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How to Wash a Comforter

You can wash a comforter similar to any other load of laundry. 

Over time, your comforter accumulates dust mites, skin cells, and dirt. And depending on how much you sweat at night, it can absorb sweat and discolor. 

How to Wash a Comforter

To keep your comforter clean and in excellent condition, wash it 1-2 times per year. Here’s how. 

How to Wash a Comforter in the Washing Machine: Step by Step

Before washing your comforter, refer to the care tag. While most comforters and duvet inserts are machine washable, yours may have special instructions depending on the material.

Step 1: Inspect and Spot Treat Stains 

If there’s a duvet cover on your comforter, remove it. You can place it in the washer with your sheets and pillowcases. 

Next, inspect the comforter. Repair small holes before washing, or they can increase in size. Finally, treat all stains with your favorite laundry stain remover.

Step 2: Wash in a Large Capacity Machine

The hardest part of washing a comforter is fitting it in the washing machine. If you have a down comforter and a small washer, you’ll need to hand wash it or take it to the local laundromat.

But if your comforter fits in your washing machine, add in your regular laundry detergent and use the gentle cycle with cold or warm water.

Step 3: Dry the Comforter

After washing, place the comforter in your dryer at low-medium heat. Check the comforter every 20-30 minutes, flipping it over and breaking up clumps in the filling.

Dry thoroughly to avoid mold or mildew growth.

How to Hand Wash a Comforter: Step by Step

If your comforter is too large for your washing machine, clean it by hand. Here’s how.

Step 1: Inspect and Pretreat Stains

If you have a duvet cover, remove it and inspect the comforter. Sew up holes and use a stain remover on dirty spots.

Step 2: Fill a Bathtub with Warm Water and Detergent

Fill your bathtub with warm water and add a capful of laundry detergent. Use a wooden spoon or your hand to swirl the detergent into the water. 

(Be careful not to overfill the bathtub with water, or it will run over when you add the comforter.)

Step 3: Wash the Comforter

Add your comforter to the bathtub and allow it to soak for ten minutes. Then use your hands to squeeze, focusing on areas with a lot of dirt. Use a soft-bristled brush to clean stains.

Step 4: Rinse

Drain the water out of the bathtub and rinse the comforter with cold water until you no longer see suds.

Step 5: Dry Your Comforter

Wring out excess moisture by hand. Then, put the comforter in the dryer on the low-medium temperature setting. Check it every 20-30 minutes, flipping its position and using your hand to fluff the filling.

How to Spot Clean a Comforter

If you want to clean your comforter without submerging it in water, spot-clean it. 

  • Clean dirt and stain with a stain-removing towelette. Try a product like Shout Wipe n Go Towelettes to remove food spills and sweat stains.
  • Kill germs and sanitize with an upholstery steamer. Hang your comforter or drape it over an elevated surface and use an upholstery steamer to sanitize. 
  • Spray a stinky comforter with a fabric refresher. If you can’t wash the comforter and it doesn’t smell good, spray it with a fabric refresher like Febreeze.

Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining a Comforter

  • Cut down on cleanings by using a duvet cover and top sheet. Both items will protect your comforter from getting dirty.
  • Prevent musty smells by drying your comforter in the dryer until you no longer feel damp spots.
  • You don’t need bleach to clean a comforter. If you want to use bleach, only do it if your comforter is white. 
  • Clean your sheets and pillowcases before putting your blanket back on the bed.