To increase the lifespan of your down jacket, it is important to wash it correctly. Down is a unique material and as a result needs a little TLC. Having said that, it is not hard to wash your jacket. There are just a few tricks and tips so that you can get the best result. 

As a side note, it is not necessary to wash your jacket after every use. Over- washing is not good either and could cause damage.  

How to wash your down jacket in 5 easy steps:

1. Prepare your jacket

With a damp cloth, wipe away any obvious marks or dirt. Ensure all your pockets are empty and close all the zips on your jacket or coat. Once this is done, turn your jacket inside out. 


grey duck down jacket laid flat with arms folded over


2. Check your washing machine

Ensure the detergent compartment of your washing machine is clean. Residue for other fabric softeners or cleaners could damage the garment. Clean out with hot water if necessary. 

PS. Do not use a top-load washing machine as the middle paddle can damage your jacket. 


3. Set the Cycle 

Set your washing machine to a cold & delicate cycle. Make sure there is no spin cycle (or a long and slow spin cycle) and add an extra rinse cycle to ensure there is no detergent residue on the jacket. 


close up of a hand setting the cycle of a washing machine


4. Add Detergent 

Add your detergent to the washing machine. Use a specialised down detergent or a gentle detergent to ensure no damage is caused to the down inner or material outer. 

If you don't have a washing machine or prefer to hand wash your jacket that is not a problem! Simply soak your jacket or coat for up to 60 min using a gentle detergent or down specific detergent. Rinse and gently squeeze out excess water. Do not wring. 


close up of a hand putting detergent into a washing machine


5. Dry 

Remove your jacket carefully from the washing machine (it can be heavy after washing). Lay flat on a drying rack ensuring all the weight is distributed evenly. Once mostly dry, put your jacket in the tumble dryer on a cool & short cycle (high heats could melt the seams and damage the down). To ensure maximum down loft, place dryer balls or tennis balls in the tumble dryer with your jacket. This will redistribute and 'fluff' up the down beautifully. Make sure your jacket is bone dry before storing. If the down is still wet is can smell. 


What to do

- Always look at the care label inside your jacket

- Use a front loader washing machine

- Use a gentle detergent or specialised down cleaner


What to avoid

- Over washing your jacket(s) 

- Wringing your jacket or coat  

- Using fabric softener

- Storing while still wet

 - Top loader washing machine 

Inga Goldberg