How to Wash Puffy Jackets

Puffy jackets are stylish and help you keep warm during cold months, but they can be a pain when washing.

Puffer jackets do not come cheap, so you want to be careful not to damage them when it’s time to wash. There are two ways you can wash your puffy jacket: hand wash them or use a washing machine. This article provides a step-by-step guide to help you get it done correctly. Let’s dive in!

Washing Your Puffy Jacket With a Washing Machine

Washing Machine

You can use a washing machine to wash your puffy jacket, but note that not all washing machines are ideal.

Top-loading washing machines usually come with an agitator that can damage your jacket. Agitators are harder on clothes and can rupture the seal that helps your puffy jacket trap warm air.

On the other hand, front-loading washing machines do not have an agitator. They have an impeller that is milder on clothes and more suitable for washing delicate materials like your puffy jacket.

How to Wash Your Puffy Jacket With a Washing Machine

Wash Your Puffy Jacket With a Washing Machine

If you have a front-loading washing machine, follow the steps below to wash your puffy jacket:

Step One: Perform Adequate Pre-Washing Preparation

Before putting your jacket into the washing machine, do the following:

  • Remove all substances from every pocket of your jacket.
  • Close all flaps and do up every zip or velcro.
  • Brush off every loose dirt or dust.
  • Turn your jacket inside out.

Note: Pre-washing preparation is to make sure there is nothing in your jacket that can damage it while it is churning in your washing machine.

Step Two: Soak your Jacket in Warm Water

If your jacket is filthy, soak it in warm water for an hour. Make sure that the temperature of the water is mild because hot water can damage the jacket.

After soaking, try to squeeze out some of the water from the jacket without wringing it. Wringing a puffy jacket would likely destroy it. 

You can now place the wet jacket in your washing machine. Remember, it should be a front-loading washing machine.

Step Three: Place the Jacket in Your Washing Machine

Set your washing machine to a cool gentle temperature of around 30°C (Also known as the Wool Cycle); high temperatures are not suitable for puffy jackets.

Only use detergents that are specific to puffy jackets. Specific puffy jacket detergents like Nikwax are highly recommended.

These detergents help your jacket retain its maximum fluff and water-repellant quality, making it a good insulator.

Once the wool cycle is complete, run an additional rinse cycle with cold water to ensure all detergent residue on the jacket has been washed off.

Place the machine on a low speed or a gentle, delicate spin cycle to remove excess moisture.

Note: If you must wash your jacket with a top-loading washing machine that has an agitator, place the jacket in a mesh laundry bag. 

This will protect the jacket from tearing when it rubs against the machine’s agitator.

How to Hand Wash Your Puffy Jacket

If you don’t have a front-loading washing machine, it is safer to wash your jacket by hand to avoid any damage.

Do not worry; it is not a complicated process. Here are the steps you can take:

Step One: Place the Jacket in a Large Tub

You can use your bathtub to do this or a huge basin if it’s available.

Step Two: Fill the Tub With Water

Hot water is bad for puffy jackets, so make sure to use warm water when you wash them. Add warm water to the tub and a measure of puffy jacket-friendly detergent. 

Stir briefly to mix the detergent with the water and soak the jacket for thirty to sixty minutes.

Step Three: Scrub the Jacket Carefully

You can do this using a very soft sponge, although using your hands is preferred. Scrub the jacket gently to remove stains or dirt on the jacket. Do not handle it roughly.

Step Four: Rinse the Jacket

Use cold water to rinse the jacket. Make sure there is no residue detergent on it. Squeeze the jacket gently to remove excess water but don’t twist or wring it.

The Drying Process

Although it is not advisable to twist or wring your jacket, you still need to drain excess water, called the drying process. 

When drying puffy jackets, choose a drying method that removes moisture quickly. 

Prolonged water retention is bad for puffy jackets; it leads to mildew growth which is nearly impossible to remove. So use a dryer instead. 

Note: The only time you should air dry your jacket is when you don’t have access to a good drying machine.

How to Dry Your Puffy Jacket Using a Drying Machine

Drying Machine

This is the most tedious part of washing your puffy jacket, but you can get through this. Just follow the steps below:

Step One: Squeeze out excess moisture from your jacket without twisting or wringing.

Step Two: Place the jacket in the drying machine and tumble dry on low heat.

Step Three: Throw two or three tennis balls or dryer balls into the machine before you start drying. The balls will prevent the jacket from clumping together.

Step Four: Take the jacket out every fifteen minutes and fluff it by hand, like a pillow or cushion. 

Doing this would give you the best result and return your jacket to its puffy best. As the jacket gets drier, you will need to do less fluffing. 

If the jacket is almost dry, give it a vigorous shake and place it back in the dryer. Repeat the process until the jacket is completely dry.

Step Five: Hang out the jacket to air. 

It is best to do this after the jacket is completely dry. Air it for some minutes to remove the straight smell from your jacket before putting it in your closet.

Precautions to Take While Washing Your Puffy Jacket

1. Drying your jacket can take up to two hours. Do not try to hasten this process by increasing the heat of your drying machine; this will only damage your jacket. Be patient.

2. Wash your jacket occasionally. Most puffy jackets only need to be washed once or twice a year, and over-washing them can lead to damage.

You can try spot cleaning them if the stains are minor. Rub the stains with a washcloth dipped in water (the water should contain a suitable detergent). Make sure the washcloth is not overly moist.

3. If the outer fabric of your jacket is old or weak, do not wash in a machine. Hand wash it instead to protect it.

4. If your puffy jacket has synthetic insulation, your washing process is the same, but the drying process is not as vigorous.

You don’t have to use tennis or laundry balls when drying them as they do not clump together.


A puffy jacket is a delicate piece of clothing that needs to be handled with care. Fortunately, maintenance is a challenge that you can easily overcome. 

Following the procedures and precautions in this article will assist you in maintaining your jacket without damaging its fluff or insulating powers.

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