How To Wash a Down Jacket

Written by Dan | 07/02/2023



How To Wash a Down Jacket

For most men, a down jacket is an essential part of their winter wardrobe. Not only do they offer superior warmth and comfort in cold temperatures, but they look great too! In the real world, we understand that coats get dirty.

Dirt, mud, and other materials can all build up on the surface of your down coat over time. As such, it’s important to know how to wash a down or puffer jacket properly so that you can keep it looking like new!

In this article, we’ll go over the basics of washing a down jacket so that you can maintain its quality and longevity. I’ve included some examples of our favourites along the way!

Ralph Lauren Bomber Down Jacket

Ralph Lauren Bomber Down Jacket


Washing a Down Jacket

Start by checking the step-by-step instructions on your down jacket’s label. Different brands may have different washing instructions, so make sure to follow the directions specific to your garment. If there are no instructions or you can’t find them, you should generally wash your down jacket in cold water and use a mild detergent designed for delicate fabrics.

Hand wash

You can manually clean your down coat by filling a clean sink, bath or basin with cold water and mild detergent. Use your hands to gently agitate the water and circulate it around the garment. Soak the jacket for about 15 minutes, then rinse it with cool water until you’ve removed all soap residue.

Machine wash

It’s important to make sure that the washing machine is properly clean before you start. To do this, add a cup of white vinegar to the machine and run it through an empty cycle on its highest setting. This will help remove any residue that may be present in the washer drum from previous loads.

Once your washing machine is clean and ready to go, brush the coat gently. This will remove any loose debris from the outer fabric. It might be necessary to do some spot cleaning on the outer shell fabric to soften any tough stains before washing.

The North Face 1996 Nuptse Down Jacket

The North Face 1996 Nuptse Down Jacket


Place your down jacket into the drum along with a small amount of detergent. You can get down detergent which will help the material retain its natural oils. Set the machine to its gentlest washing cycle and use a cold wash setting.

If there’s excess dirt on the coat, it may be a good idea to run a few cycles or even consider hand washing. If your machine has a separate rinse cycle, it won’t do any harm to run a second rinse.

Multiple spins will help to speed up drying and could help to agitate the down so that it doesn’t clump up.

It’s also important to remember that down jackets should never be wrung out or stretched during the washing process, as this can damage the fabrics or feathers. If you have to, gently squeeze the fabric a few times to remove excess water before starting the drying process.

Finally, it’s a good idea to use a down-specific liquid added to the detergent compartment when washing your jacket. These products are specifically designed for down jackets and can help keep the feathers from clumping together and losing their loft, maintaining their insulating properties.

Armani Exchange Padded Down Jacket

Armani Exchange Padded Down Jacket


Drying a Down Jacket

Now for the drying process. Remove any excess water and hang your jacket in a cool, well-ventilated area to air dry. You can also put it in the tumble dryer on a low setting with no heat for just a few minutes to help fluff up any spots that are still wet after washing.

Just make sure you don’t overdo it – too much heat can cause damage to the feathers and fabrics of your coat. Air drying should be your first port of call.

Some people swear by using clean tennis balls in the dryer to help fluff up the down feathers. If you follow the steps above, your jacket should look like new.

Calvin Klein Jeans Essentials Down Jacket

Calvin Klein Jeans Essentials Down Jacket


Dry cleaning your coat

If you don’t feel confident machine-washing expensive garments or the jacket needs particular attention, you should consider professional dry cleaning. This will ensure that your down coat is washed correctly and comes out looking great!


To Summarise:

  1. Brush any loose mud from the coat and spot clean tough stains
  2. Place in the washing machine with a small amount of detergent (down-specific cleaner if possible) on cold settings
  3. Run multiple spin cycles to help speed up drying and agitate the down feathers
  4. Hang dry or put in the dryer on low heat for a few minutes
  5. Use clean tennis balls in the dryer to fluff up feathers
  6. Consider professional dry cleaning for expensive garments


With these steps, you can keep your jacket looking and performing like new. It might take a bit of extra effort to make sure it’s washed correctly, but the results will be worth it! Properly cared for, down jackets will last for years and provide excellent insulation in cold weather. So don’t neglect your favourite winter coat – with a little TLC, you can keep it in great condition for many seasons to come.



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