rough wash.

Fabric softener

You should avoid using a fabric softener in your down jacket. Instead, use down jacket-specific soap and detergents for a better result in washing down jackets.


Another factor that you must consider is that you should not wring your down jacket. Instead, you should gently take off any excess water. You must make sure that it is completely dry before storing it. Make sure that you do not damage your jacket.

The spin cycle

The spin cycle mode in the washing machine can damage your down jackets. They get heavy while wet, and therefore you should not use the spin cycle.

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Final Say

A down jacket is great to wear that protects you from cold and other external factors. Many people do not wash down jackets as they think it will damage them. Frequent washing can rejuvenate their fluff and insulation. The process of washing down jackets is relatively easy. We hope you learned about how to wash down jackets through this article.

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