Does your washing machine look like the picture above? If so, it may make sense for you to wash your comforter at a laundry-mat...Otherwise, it may be OK for you to wash your down alternative comforter at home.
Washing a down alternative comforter can seem like a daunting task. However, if you have a large enough washer and dryer, it can be pretty easy. If you feel that your washer and dryer is too small, it makes sense to use front loading machines at your local laundry facility. Although each comforter is different, the below will provide you with the proper washing instructions for most down alternative comforters:
1. Set your washing machine to the gentle or delicate cycle
2. Set your washing machine to use cool or warm water
3. Use a minimal amount of mild detergent (no bleach!) In order to avoid discoloration, pour washing detergent into the washer before adding the comforter. Allowing the detergent to dissipate in water will decrease the likelihood of concentrated areas.
4. It is recommended to wash your comforter using the "extra rinse" cycle. This will ensure that all soap is out of the comforter before the drying process. If you do not have this cycle, simply run the comforter through an additional rinse cycle.
5. Tumble dry your comforter on low heat. Depending on the size of your comforter, it may take several cycles for it to fully dry. Taking the comforter out of the dryer to fluff during the drying process will eliminate clumping and help the comforter dry quicker. If the comforter is still slightly damp after a few drying cycles, feel free to dry the comforter outside on a sunny day.
Using tennis balls during the drying process can be an effective way to prevent fill from clumping together and also allows the heat from the dryer to circulate more evenly. Tennis balls are particularly useful for comforters that are box stitched. Box stitched comforters prevent fill from shifting to the edges or corners of the comforter.
If you are lazy (like me), using a duvet cover will provide added protection for your comforter and help it stay cleaner for longer periods of time. Obviously, the duvet cover will need to be cleaned periodically as well.
Below are a few other resources that may be helpful to you:
Apartmenttherapy.com - How To: Wash A Down Comforter
ehow.com - How To Wash A Polyester Comforter
HowStuffWorks.com - How To Clean Your Bedding
Do you have any washing tips? If so, feel free to share them in the comments section below.
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