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How often you should wash your duvet — and the right way to do it

With winter making its way across the country, now’s the time to make sure that oh-so-snuggly duvet you love is fresh and ready for another season of cozying.

Here's the good news: If you're using a duvet cover, which should be washed once a month, duvets can go an impressive five to 10 years without needing to be cleaned.

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But sometimes stains seep through the duvet cover and onto the duvet itself. When that happens, spot clean.

How to spot clean your duvet

  1. Move the down/feather/fiberfill away from the area you wish to clean.
  2. Gently rub a mild soap solution or spot remover into the stain.
  3. Rinse well with water, being careful not to wet any of the filling.
  4. Dry using a hair dryer.

While professional cleaning is usually recommended to clean the entire duvet, alternative cleaning instructions may also be listed on the care label. If DIY options are offered, it’s important to understand it is a time-consuming process and you’ll need an oversize/commercial washer and dryer to do the job.

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Laundering instructions for duvets

  • Stitch any loose or open seams and holes to prevent a washer full of feathers later on.
  • Pre-treat stains or use a gentle stain-removing detergent.
  • Wash in an oversize/commercial capacity washer.
  • Use gentle setting, warm water and mild detergent.
  • Because the filling is dense, rinse twice to remove excess detergent.
  • Dry in an extra-large capacity dryer according to recommendations on care label, usually on low or air/fluff cycle. Because it’s difficult to dry the fillings inside the duvet, this is the time-consuming part. You’ll need to periodically stop the dryer and hand-fluff feathers/down/fiberfill to help it dry move evenly. The duvet may take hours to dry completely.
  • To insure that the down/feathers/fiberfill are completely dry, hang the duvet to air dry for an additional 24 hours. (Drying the duvet totally outside takes even more time and could result in mold/mildew forming on the damp feathers/down.)

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No doubt about it, that takes a lot of work and time. To make sure you only need to tackle this task every 10 years, follow these tips.

  • Always keep the duvet covered.
  • Shake and fluff the duvet when you make the bed to evenly distribute the fill.
  • Hang the duvet outside four times a year to air out (preferably on a sunny, dry, breezy day)
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