Can You Wash Your Down Coat in the Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Your Downcoat In The Washing Machine

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Yes, you can wash your down coat in a washing machine. Most down jackets can be washed at home in a front-loading washing machine

If you own a cozy and warm down coat, you might wonder whether it’s safe to toss it into the washing machine for a thorough cleaning. The good news is that, in most cases, you can indeed wash your down coat in a washing machine without causing any damage. However, there are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind to ensure the longevity and performance of your precious outerwear. In this article, we will provide you with the necessary guidelines and steps to safely and effectively wash your down coat in a washing machine.

Dos and don’ts of Wash Your Down Coat in the Washing Machine


  • Check the Care Label: Before proceeding with washing your down coat, always check the care label attached to the garment. The manufacturer’s instructions should be followed to avoid any mishaps during the washing process.
  • Use a Front-Loading Washing Machine: Front-loading washing machines are generally gentler on clothing and offer better control over the wash cycle. Using a top-loading machine with an agitator can potentially damage the delicate down feathers.
  • Use a Mild Detergent: Opt for a mild, down-specific detergent or a gentle, low-sudsing detergent to avoid any residue buildup on the down feathers.
  • Add Tennis Balls or Clean Sneakers: To help fluff up the down and prevent clumping, toss a couple of clean tennis balls or sneakers into the washing machine during the wash cycle.
  • Dry Thoroughly: Ensure that your down coat is thoroughly dried after washing. Proper and complete drying is essential to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.


  • Avoid Bleach and Fabric Softeners: Harsh chemicals like bleach and fabric softeners can damage the down feathers and reduce their insulating properties. Steer clear of these products when washing your down coat.
  • Don’t Overload the Washing Machine: Washing your down coat along with other heavy items can cause undue stress on the fabric and the down filling. Avoid overloading the machine to maintain the coat’s integrity.
  • Skip the Spin Cycle: While the spin cycle is essential for regular laundry, it’s best to skip or minimize it when washing down coats. High-speed spinning can lead to clumping and shifting of the down, affecting the coat’s overall loftiness.
  • Avoid High Heat: Excessive heat can damage the down clusters and the fabric. Avoid using hot water or high heat settings in the dryer.

Steps to Wash Your Down Coat in the Washing Machine

Step 1 Preparation:

  • Close all zippers, snaps, and buttons on the coat.
  • Shake the coat gently to remove any loose dirt or debris.
  • Spot clean any stains or spills using a damp cloth and mild detergent.

Step 2 Check the Care Label:

Refer to the care label for specific washing instructions and any warnings.

Step 3 Prepare the Washing Machine:

  • Ensure your washing machine is clean and free from any detergent residue.
  • Set the machine to a gentle, cold water cycle.

Step 4 Add Detergent:

Use a small amount of down-specific or gentle detergent to the machine.

Step 5 Load the Coat:

Place the down coat into the washing machine. If the coat is too large or you have a small machine, consider washing it alone or with a few towels to balance the load.

Step 6 Add Tennis Balls:

Toss in a couple of clean tennis balls to help agitate the down and prevent clumping.

Step 7 Wash Cycle:

Let the washing machine complete its cycle with the gentle setting and cold water.

Step 8 Rinse Thoroughly:

Ensure the coat is rinsed thoroughly to remove all detergent.

Step 9 Drying:

  • Carefully remove the coat from the washing machine.
  • Gently press out any excess water but avoid wringing or twisting the coat.
  • Place the coat in a large-capacity dryer or a well-ventilated area to dry.
  • Use a low heat setting or the air-dry option to avoid damaging the down.

Step 10 Fluff and Monitor:

  • Once dry, gently fluff the coat to redistribute the down.
  • Inspect the coat for any damp areas and ensure it’s completely dry to prevent mold.


Can I wash my down coat in a top-loading washing machine?

Answer: While it’s not recommended, if you only have access to a top-loading machine, you can still wash your down coat. However, it’s crucial to use a delicate cycle and avoid overloading the machine to minimize potential damage.

How often should I wash my down coat?

Answer: The frequency of washing your down coat depends on how often you wear it and the conditions you encounter. In general, washing it once or twice a season should be sufficient unless it’s heavily soiled.

Can I use regular laundry detergent to wash my down coat?

Answer: It’s best to avoid using regular laundry detergent, as it may leave residues that can interfere with the down’s loft and insulating properties. Opt for a mild, down-specific detergent or a low-sudsing gentle detergent instead.

How do I store my down coat properly after washing?

Answer: Store your down coat in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Use a breathable garment bag to prevent dust accumulation, and avoid compressing the coat for extended periods to maintain its loftiness.

Final Words

Washing your down coat in a washing machine can be a simple and effective way to keep it clean and fresh, maintaining its insulating properties for years to come. By following the dos and don’ts and adhering to the care label’s instructions, you can safely wash your down coat at home and extend its lifespan. Remember to always be cautious, and when in doubt, consider seeking professional cleaning services to ensure the utmost care for your beloved down coat.

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