Can You Machine Wash Down Jacket: The Right Techniques

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We all want to extend the lifespan of our down jacket since these jackets aren’t affordable; in fact, many of us have probably spent more money on a down jacket than any other piece of outerwear we own. The truth is, while down jackets are made from high-quality materials, they do tend to require gentle care when washed.

Washing down these jackets are tricky, and most of the time, professional cleaners are the best people who should wash the item.

Nonetheless, we’ve learned the ins and outs of properly washing and drying down jackets, and we will share them with you!

Can You Machine Wash Down Jacket?

Fortunately, yes, you can machine wash your down jacket, but you’re going to have to pay special attention to how you wash it, as well as how you would dry it after. The issue with machine washers is that they tend to be rough on certain fabrics, making the material wear down after multiple washes.

We want to preserve the lifespan of your down jacket, and also have it retain its insulating properties, so we’ll show you the steps on how you can machine wash your down jacket safely and effectively.

Can You Machine Wash Down Jacket

1. Pat Down Your Jacket

The first step you’ll want to take is to pat down your jacket either over a trash bag or outside of your home. This can help loosen any excess dirt or mud that’s sitting on the exterior of your jacket. Next, turn the pockets inside out and shake them down until everything is empty.

2. Check Your Washer

Next, you’re going to want to check your washer. The reason behind this is that down jackets are extremely sensitive to cleaners, especially detergent. Thus, any detergent or softener residue that it would come in contact with can end up ruining the feathers in your down jacket and can even remove the protective, water-resistant coating.

Also, you don’t want to wash a down jacket unless it’s a front-loading washing machine. The reason for this is that other washing machines tend to weigh down your jacket and ruin the fluffy interior.

3. Clean the Leftover Detergent

The next step you’re going to take is to clean out any remaining detergent from your machine. It’s always best to be safe, and if you regularly wash your clothes or happen to share your machine with others, then it’s best to take this precautionary step.

This way, you’ll reduce the number of harmful chemicals that can affect the down feathers. If you still think there may be residue, you can adjust your machine to a hot setting with nothing inside and have it run for one wash. This will help melt and remove any remaining detergent from the machine.

4. Adjust the Settings

You’re going to need to adjust the settings of your washer to fit your down jacket. The most common and safe one to use is to change your washing machine’s cycle to cold water. However, if you have either a delicate or wool cycle, you can also use this. As long as it’s on a gentle setting, you’re good to go.

Use a Down Jacket Cleaner

5. Use a Down Jacket Cleaner

Lastly, use a down jacket-friendly cleaner to wash your jacket. There are special kinds of detergents developed to clean your down jacket with, and we recommend using one.

You’ll want to measure out the correct amount and pour it into your washer’s detergent compartment. These types of cleanser are specially designed not to strip your outerwear off of the protective water-resistant coating, and they also ensure that the down feathers don’t get destroyed or weighed down by chemicals.

What About Drying?

Drying a down jacket is a bit more complicated, as you can’t just set it out in the sun to dry because of the feathers inside. Drying your down jacket in the sun will result in an odd-smelling jacket that takes days to dry properly. Even if you let it sit out flatly, the feathers will start to clump together and cause the jacket to look lumpy.

Hence, you’re going to want to use your drying machine. To properly dry a down jacket, use a low-heat setting on your dryer. Add a few tennis balls or other types of dryer-safe balls into the machine with your jacket to help prevent the feathers from clumping together. This will help your jacket retain that fluffy interior.


Down jackets aren’t cheap, and you want to extend their lifespan as long as possible. Let’s face it: many of us can’t go a few days without accidentally getting our outerwear dirty. This means you’re going to have to wash the down jacket anyways.

Fortunately, the answer to the question “Can you machine wash down jacket?” is a definite yes, so instead of paying hefty fees for dry cleaning, just learn how to clean your down jacket yourself. It will save you money and time and will preserve your coat for the years to come.

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