How To Deep-Clean Your Comforter, With Or Without A Laundry Machine

mindbodygreen Editorial Assistant By Sarah Regan
mindbodygreen Editorial Assistant

Sarah Regan is a writer, registered yoga instructor, and Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Freshly Made Bed in a Sunny Room

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Few things feel as restorative as tucking yourself into freshly cleaned bedding at the end of the day. But when it comes to washing your bulky comforter, the task can feel slightly daunting. It definitely doesn't have to be, though!

Cleaning and drying your comforter is, of course, necessary for hygienic reasons, but it also makes your entire bed feel that much more comforting (pun intended). While it's recommended to wash sheets on a weekly basis, the general rule of thumb for bulkier bedding like comforters and duvets is two to three times a year—maybe even once a season if you want to hit all points of your seasonal cleaning refresh. So without further ado, here's how to wash and dry your comforter, with and without a washing machine.

How to clean a comforter in the washing machine.

To get the lowdown on comforter cleaning best practices, we spoke with founder of Clean Mama Becky Rapinchuk. To start, she recommends getting yourself a gentle detergent.

"Remove the duvet cover if you use one," she says. "You'll want to use a gentle detergent and set your washer on delicate or gentle, with a cold water cycle as well as its largest capacity."

Rapinchuk notes that a washer with a bigger capacity is best when it comes to washing bulky items, to ensure your entire comforter is actually getting cleaned. "If you have to cram your comforter in and it's a super tight fit, you might want to take it to the laundromat," she says.

Once the wash cycle is done, she advises running it through the rinse cycle again, to get all the detergent out. Then, she typically runs the spin cycle an extra time, too, "to remove any excess water and help the comforter or duvet dry a little more quickly."

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How to clean a comforter sans washing machine.

And if you don't want to use a washing machine or a laundromat, you've got other options. Rapinchuk doesn't recommend attempting to wash your comforter in a bathtub because it'll be really difficult to remove all the water.

Instead, she advises spot cleaning with a little detergent and using your dryer to fluff up and refresh the comforter. If you don't have, or don't want to use, a dryer, hanging up your comforter on a line or drying rack will suffice, but you won't get the same fluffed-up results.

How to dry it completely.

And of course, once your comforter is nice and clean, it's equally important to make sure it's fully dry.

"Once the duvet is washed and the excess water has been wrung out, you can now place it in the dryer. If your comforter or duvet is made from synthetic materials, dry on a low to medium heat cycle and avoid any high heat," Rapinchuk notes. "Down and natural materials can't stand much heat, so set your dryer on air or low and allow them to dry thoroughly."

Thoroughly is key, "because you don't want any mold or mildew to develop, and you want to make sure that the filling is evenly distributed," she says.

Again, if a dryer isn't an option, line drying or a stand-alone drying rack in your home will work, but the dryer will definitely help keep your comforter nice and plush.

And that's all there is to it! Cleaning your comforter doesn't have to be done often, so when you do it, it's important to do it right, for the sake of hygiene—and a great night's sleep.

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