Duvets and pillows are often the most neglected items of bedding when it comes to washing. People regularly wash bed linen but tend to either forget about the duvets inside or consider this as a big chore – not even during the annual spring clean. And who wants to lug a big duvet to the launderette or dry cleaners?
However, it’s perhaps easier than you think to wash bedding (if you choose the new highly washable products on the market)! Here is The Fine Bedding Company’s definitive guide to how, why and when to wash bedding.
How often should I wash my duvet and pillow?
We recommend a duvet and pillow wash every few months (particularly for allergy sufferers) – or at least twice a year.
Why is it important to wash a duvet?
While our pyjamas and bed sheets are the first line of defence, stuff builds up in duvets over time.
One of the biggest nasties are dust mites – microscopic mites that can be present in their thousands. They live on the dead skin cells everyone loses while in bed. It’s also estimated that we sweat out about 200ml every night – passing beyond the humble sheet.
Washing helps cleanse the product of any accumulated dirt, moisture and dust; it keeps it hygienic and refreshes the filling. More importantly, washing at 60°C kills dust mites. If people have allergies or asthma dust mites can make symptoms worse.
The first thing to check is whether your duvet is synthetic or natural (feather/down).
- Look for care labels on synthetic products that show how best to wash individual products, but as a guide the best synthetic products can be washed at 60°C.
- Wash as high as the care label allows.
- Check that your duvet actually fits into the machine – allowing enough room for fabric and fibres to agitate inside and get thoroughly clean. We recommend larger togs and sizes, e.g.13.5 tog king and superking size duvets, should be washed in a large capacity machine (the majority of modern washing machines now have a high capacity drum as standard). All size and tog rating options of Spundown will fit into a standard 7kg drum, unlike some others on the market.
- It’s wise to use about one third of your usual amount of detergent
- Use a normal spin cycle
- After the cycle, shake out the duvet while it’s damp to redistribute the filling evenly.
- Again check the care label, but drying a duvet as quickly as possible is advisable – in a tumble dryer for 45 minutes – or outside on a hot sunny day!
- Air the duvet before placing back on a bed
- Natural duvets should be washed with extreme care – specialist cleaning is highly recommended.
- Feather filled products can be washed at home but generally the machine capacity isn’t large enough and they take much longer to dry versus products that have a hydrophobic filling (like Smartfil) that repels water.
- It is absolutely ESSENTIAL that natural duvets be thoroughly dried. Even though a duvet may feel dry to the touch, the filling inside often holds on to moisture so if the duvet is not dried properly, rotting of the filling can occur.
Mop up any excess liquid as soon as possible. Try and move as much of the filling away from the area you need to clean and tie the area off with an elastic band. Dab (don’t rub) the stain with cold water (hot will set the stain) and add a mild detergent or a specialist stain removal product for more stubborn stains.
Dry cleaning isn’t advised as it uses chemicals that can affect the filling. Professional cleaning is different as it’s a specialist version of washing at home.
See how independent experts test the washability of a duvet.