Most of us will (hopefully) change our duvet covers on a regular basis, but it’s important not to forget about the duvet itself. While these don’t need cleaning quite as often – about once a year should suffice – washing your duvet is recommended. You’ll probably notice that your duvet has a label suggesting it should be professionally cleaned, but what many people want to know is: can you wash a duvet at home? The answer is that you can, as long as you check the care label first and follow the advice given. You also have to be willing to put a bit of time into the task – and have a machine big enough to fit it in, too! So if you can tick those boxes, here’s how to wash a duvet.
Before You Wash a Duvet
Before you start, you’ll want to prepare your duvet for being washed. First, remove the covers – you can wash duvet covers easily with your regular laundry load, so you don’t need to worry about these right now. Next, you’ll want to take some extra care if you’ve got a down comforter or feather duvet, rather than a hollow fibre duvet.
Can you wash a feather duvet? Yes, but you need to ensure the duvet is in a good condition beforehand, and make sure that your duvet is suitable to be machine washed. If the label says dry clean only, then it is best to take it to a professional cleaner. If not, then you can wash it carefully at home. First, check the duvet for any holes or loose feathers, and, if necessary, sew up any holes with a needle and thread to prevent any feathers becoming loose in the washing machine. Once you’re happy your duvet is secured, then you’re good to go.
Practicalities for Washing Duvets
Can you wash a duvet in a washing machine at home? This really depends upon the size of your machine, and the type of machine you have. Obviously, duvets are quite large, especially Queen- and King-sized duvets, and they might not fit comfortably in your machine. If this is the case, your local laundrette should have larger machines that will accommodate the duvet more easily.
That said, many home machines will be large enough. Front loading machines are the better option here – they tend to have a hollow drum that allows for plenty of room for the duvet to move about. Some top loading machines have an agitator in the middle of the drum which can make things a little tougher, but it can be done.
Settings & Detergent for Washing a Duvet
A gentle setting is recommended for washing duvets, along with a warm (not hot) water temperature –around 30 degrees celsius is a good rule of thumb. In terms of detergent, it’s best to opt for something mild unless your duvet is very badly stained. If the stains are very dark or noticeable, don’t be afraid to use a detergent with a built-in stain remover (Persil offer a great range). Stain-removing detergents are relatively gentle today, and shouldn’t do any damage to your duvet, not even to a luxurious feather duvet, although you should always check the care label.
When your duvet is in the machine, don’t wander too far. Keep an eye (or ear) out for the end of the rinse cycle. Before the spin begins, stop the machine and repeat the rinse cycle once more. Being so big, fluffy, and absorbent, duvets can retain some detergent and soapy water, so an extra rinse cycle should be enough to make sure it’s completely fresh and clean.
Drying a Duvet
When you get your duvet out of the machine, don’t be alarmed. If it’s a feather duvet, the damp feathers will have become darker, and will make your duvet seem a little discoloured. This is nothing to worry about, and it will return to its normal colour once it’s dried completely.
To dry, it really is best to use a dryer, although finding one large enough can be tricky and you should always follow the care instructions. Again, if your home dryer won’t accommodate the duvet, your local laundrette should have a suitable alternative.
Some people naturally prefer to line dry, but the issue in terms of duvets is that they take so long to dry out that they can start to grow mildew and mould and they can start to smell a little musty. The quicker they dry, the better. A good compromise could be to partially dry the duvet in the machine, and then allow to air dry afterwards.
So, Can You Wash Duvets at Home?
Sometimes, yes – as long as you check the care label first. Some duvets may be marked as ‘dry clean only’ – if so, then do not attempt to wash the duvet at home but instead take it to a dry cleaner.
Washing a duvet may not be the easiest (or the most enjoyable) task you’ll ever complete, but it’s better than sleeping under dirty bedding – we’ve also got some tips on how to clean your mattress to help ensure that your bed is super fresh! Just remember, don’t wash your duvets too often – too much and the duvet may start to come apart. It’s typically recommended that duvets are washed once per year: usually when you make the switch between your light summer duvet and your heavier winter alternative.