How to Clean Down Filled Winter Jackets | Q&A

woman wearing parka

Living in an area with harsh winters means that having a proper cold weather jacket is an absolute must. I finally invested in a down jacket and I can say, while it was a little pricey, I absolutely love it. That being said, these down filled parkas do come with their own unique set of cleaning challenges! Janice from Detroit asks:

I have a down filled parka that kinda smells, how do I clean it without ruining it?

Melissa Says:

If you’ve recently removed your parka from storage and found a few lingering stains and/or odors from last winter, not to fear! Most down jackets can be washed at home—but always remember to read and follow the care labels first.

Start by removing any fur from the jacket, you don’t really want to wash these. However, if these fur pieces do need cleaning you can use a soft bristled brush to remove any debris or take them to a professional for a deeper cleaning. Next, zip up the jacket, close all the velcro areas (so you don’t get debris stuck in the bristles), and of course, empty your pockets. You’ll want to wash your down jacket in cold water with a gentle detergent (scent free and dye free etc.), or a specialty product made specifically for down filled jackets. This is also one of those cases where I recommend not to add any additional items to the wash, for example: fabric softener, vinegar, bleach or essential oils.

As soon as the wash is done you want to get it in the dryer ASAP. Throw your jacket in a few dryer balls (or tennis balls in an old sock) and tumble dry on low to help redistribute feathers. You’ll want to ensure the coat has dried evenly, even if it takes more than 1 cycle to dry.

All of this being said—remember to start by FOLLOWING THE CARE LABEL!

Hope that helps!

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


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