Can You Put a Puffer Jacket in the Washing Machine?

Can You Put a Puffer Jacket in the Washing Machine? Definitive Guide

No matter how well you maintain your puffer jacket, it will get dirty eventually. As the inner layers of the puffer jacket are made of delicate down feathers or synthetic material, it requires special care. While cleaning, the first thing you need to know is: “Can you put a puffer jacket in the washing machine?”

Yes. You can put a puffer jacket in a washing machine if the care label allows it. Use a front-loading washing machine and clean the jacket only with mild detergent. Set the machine cycle to delicate or gentle, and always wash it with warm or cold water.

Let’s dive in and learn how to wash a puffer or down jacket in the washing machine without damaging it.

Can You Machine Wash a Puffer Jacket? – Things to Consider

Most puffer jackets are machine-washable, as it doesn’t damage the inner down feather or synthetic material if done right. However, you must consider factors like the manufacturer’s instructions, the type of machine, which cycle to use, and what cleaner is suitable.

Let’s take a look at the things you must consider while washing your puffer jacket in a washing machine:

Always Check the Manufacturer’s Care Label

Before putting your puffer jacket in the washing machine, you must check out the care label. You can find it inside the jacket along the lining near the neck or side. It contains the manufacturer’s instructions on how to care for and maintain the jacket.

Regular puffer jackets feature down feathers, cotton, or synthetic materials including nylon and polyester. Some high-end puffer jackets are made of extremely delicate fabrics such as cashmere, silk, and wool. They might come with laundry symbols or labels like ‘Do not wash in a machine’ or ‘Do not dry clean.’ In this case, you must hand wash the jacket instead of putting it in a machine or dryer. 

Use a Front-Loading Washing Machine

The two most popular types of household washing machines are front- and top-loading machines. Always use a front-loading washing machine to wash your puffer jacket and other delicate garments. Top-loading models come with a cone-shaped agitator or impeller in the center. 

When the agitator moves, your jacket might get wrapped around it. As a result, washing a puffer jacket in a top-loading machine might tear it and damage the outer shell. However, if you are to use a top-loading model, put some other cushioning materials, such as a blanket with the jacket, to minimize damage. 

Avoid Hot Water 

Heat and agitation are two main elements that easily ruin delicate fabrics. Excessive heat will make your puffer jacket shrink. It can also wear the durable water-repellent (DWR) coat that protects the puffer jacket. 

While washing your jacket, the water temperature must be below 30°C or 86°F. As for drying, choose the lowest heat setting of your washing machine.

Skip Dry Cleaning and Spin Cycle

Although dry cleaning seems like an easy option to tidy up your puffer jacket, experts and manufacturers suggest against it. During the dry-cleaning process, many different solvents are used that can have a rough effect on the jacket’s inner layers. 

On the other hand, the spinning cycle agitates the jacket which damages the down feather inside. So, after washing the jacket, skip the spin cycle and air-dry the jacket or use the dryer instead.

No Fabric Softeners and Harsh Detergents

The down feathers of puffer jackets include natural oils that maintain the insulation and repel water. Fabric softeners and harsh detergents can strip these oils away. Therefore, the jacket becomes less effective in fighting cold and resisting moisture damage.

How to Wash a Puffer Jacket in the Washing Machine?

Now that you know how to protect your puffer jacket from washing machine damage, let’s get into the details. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning a puffer jacket in a washing machine:

Step 1: Get Rid of Dirt and Dust

The excess dirt, dust, and grime on your puffer jacket can contaminate the water and make the wash cycle lengthy. You can easily get rid of them with a soft-bristled brush. Use a damp washcloth if the dirt is too stubborn.

Step 2: Prepare Your Jacket

Close the zippers and all other enclosures before putting the jacket inside the machine. Otherwise, parts of the jacket will spread and hit various elements inside the machine. 

Also, you can put your jacket in a mesh laundry bag to minimize movement. Trim any excess fur or faux fur that comes with the jacket and hand wash them separately. 

Step 3: Choose a Suitable Cleaner

After the preparation is done, you can put your puffer jacket inside the washing machine. Use a down-special cleaner specifically made for down feathers and similar delicate fabrics. If that’s not available, go for a mild detergent or soap.

The cleaner must be free of bleach, phosphates, artificial color and scent, and surfactants, other laundry detergent toxins. About 100 ml of down-specific detergent is sufficient for every 12 to 15 liters of water.

Step 4: Run the Washing Cycle

As puffer jackets come with delicate feathers inside and a protective shell outside, they require gentle washing. So, you need to choose the ‘gentle,’ ‘delicate,’ or ‘wool’ cycle to wash them. However, if the care label suggests a different cycle, go for that instead. 

Set the water temperature to ‘cool’ or ‘warm.’ When the washing is done, run multiple rinse cycles to thoroughly clean the jacket and remove any detergent residue.

Step 5: Knead the Excess Water

Instead of running the spin cycle, you need to let the jacket drip dry. But first, gently squeeze the jacket and knead the excess water out. After that, use a cloth hanger to hang the jacket for drip drying for about 10 to 30 minutes. 

Step 6: Let the Jacket Dry

Once the excess water is removed, you can let the jacket air dry or put it in the dryer. While air drying takes about a day, drying in the machine takes up to 3 hours. 

Generally speaking, don’t leave your puffer jacket to air dry completely. It takes a long time and leaves moisture. So, utilize your dryer instead.

After every 30 minutes, check the inner layers of the jacket for clumped feathers. Straighten them with your hand and put the jacket into the dryer again. 

Always remember, the jacket must be completely dry before you wear it again. Otherwise, the trapped moisture can promote mildew growth.

Alternative Ways to Clean Your Puffer Jacket

Don’t want to put your puffer jacket in the washing machine? No worries; there are other ways to clean your precious garment. Follow the two methods described below to clean a puffer jacket without ruining its delicate elements:

Spot Cleaning Stains

If it’s just a spill, stain, or stubborn mark, spot-cleaning the jacket will be enough. Frequent washing reduces the lifespan of puffer jackets, so removing the stains only is a better option. For this:

  1. Prepare a cleaning solution with a suitable product, such as a mild detergent, down-specific wash, or scent-free soap. You can also mix one part vinegar with one part water to remove bad smells and particularly stubborn stains.
  2. Soak a microfiber cloth in the cleaning solution and gently rub it on the stain. Work on it until the stain is completely removed. You can also leave the cleaner on the jacket for a few minutes for better stain removal.
  3. Once the spot is cleaned, rinse it with clean water and let the jacket dry. Rearrange the fillers inside the jacket if they are clumped.

Hand Washing the Jacket

When your puffer jacket needs a thorough cleaning, you can hand wash it at home. In fact, it’s a safer way than washing in a machine as there’s no agitation or heat to wear the fabric. Here’s the process:

  1. Prepare a large water container such as a basin or bathtub to wash the jacket. Fill it with warm or cool water and mix a suitable detergent or soap.
  2. Let the jacket soak in the soapy water for an hour. If there’s any stain or grime that’s not removed yet, take a soft microfiber cloth and dip it in the cleaner. Gently rub the stained area until it’s completely removed.
  3. After that, rinse the jacket thoroughly so that all the detergent is removed. Remember, any residue can create an odor and promote the growth of unwanted microorganisms. 
  4. Gently squeeze the jacket to remove the excess water. Avoid wringing or twisting the wet jacket, as it will make the feathers clump. Finally, dry the jacket in a dryer or let it sit on a flat surface in an open space.

How Often Should I Wash My Puffer Jacket?

Experts recommend washing your puffer jacket once a season if you don’t use it every day. However, for regular users, they can wash it once a month. In any case, you should wash your puffy whenever it gets too dirty. Spot-clean any stain immediately to stop it from spreading and leaving a permanent mark.

Why has My Puffer Jacket Gone Flat After Washing?

Due to incorrect washing and drying, puffer jackets can lose their fluffiness and go flat. Here, the fillers inside the jacket layer clump or move to the neighboring baffles. 

To prevent this, put some dryer balls or clean tennis balls inside your dryer machine. The balls will keep beating the jacket and prevent the feathers from clumping.

Can You Put Down The Puffer in The Tumble in The Tumble Dryer?

Yes, you can put puffer jackets in the tumble dryer as long as the care label allows it. In fact, it’s one of the most effective ways to dry them. The only thing you need to be careful about is excessive heat. Select the lowest heat setting for drying puffer jackets.

Final Words

Almost every puffer jacket owner has one common question: Can you put a puffer jacket in the washing machine? As we’ve explored, it’s okay to wash puffer jackets in a machine following the correct washing and drying method. 

All you need to do is protect your jacket from excessive heat, agitation, and harmful chemicals. If machine washing doesn’t seem like a safe option to you, you can go for spot cleaning instead. In case the jacket is too dirty, simply hand wash it from the comfort of your home using the right detergent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *