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Old 13.12.2010, 12:38
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Washing a Down jacket

I am considering washing my down jacket at home. Quite frankly I have spent more that the jackets worth on dry cleaning, the last 2 years. But I am a bit apprehensive.
I am aware that no fabric softener should be used, 30 degree wash, and tumble dry with tennis balls.

Has anyone had any experience washing down jackets?
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Old 13.12.2010, 12:42
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Re: Washing a Down jacket

as you already know.. water temp , no softener, tennis balls.

also... use a liquid soap rather than a powdered one.. Woolite if you can find it
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Old 13.12.2010, 12:42
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Re: Washing a Down jacket

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I am considering washing my down jacket at home. Quite frankly I have spent more that the jackets worth on dry cleaning, the last 2 years. But I am a bit apprehensive.
I am aware that no fabric softener should be used, 30 degree wash, and tumble dry with tennis balls.

Has anyone had any experience washing down jackets?
Yep. It's better to use pure soap crystals if you can get them, and make sure you tumble dry well (I would go for longer time on low heat in preference to shorter time on high heat).

Most down jackets are designed to be washed - I've never dry cleaned mine.
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Old 13.12.2010, 12:44
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Re: Washing a Down jacket

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as you already know.. water temp , no softener, tennis balls.

also... use a liquid soap rather than a powdered one.. Woolite if you can find it
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Yep. It's better to use pure soap crystals if you can get them, and make sure you tumble dry well (I would go for longer time on low heat in preference to shorter time on high heat).

Most down jackets are designed to be washed - I've never dry cleaned mine.


hows that for a diff. of opinions.. *L*
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Old 13.12.2010, 12:47
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Re: Washing a Down jacket

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Has anyone had any experience washing down jackets?
Yep, I've had a North Face one for years & wash it every year.
Just a low temp wash & then a low temp tumble dry seems to work perfectly every year & it's still as fluffy as ever.
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Old 13.12.2010, 12:50
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Re: Washing a Down jacket

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hows that for a diff. of opinions.. *L*
Actually, a liquid probably is better but I've used soap powder fine - no noticeable loss of toastiness.

Here's a couple of links from the most excellent Outdoorsmagic website all about it. The first one is sponsored (so basically an advert) but still useful.
http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/gear-fe...down/2985.html

http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/forum/f...t/4/UTN/10282/

and one from PHD
http://www.phdesigns.co.uk/cleaningdown.php

Last edited by ali_the_nomad; 13.12.2010 at 13:01.
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Old 13.12.2010, 12:55
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Re: Washing a Down jacket

To avoid any potential issues with the tennis balls (especially if new), put them inside a white tennis/sports sock.
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Old 13.12.2010, 12:56
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Re: Washing a Down jacket

thanks!......its good to know that there is success with washing it at home.....

So liquid detergent or powder?? hmmmmm

The jacket is already in the machine......
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Old 13.12.2010, 12:57
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Re: Washing a Down jacket

They take a long time to tumble dry so what I recommend is to turn the jacket inside out about half way through the tumble dry cycle. When I have not done so, the jacket seems dry when the cycle has stopped but in fact the jacket is still wet. So you can wait until the end of the cycle too and see if the jacket is dry.

Also, do not tumble dry on hot, use the lower heat seating.
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Old 13.12.2010, 13:01
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Re: Washing a Down jacket

As an 'intruder' to this thread (I don't own a down jacket)..... I am intrigued by the whole "Tennis Ball" thing.

(I'll side step the ambiguity of crystal Vs Liquid soap), can someone explain why you need tennis balls in a dryer for me please???
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Old 13.12.2010, 13:04
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Re: Washing a Down jacket

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As an 'intruder' to this thread (I don't own a down jacket)..... I am intrigued by the whole "Tennis Ball" thing.

(I'll side step the ambiguity of crystal Vs Liquid soap), can someone explain why you need tennis balls in a dryer for me please???
Helps stop the filling forming clumps. I don't have a down jacket but use tennis balls in the dryer with pillows, comforters, duvets, etc...
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Old 13.12.2010, 13:07
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Re: Washing a Down jacket

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Helps stop the filling forming clumps. I don't have a down jacket but use tennis balls in the dryer with pillows, comforters, duvets, etc...

....and stuffed animals.
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Old 13.12.2010, 13:07
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Re: Washing a Down jacket

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As an 'intruder' to this thread (I don't own a down jacket)..... I am intrigued by the whole "Tennis Ball" thing.

(I'll side step the ambiguity of crystal Vs Liquid soap), can someone explain why you need tennis balls in a dryer for me please???
Down jackets are currently made with artificial intelligence. They're quite happy hanging in a cupboard (where they have company - they particularly get on with 1970s parkas) but get bored when they're alone, so you need to give them something to play with when they're in the drier. Jigsaws, Playstations etc clearly are not suitable, but they can play with a ball in there.

Alternatively, it might be to stop the down from clumping togther.
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Old 13.12.2010, 13:08
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Re: Washing a Down jacket

Yes the tennis balls, separate the down feathers, during the drying process


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Helps stop the filling forming clumps. I don't have a down jacket but use tennis balls in the dryer with pillows, comforters, duvets, etc...
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Old 13.12.2010, 13:50
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Re: Washing a Down jacket

Volume to 10:

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Old 13.12.2010, 21:01
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Re: Washing a Down jacket

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Volume to 10:

So Uncle Max, are you going to organize an EF visit there?
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Old 13.12.2010, 21:09
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Re: Washing a Down jacket

I've washed my jackets several times according to the book but I honestly feel that they are never the same after the wash unfortunatelly.

The tip with really low dryer temp for a really long time may be a good idea. Will try that next time.
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Old 13.12.2010, 21:28
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Re: Washing a Down jacket

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I've washed my jackets several times according to the book but I honestly feel that they are never the same after the wash unfortunatelly.

The tip with really low dryer temp for a really long time may be a good idea. Will try that next time.
Don't forget the tennis balls in the dryer. They plump the feathers up so that it dries nice and fluffy. I keep a tube of 4 balls on top of my dryer for when I wash down jackets, pillows and sleeping bags.
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Old 28.01.2011, 17:15
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"Tumbler" with the balls (and washing a feather jacket at home)

Even though I seem to be the only person who didn't know how to wash & dry a feather coat properly, here's the story.

So.. A few weeks ago I decided to wash my feather jacket in a washing machine on 30 degrees, short spin and let it air-dry exactly as it was written on the label. Well, not only it took ages until the coat finally got completely dry.. but hey, the smell was so horrid that even if I only touched it, I couldn't get rid my fingers of that funky smell. So, I searched for some tips on the internet and found this:

http://www.helium.com/items/167708-h...feather-jacket

As I was on my train to Einsiedeln at that time, I decided to go the nearest shop (Intersport) as soon as I arrived to buy some tennis balls. The old man asked if I wanted some "Druckballer" for a good "Spiel". I looked at him a bit worried and said I just wanted to use them in the dryer. He disappeared...
I was thinking.. perhaps I scared him? But suddenly, he comes back holding a few tennis balls in both hands, giving me them for free! I gave him some money anyway and told him I just needed to wash my feather coat, "you know". He nodded with a smile. It really made my day.

I wanted to share this story to point out that good people live (and I know of so many already), and help avoid potential disasters if you someone somewhere would do the same mistake as I did.
Let's face it, dry cleaning would last forever and cost some decent amount of cash.
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Old 28.01.2011, 17:40
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Re: "Tumbler" with the balls (and washing a feather jacket at home)

I went and bought a tube of tennis balls for my laundry room after I saw it on the washing instructions of a down coat. It has the dryer symbol + a picture of 3 tennis balls.

I wash and tumble dry our feather duvets after every winter too. The king sized one just fits
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