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How To Wash A Duvet: A Complete Guide

Washing your duvet is an important part of keeping your bedding fresh and hygienic. While duvet covers can be washed regularly, the duvet insert tends to get neglected. However, with the right techniques, washing a duvet at home is perfectly possible. This guide will take you through everything you need to know, from deciding when it's time to wash your duvet and pre-treating stains to step-by-step machine and hand washing methods, drying, and storage.

When To Wash Your Duvet

Most experts recommend washing your duvet insert about once or twice a year. However, if you tend to sweat a lot at night or spill things on your bed, you may want to wash it more frequently, such as every 3–6 months.

Signs that it's time to wash your duvet include:

  • Visible stains or soiling
  • A musty or unpleasant odour
  • An increase in allergies or asthma symptoms when sleeping

Preparing Your Duvet For The Wash

Before washing your duvet, there are a few preparatory steps:

  1. Check the care label - This will advise on whether machine or hand washing is recommended and any specific instructions.
  2. Vacuum both sides - Use a vacuum brush attachment to remove any loose dirt, dust mites, skin cells, etc.
  3. Pre-treat any stains - Spot clean any visible stains by dabbing gently with a damp cloth and carpet stain remover. Avoid rubbing, which can spread the stain.
  4. Repair any holes or tears - Stitch up any small holes and tears to prevent the filling from escaping.
  5. Remove duvet cover - Wash this separately, as it will likely need cleaning more frequently than the insert.

Washing A Duvet By Machine

Most duvets made from microfiber or other synthetic materials can be machine washed. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Choose the right detergent
  • For down or feather duvets, use a delicate wash detergent to prevent damage to feathers.
  • For synthetic duvets, a regular detergent is fine but use half the usual amount.
  1. Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle

Choose the delicates or wool setting and a low spin speed. Set the water temperature to 30°C/85°F or as recommended.

  1. Load the duvet

Feed your duvet carefully into the machine, avoiding overfilling. You may need to wash double duvets in two loads.

  1. Add two rinse cycles

The dense filling means detergent residue can be an issue, so set two rinse cycles.

  1. Air dry if possible

Tumble drying can damage feathers. Air drying is gentler - lay flat in a warm spot out of direct sunlight.

Top tip: Add a couple of clean tennis balls to the drying machine to fluff the duvet filling.

Washing A Duvet By Hand

To hand wash your duvet:

  1. Fill a bathtub with lukewarm water

Don't make the water too hot as this can damage feathers. Add a small amount of delicate wash liquid.

  1. Immerse your duvet section-by-section

Gently push it up and down to dissolve the detergent then leave to soak for 10 minutes.

  1. Rinse thoroughly

Drain the dirty water then refill the tub and rinse, repeating until the water runs clear. Gently press out excess moisture.

  1. Dry flat

Lay the duvet out evenly on towels or a drying rack in a well-ventilated room. Turn periodically.

  1. Fluff with tennis balls

Pop a couple of clean tennis balls in the dryer on air fluff setting to redistribute filling.

Drying Your Duvet Thoroughly

No matter which washing method you use, proper drying is vital to avoid mold or mildew developing:

  • Check manufacturer's guidelines on drying first
  • Choose air fluff or no heat tumble dry setting
  • Dry in a commercial machine if home dryer is too small
  • Remove and shake out duvet every 30 minutes
  • Repeat drying cycles until completely dry inside
  • Avoid direct sunlight when air-drying

To test if your duvet is fully dry, reach inside and feel deep within the filling. There should be no dampness at all.

Storing A Duvet

Follow these tips for safe duvet storage between seasonal uses:

  • Store flat, not folded, to avoid bunching the filling
  • Use a large breathable cotton storage bag
  • Vacuum seal for compressed storage under beds
  • Keep in a cool, dry place like a closet shelf
  • Avoid plastic bags or bins that hold moisture
  • Shake out and air regularly if stored long term

Caring For Different Duvet Fillings

Special care should be taken when washing and drying duvets with natural fiber fillings:

Down duvets:

  • Check for loose feathers pre-wash and remove
  • Use a down-specific wash product
  • Air dry in a shady spot then use tennis balls to fluff
  • Store loosely in breathable cotton to prevent flattening

Wool duvets:

  • Hand Wash gently in cool water with wool wash
  • Rinse thoroughly in clean water
  • Dry flat, not directly on radiators or in sunlight
  • Store folded in a breathable bag

Silk duvets:

  • Dry-clean only to prevent damage to delicate fibres
  • Air out and brush gently before storage
  • Avoid vacuum packing or tight folds

By understanding the unique properties of different duvet fillings, you can keep even the most luxurious bedding fresh and damage-free for years to come.

I hope you found this complete guide useful for learning how to properly wash a duvet insert. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Harry Virk

Harry Virk is the director of CleaningPro Auckland. He has years of experience in the cleaning industry and his company is expert at providing exceptional cleaning services in Auckland. He has a passion for helping people and making sure that their homes are clean, tidy, and ready for visitors.

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