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Laundry Guide: What is the Best Way to Clean Duvets and Comforters?

by Mitchell Chitiz

When done properly, washing your duvet is an exercise you should only have to practice every couple of years. By following our duvet washing tips, you’ll be able to keep your duvet looking fresh and brand new.


General Duvet Washing Tips

These duvet washing tips will apply to any type of duvet. Whether you have a Canadian Down duvet or a Down-Alternative duvet, you can follow these simple steps to establish proper duvet hygiene.

Use a Duvet Cover: Make sure you have a quality duvet cover on your duvet at all times. This will protect your duvet from spills, stains, pet hair, and general wear and tear. In order to keep your duvet looking and feeling fresh, it’s important to protect it with a duvet cover. Duvet covers are much easier to clean than duvets, and are designed to be washed every few weeks. Traditional duvets should only be washed once every couple of years. 

Duvet Materials: The most important step is to understand what type of duvet you have. Once you’ve established the materials you’re working with, you’ll be able to follow our duvet washing guides below.


Book lying on a Down duvet or comforter

Remove the Cover Before Washing: Always remove the duvet from the duvet cover before cleaning. You will need to wash these two pieces in separate loads to ensure a proper clean and avoid overloading your washing machine.

Repair Seams in Your Duvet: Check your duvet over to make sure there are no tears in the seams or fabric. This is especially important if you have a Down or Down-Alternative duvet. If you find any tears in your duvet or its seams, sew them tightly to avoid a washing machine disaster. If you aren’t able to repair the seams, do not launder your duvet until all of the holes have been sealed.

Spot Treatment: Use a spot treatment solution to remove tough stains instead of fully washing your duvet. Be sure to move the duvet fill from around the area and use a sponge to soak the spot. Rinse the area multiple times, but avoid getting the fill wet. You can then use a hair dryer on low-heat to dry the spot. Spot treatments are also beneficial during the full duvet washing process. Complete the beginning of this step before putting your duvet in the washing machine for a thorough clean.

Pre-Soak Your Duvet: While this step is optional, we recommend pre-soaking your duvet in a cleaning solution before washing it. This step requires a clean bathtub and a few minutes of your time. You will need to completely submerge your duvet in the pre-treatment and let it sit for a number of minutes. There is no specific time required, but we recommend a minimum of 10 minutes to allow the duvet to fully soak in the solution.


Bed with blue and white bedding

Use a Large Washing Machine: If you need to fully launder your duvet, be sure to use a large, front-load washing machine. Duvets greatly increase in weight once they’ve absorbed water and can cause damage to smaller washing machines - not to mention the strain on the duvet itself. We also recommend using a front-load washing machine, as the centre agitators in top-load machines can pull threads and stress the seams of your duvet. If you don’t have access to a front-load washing machine at home, consider going to a laundromat or washing your duvet by hand.

Rinse Your Duvet Multiple Times: Regardless of the type of duvet you have, it is best to rinse your duvet multiple times. This allows the duvet to fully release any trapped odors or built-up detergent. To do this step, simply stop your washing machine after the rinse cycle and run it again. While this step isn’t necessary, we recommend taking the time to rinse your duvet thoroughly, especially if you have any sensitivities to scents.

Dry Your Duvet Properly: Always make sure your duvet is completely dry before putting it back into the cover. Much like pillows, putting a cover on a damp duvet will result in mildew growth and a musty smell that will ruin your duvet. We recommend you hang your duvet to dry in a shaded area for at least 24 hours. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can negatively affect the fill of Down and Down-Alternative duvets.


Dogs sleeping on a bed

How to Wash a Down Duvet or Down-Alternative Duvet


Step 1: Use a mild liquid detergent - no fabric softener, as it prevents the Down from drying properly.

Step 2: Wash in warm water with a gentle cycle to avoid wear on the seams.

Step 3: Rinse two to three times to completely remove any detergent odour.

Step 4: Tumble dry on low-heat or cool, shake a few times during the dry cycle.

Step 5: Use dryer balls or clean tennis balls in a pillowcase to fluff the duvet.

Step 6: Hang your duvet in the shade to air for 24 hours or until completely dry.

Do not iron, do not bleach, do not dry clean. Rigorously shake and fluff your Down duvet each morning to keep its shape.


How to Wash a Synthetic or Microfiber Duvet


Step 1: Use a mild liquid detergent.

Step 2: Wash in warm water with a gentle cycle to avoid wear on the seams.

Step 3: Tumble dry on low-heat.

Step 4: Use dryer balls or clean tennis balls in a pillowcase to prevent lumping.

Step 5: Shake the duvet multiple times during the drying process.

Step 6: Hang to dry if necessary.

Do not iron, do not bleach.


Westex Down-Alternative duvet and comforter


How to Wash a Cotton Duvet


Step 1: Use a small amount of gentle liquid detergent.

Step 2: Wash in warm water with a gentle cycle to avoid wear on the seams.

Step 3: Tumble dry on low-heat or cool.

Step 4: Use dryer balls or clean tennis balls in a pillowcase to prevent lumping.

Step 5: Remove the duvet before it completely dries and hang to finish.

Step 6: Rotate or flip your duvet to ensure that both sides dry.

Do not iron, do not bleach.


Down and Down-Alternative Duvets by Westex


Westex offers a variety of luxury Down and Down-Alternative duvets. Our Down products are ethically sourced and carry the DOWNMARK certification. As a proud Canadian business, our mission is to conserve resources and use sustainable practices to produce our Down and Down-Alternative bedding.