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Here's how to keep your duvet fresh, plus how often to wash it

Here's how to make sure that oh-so-snuggly duvet stays fresh and clean.
/ Source: TODAY

Washing your duvet can seem like a monumental chore. Can you even wash a feather duvet? Will that beast even fit in your washer and, if it does, will it take a month for it to actually dry?

But chances are you invested a good amount of time and money choosing the right duvet, so why not make sure it stays clean and fresh so you can keep using it for years to come?

"There have been a couple situations where we definitely needed to launder our duvets, but for the most part, if you have a cover on it, you can easily freshen up your duvet before you need to all-out wash it," Becky Rapinchuk, author of "Clean Mama's Guide to a Healthy Home," says. We also spoke to Marla Mock, president of Molly Maid, to get her tips on best practices when it comes to cleaning your duvet.

How often to wash your duvet | Can you put a duvet in the washing machine? | Washing vs. dry cleaning | Can you put a duvet in the dryer? | Can you wash a duvet cover with the duvet inside? | How to wash a feather duvet | How to wash a duvet comforter | How to keep your duvet fresh | How to spot-clean your duvet | How to clean a duvet without a washing machine | The best products for washing your duvet

How often should you wash your duvet?

Here's the good news: A duvet cover should be washed once a month, but duvets themselves can go an impressive five to 10 years without needing to be cleaned. Wow!

Can you put a duvet in the washing machine?

Yes, but as always, check the manufacturer's instructions to be sure.

"There have been times when I have disregarded the directions because it was more expensive to have something professionally laundered then it was to replace it," Rapinchuk says. "I took the chance and laundered it myself and saved the duvet for the cost of the water and detergent. Of course, launder at your own risk."

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.

Is it better to wash or dry clean a duvet?

It's best to wash your duvet, as dry cleaning uses chemicals that could affect the filling inside the duvet.

Can you put a duvet in the dryer?

Always check the care instructions tag first. "If your duvet is made from synthetic materials, then yes, you can put your duvet in the dryer on low heat," Mock says. "However, if your duvet is made of down and natural materials, then try not put it in the dryer; you should hang to dry instead."

"If you need to freshen up your duvet or comforter, simply put it in the dryer on low heat with three wool dryer balls or three clean tennis balls," says Rapinchuk. "I will stop it every 10 minutes or so to redistribute the duvet or comforter and then repeat for a total of 30-40 minutes. This fluffs up the duvet or comforter and redistributes the filling for a freshened-up bed. If you want to kill germs but not wash it, put the dryer on high heat and keep an eye on it, rotating every 5-10 minutes and dry for 30 minutes."

But what about those times when a quick refresh just won't cut it? Rapinchuk says that the best bet is to follow the goose-down duvet's washing instructions on the label, though she herself sometimes goes rogue in favor of a DIY method.

Can you wash a duvet cover with the duvet inside?

"I don't recommend doing this because it will increase your drying time and it gives more of an opportunity for your duvet and duvet cover to rip or tear in the washing machine," Mock explains.

How to wash a feather duvet

"For feather duvets, it is best to use a down-safe detergent and also use only half of the recommended amount It is also best to use a large front-loading washing machine," says Mock.

  1. After loading the duvet into the washer, wash with half the recommended amount of down-safe detergent on a gentle cycle.
  2. If you remove the duvet after the cycle is complete and the duvet is sopping wet, throw it back in for another spin cycle. You want the duvet to only be damp as if it is super wet, it can cause mold.
  3. Then hang to dry.

How to wash a duvet comforter

  1. Stitch together any loose or open seams and holes to prevent a washer full of feathers later on.
  2. Pre-treat stains or use a gentle, stain-removing detergent.
  3. Wash in an oversize/commercial capacity washer, using a gentle setting, warm water and mild detergent.
  4. Because the filling is dense, rinse twice to remove excess detergent.
  5. Dry in an extra-large capacity dryer according to recommendations on care label, usually on low or air/fluff cycle. This is the time-consuming part because it’s difficult to dry the fillings inside the duvet. 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.
  6. To ensure that the down/feathers/fiberfill are completely dry, hang the duvet to air dry for an additional 24 hours. (Drying the duvet outside takes even more time and could result in mold/mildew forming on the damp feathers/down.)

How to keep your duvet fresh

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

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

How to spot-clean your duvet

If you're wondering how to wash a duvet without a washing machine, spot cleaning is the way to go.

  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 the area using a hair dryer.

How do you clean a duvet without a washing machine?

"If you do not have a traditional washing machine, you can still clean your duvet in your bathtub," says Mock.

  1. To start, you will need to fill your tub halfway with warm water and mix in some gentle laundry detergent.
  2. Next, place the duvet in the water, section by section while using your hands to rub in the detergent mixture with the duvet. Working in small sections allows for a cleaner duvet. Do this for about 10 to 15 minutes
  3. Finally, empty the tub and rinse the duvet with warm water so all the detergent is out before hanging your duvet to dry

The best products for washing your duvet

Tide Free and Gentle

Not only is mild detergent good for you and your skin, it's also nice and gentle for your duvet.

OxiClean Laundry Stain Remover

Spot clean your duvet with this powerful stain remover so you don't have to spend the time to wash your entire duvet.

15-Gallon Laundry Tub

If you don't have access to a washing machine that's large enough to properly wash your duvet, buy this extra-large laundry bucket so you can DIY in your bathtub.

Wool Dryer Balls

If you're going to throw your duvet in the dryer to refresh it or just dry it after washing, use these wool dryer balls to fluff up the filling and cut down on drying time.