Introduction

For puff and fluff – to maintain the quality of down products, you should ensure that you wash them properly. In this chapter, you will find out at how many times you can wash your down products and how often you should ideally clean your pillows and duvets.
*Washing down correctly: a PDF with detailed washing instructions awaits you at the end of the chapter, so as to hand over the reins of down cleaning with a clear conscience.

Washing pillows

If looked after carefully, your pillow will last for up to 5 years. Depending on how much it is used, it should find its way into the washing drum 1 to 2 times a year. You can also easily wash your pillow in a normal household washing machine. Unless otherwise noted on the label, a down pillow can withstand a wash programme of up to 60 degrees. To protect the down and feathers, however, a programme with less heat is recommended.

You should also refrain from using a high spin. It is better to spin the pillows for longer at 300–400 rotations rather than once on a short and high setting. You should wash your pillows individually and not add any other textiles to the wash.
If you want to avoid an unpleasant odour from your down pillow, you should bear two things in mind. First, you should decide on a sufficient quality of down and feathers when you make your purchase and, second, you should be fastidious about ensuring that no damp areas remain when drying.

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Washing your down duvet

High-quality down duvets can last for up to 10 years with good care and regular ventilation. To ensure that your blanket remains as cosy as it was just after you bought it, ensure that it is professionally cleaned: you can easily wash down duvets in your own washing machine (5 to 7 kg capacity). For oversized duvets, however, it may be advisable to go to a launderette with 12 kg washing machines. For the correct wash programme setting, take a look at the label. A wash at 60 degrees is recommended. How often you should clean your down duvet depends on how much it is used. At least every 3 years is advisable.

Duvets made of other materials such as polyester, microfibres or cotton should not be washed at more than 60 degrees, and silk duvets at no more than 30 degrees. You can wash natural hair duvets at 30 degrees, but it is advisable to refrain from doing so. They become matted quickly and have the ability to clean themselves. So whether they are cashmere, camel hair or virgin wool duvets, it is better to ventilate your natural hair duvets regularly to prevent unpleasant odours or germs.

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Washing down jackets

To get stained down jackets clean again, you can wash them yourself in your home washing machine. Unlike with pillows and down duvets, however, you should choose a wash programme for the down jacket that does not get hotter than 30 degrees. You should also not spin the down jacket. Set a speed of over 800 rotations, if only to spin briefly in a time frame of 10–20 seconds – less is always gentler.

As with all textiles, you should check that there is nothing left in the pockets of the down jacket before washing. Close all zips, Velcro fasteners and press-studs, and turn the jacket inside out. To remove grease stains or other stubborn dirt, you can pretreat the jacket with either liquid gall soap or a mixture of warm water and a little down detergent. Simply rub in briefly and let it take effect. The washing machine should hold at least 6 kg, and the down jacket should be able to spread out easily in the drum. To impregnate the down jacket, use a special liquid impregnator for down jackets. Once the washing process has ended, carefully remove the down jacket from the washing machine in a horizontal position. If the jacket is flat, don’t worry. After a short shake and a few laps in the dryer, it should regain its fill power.

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General information

Always check your down products for openings before washing. If small cracks have formed, they can come apart during washing and not only thereby render the down product unusable. If you find a place with such an opening, it is often enough to sew it up.

For all washing processes that have to do with down or feathers, use a special down detergent such as Aqua Clean by Otto Keller, or at least one mild detergent. Also, do not use fabric softener under any circumstances, as this causes the down to stick together. When setting the washing temperature, pay attention to the care label (40 or 60 degrees for down bedding, 30 degrees for down jackets) and generally refrain from high spin rates. Always dry your down laundry thoroughly after washing. In the next chapter, you will learn how to best proceed when drying.
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Having down products cleaned

You can also have your down products treated at a dry cleaner. But to avoid nasty surprises, when choosing a dry cleaner, make sure that they specialise in processing high-quality down products. The costs for cleaning large duvets, for example, are on average 40 to 60 euros; for smaller duvets (135 × 200), they are between 30 and 50 euros.
In the case of high-quality duvets, pillows or jackets made from eiderdown, a special procedure is normally required for cleaning: the fine eiderdown must be separated from the cover, cleaned separately and then placed in a new cover. Our specialist staff will be happy to advise you on this.