How To Revive Your Fave Jacket

6th December 2017

Your down jacket goes with you everywhere, right? It’s got the perfect balance of style and warmth, ready for whatever plans you’ve got after work or at the weekend.

But if you’ve worn yours a little too much – aka used it as a blanket, duvet, seat, umbrella etc. – then it’s probably looking a bit dull. Your outerwear is the first thing people see in the winter months – so you want it to look good.

Don’t worry though, here’s a full on rundown that looks into how to bring that down jacket back to life with a good wash and dry. It’s time to adult – you got this.  

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You will need:

  • A washing machine
  • Paper towels
  • Down jacket cleaner
  • Down proof
  • Tumble dryer
  • Two or three tennis balls
  • Time and patience
  • Probably, like, a cup of tea (or something stronger) to drink while you wait.

How to wash a down jacket

  • Get rid of any dirt – Hey, we don’t need to know what you’ve been up to but first brush down your jacket to get any loose dirt off.
  • Pick up a down cleaner – If you really want to get things done properly, you need to skip your normal washing powder and grab a high quality, down wash. You can pick one of these up from Amazon or an outdoor clothing shop – Nikwax and Granger’s are two brands to add to your shopping basket.  
  • Wash out your detergent drawer – It’s a really good idea to avoid mixing your down jacket with normal washing detergent, which can ruin it. Grab a paper towel and take a couple of mins to clean out your detergent drawer. Dull stuff – but so important.
  • Use the most delicate cycle on your machine – Choose a wool or delicates cycle for your down jacket and pop it in the drum. Leave the temperature on a cooler setting.  
  • Pour your specialist cleaner in the drawer – Read the instructions to double check you’ve put the right amount in.
  • Start the machine and chill – Grab a drink and relax until the washing machine’s done it’s thing.

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Won’t getting a down jacket wet ruin it?

Nah, not if you follow the instructions above and dry it properly too. We know how much that jacket means to you – so that’s why we made this guide.

Should I wash my down jacket on its own?

Yep. Give that jacket the exclusive treatment and pop it in the washing machine and tumble dryer without anything else.

Can I wash my down jacket more than once?

Sure, but the more it’s washed the harder it will be to stop the down inside from clumping. If you can wipe any muck off, that would be better than just throwing it in the machine. Save the full on washing for when things get really messy – like after that weekend session.

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How to reproof a down jacket

Want your down jacket to last even longer? Take some time to re-proof it. This basically means touching up the waterproof layer your down jacket, probably features. You’ll just need to add another step in the washing process.

When the first wash cycle is done, throw in some of the down proof – Nikwax is recommended for this – then put the machine on a 30°C synthetic cycle followed by a slow spin.

It might feel like another lengthy step but it will be worth it to revive your fave jacket.

How to dry a down filled jacket

Washing machine finished? You’ll need a tumble dryer for this next bit because a down jacket shouldn’t be air dried – ask to use your Nan’s or your Mum’s if you’re stuck.

  1. Set the tumble dryer to a low heat – Don’t be tempted to whack the heat up to make it dry quicker – you’ll wreck your jacket.
  2. Throw in a couple of tennis balls – Clean ones, please! These stop the down inside your jacket from clumping up and making horrible lumps under the material.
  3. Check on it every 15-30 minutes – Once you’ve started the drying, check on your jacket every now and then and give it a fluff up, to spread out the down inside again. Because down jackets are filled with real duck down and goose filling – to keep you warm when you walk home in the dark after a night out – these can stick together pretty quickly when wet. Hold it from the bottom and give it a good shake.

What if I can’t get access to a tumble dryer?

A radiator can dry it just fine but you’ll need to keep giving it a shake regularly to stop the down filling from clumping again.

Don’t have time to deal with the washing machine?

A wet cloth and a tiny bit of down cleaner will do, just try not to soak the jacket or you’ll make the down inside lumpy. This should see you through until you get a chance to hang by the washing machine and tumble dryer for a couple of hours.

Or, y’know you could buy a new one? We have a massive range of men and women’s down jackets here on the site. Just saying.