A comforter is a fundamental part of our bed essentials. It provides a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling that elevates our sleeping experience.
However, cleaning and protecting your comforter from damage can be demanding. Cleaning experts say to wash comforters just a few times a year, even with the added layer of protection duvet covers provide.
This regular cleaning will keep your comforter in the best condition and prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for dust mites and infections.
Washing your comforter may be strenuous, but it is not impossible.
How to Wash a Comforter in a Washer Without Ruining it
- Study the Care Label on the Comforter
The care label found at the ends of the comforter, containing icons and symbols, gives instructions about the cleaning and care of the comforter.
These attached care labels are unique to each comforter because of their material. Care labels are vital because individual materials have different wash processes.
Cotton, silk, polyester, down, and wool, are some types of materials for comforters.
Read the care labels thoroughly to avoid damaging mistakes while washing your comforter.
Some of these instructions are:
- Your comforter is either machine washable, dry clean only, or hand wash only,
- The right water temperature to wash the comforter is either cold, warm, or hot water.
- The type of detergent you should use for the comforter.
- The type of wash cycle you should run on your washing machine is either a delicate wash cycle, a normal wash cycle, or a permanent press wash cycle.
- Whether your comforter can be bleached or not.
- Whether your comforter should be air-dried or tumble-dried.
- Check your Comforter for Stains
Do not ignore this step. Due to the material of comforters, the wash process has to be delicate. There is a high chance that the wash process will miss stains giving you a stain-filled albeit clean comforter after washing.
Checking for stains on a dry comforter is better and less time-consuming than checking on a wet comforter. It is also less annoying.
Use the best stain removers to spot-treat the comforter.
- First, search the comforter for any stain.
- Treat the stains one by one.
- Wet the first stain with water.
- Pour a small amount of stain remover.
- Leave for a while, then dab with a white cloth.
- Repeat this process for every stain you find.
The white cloth ensures the color does not transfer to the comforter to create another set of troubles.
If you don’t have stain remover or are a fan of DIY and homemade solutions, mix baking soda with water and use it as the stain remover. For tougher stains, try using white vinegar.
- Fix Tears and Loose Seams on the Comforter
The tiny tears on the comforter lead to larger ones after you run it in a washing machine. You don’t want your comforter falling apart when you bring it out from the dryer. To prevent this, check every crevice for tears or loose seams, no matter how small they may be.
Use a thread and needle to repair these tears and tighten the loose seams before washing. When you send your comforter to the dry cleaners, remind them to repair any damage before washing.
- Wash the Comforter According to the instructions on the Care Label
Your care label might confirm your comforter to be machine washable. If this is the case, use the specified wash cycle settings. It will probably be a gentle or delicate cycle.
You should also use the proper detergent and water temperature. A mild detergent is best for washing, especially for a down comforter. It’s safer to use cold water if the water temperature is not specified because cold water preserves the color and fabric of the comforter.
Most of the time, the care label specifies the preferred water temperature.
Most importantly, ensure the washer capacity is enough to fit the comforter properly. There should be enough room for space and movement. The suitable washer capacity will stop the comforter from hiding dirty spots and becoming lumpy.
Always check for stains after washing. If there are still stains on the comforter, spot-treat them again and put the comforter in the washer for a new wash. This rewashing is why you should be thorough at the initial spot testing phase.
Use extra rinse to ensure the suds are gone. Down comforters require extra care because of their delicate texture.
- Dry your comforter
Fluff your comforter before you place it in the dryer. Put clean tennis balls or fluff rings inside the dryer to reduce drying time and prevent your comforter from clumping.
The drying process will happen over several hours. Sometimes, you must run the dryer multiple times to completely dry the comforter. Always use the low heat setting, except there is an allotted setting on the care label.
Low heat prevents damage to the comforter.
While the comforter is in the dryer, take it out every 30 to 45 minutes to fluff it and place it back in the dryer. Fluffing the comforter will make it dry evenly and reduce dry time.
Air-dry your comforter outside, preferably with the sun, for a few hours; if you are not sure about the dryness of the comforter.
- Check for Wet Spots on the Comforter
Nothing is more aggravating than lying on your freshly-washed comforter only to discover some parts are still wet. It ruins the experience, and a wet comforter is a breeding spot for mold and dust mites.
Gently press down different sides of the comforter after drying to guarantee no wet spots.
Washing Your Comforter in a Laundromat
Your local laundromat is actually the best way to clean your comforter. There are large capacity machines big enough to fit the comforter comfortably and enough space in the area to spot test, repair tears, and fluff your comforter.
Find the laundromat best suited to your comfort and needs. Note that sometimes, the machines in the laundromat might have color stains or lint. Rinse the washer, and if necessary, use a nice-smelling spray to prepare the washer before use.
Hand-Washing Your Comforter
Sometimes, the care label specifies to hand wash your comforter due to the delicate material that will get destroyed in a washer. Other times you may not have access to a washer, and even if you do, you might not have one with the capacity to contain your comforter.
Do not fret. You can wash your comforter by hand in your bathtub.
- Make sure your bathtub is clean. If it is not clean or has suds or stains around the tub, clean it again.
- Fill up the bathtub with water. Make sure to use adequate water temperature.
- Add just enough detergent so you won’t get much suds.
- Stir the water with your hand.
- Spot test the comforter for stains and check for tears.
- Submerge your comforter into the bathtub and leave to soak for 20 minutes.
- Gently press the comforter with your hands or legs to remove the dirt.
- Drain the bathtub and refill with water.
- Submerge the comforter into the water again.
- Leave the comforter to soak for 20 minutes.
- Gently press the comforter to remove the soap suds. Repeat this process until the comforter is sud-free.
- Drain the tub and press the comforter gently to remove any excess water.
- Hang your comforter outside to air-dry with the sun. Make sure to spread it to the fullest extent.
Use Cleaning Professionals
Washing your comforter in your home is stressful and time-consuming. You may think cleaning your comforter is not worth having a headache over. You will be justified in thinking so.
Spend the extra dollars to save yourself the time, energy, and sometimes, the pain it will take you to wash the comforter on your own in your house.
Other times, the care label instructions say dry-clean only. This instruction is popular with silk and wool comforters. If this is the case, do not attempt to wash it yourself. Let the professionals do it!
How often should you wash your comforter?
Experts recommend washing your comforter 3 to 4 times a year. You might need to wash them more when the weather is hot and humid. Health professionals also highly recommend washing your comforter after a sick person has used it.
Tips for Comforter Care
- Cover your comforter with a duvet cover.
The duvet cover will protect your comforter from stains and sweat, keeping it cleaner for longer. Toss your duvet cover in the washing machine every other week.
- Use a steamer to keep your comforter fresh.
Using a steamer, not iron or starch, on the comforter will deodorize the comforter and remove wrinkles and dust mites.
- Use fabric spray
Keep your comforter smelling nice and fresh with a fabric spray.
- Do not use too much detergent.
The label specifies the amount of detergent to use when washing your comforter. Using too much detergent will cause soap suds to remain in the comforter, increasing your rinse time. You would not want to use too much rinse time as this can damage the comforter.
- Check the Care Label Before Buying
With how much the care label affects the washing process, checking if the specified conditions are favorable to you before purchase is essential. You don’t want to twist yourself in a pretzel to clean your beloved comforter.
- Check the washer and dryer before use.
This check is a requirement for laundromats. You don’t know what was in the machine before your arrival. There could be stains or leftover lint. Do not let this transfer to your comforter. Rinse thoroughly before use.