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How to Wash a Puffer Jacket

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Fall is just around the corner, getting you thinking about how to look good while staying warm. A puffer jacket is the perfect cold-weather staple.

But if you just bought one, you’re probably frantically Googling cleaning instructions. Can you put a puffer jacket in the washing machine? Do you have to dry clean a puffer jacket?

After all, these warm, lightweight jackets are made from down (bird feathers) or synthetic stuffing, which is what keeps you so well-insulated against the cold. It’s also what makes them challenging to care for. If you wash anything containing down or stuffing incorrectly, you could lose all of that signature puff!

Read on to learn how to get (and keep) your puffer jacket clean and looking like new.

Cleaning a Puffer Jacket at Home

Cleaning a puffer jacket is surprisingly easy. All it takes is the right detergent, a washing machine with a gentle cycle, and space to dry it.

Down Jacket Washing Machine

Pre-Wash Prep

First, double-check the care label on your jacket for washing advice from the manufacturer. They may offer advice like “gentle cycle only,” “don’t dry clean,” or “no ironing.”

Check over your jacket carefully for miscellaneous objects before you put it into the washing machine. This means unzipping and emptying all the pockets. Next, re-zip the pockets, zip up the main zipper, and fasten any velcro closures.

If your coat has stains, this is the time to treat them. Use a spot stain remover for minor stains and leave it on the jacket for a few minutes before putting it into the machine, ideally inside a large laundry bag.

Remove any faux fur or genuine fur trims. These can be washed separately by hand.


How well your machine washes your down jacket depends on the type of washing machine you have.

Front-loaders will treat your coat best because they gently agitate the clothes. Top-loading machines are also great, so long as they don’t have a central agitator. This can pull at the fabric and seams of your jacket, causing wear over time.

No matter your machine, choose the delicate or gentle cycle setting. Add time to the spin cycle or run it through this portion of the clean twice to ensure as much moisture as possible is removed from the clothing.

If your machine is old or doesn’t have a gentle setting, you can hand-wash your jacket. While this is the most laborious option and requires some practice to get the technique right, it will prolong the life of your coat.


While most detergents won’t necessarily ruin your puffer jacket, a harsh detergent may cause damage to the feathers, stripping them of their natural oil coating. The down might also clump together, causing your coat to look lumpy.

Instead, look for a detergent designed for cleaning down clothing. These detergents are specially formulated to prevent clumping and keep the feathers fluffy.

Much like choosing the correct washing machine settings (or choosing to hand-wash), using a suitable detergent will keep your jacket looking new longer. Yes, sometimes these detergents are more expensive. However, it’s worth the extra cost if you get to wear your coat for many winters instead of just one.



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Don’t despair if your jacket looks flat when you pull it out of the washing machine. All you need to do is pop it in the clothes dryer, and it’ll be back to its usual fluffiness in no time.

Take your jacket out of the laundry bag. Put it in the dryer with some dryer balls. Run the dryer slowly (for 2 to 3 hours) and on low heat.

What do you do if you don’t have a dryer? You can, of course, line dry your puffer jacket, but you need to follow a few guidelines. These include:

  • Your coat is on the thinner side
  • You choose a warm, dry day or location
  • You use a drying rack to expose all sides of the jacket to the air
  • You hang it rather than lay it flat
  • You leave it out for long enough that all the moisture evaporates

Line drying (indoors or out) has added benefits: it’s eco-friendly and saves you money on your electricity bill.

Another option is to line dry your jacket until it’s completely dry, then pop it into the dryer for 10 or so minutes to puff it up.

What About Dry Cleaning?

One of the best things about puffer jackets is that you can skip the dry cleaning! That means no more costly fees or annoying drop-offs and pick-ups.

Down feathers are coated in natural oil inherited from the bird they once adorned. It’s what keeps them—and your coat—so fluffy! Dry cleaners use harsh chemicals to clean clothes, and they can strip the feathers of their oil.

This reduces their ability to insulate you from the cold.

If you really don’t have time to clean your jacket or you usually take your clothing to the dry cleaner rather than wash it at home, some dry cleaners may still take your coat.

However, check with them regarding their washing method. Make sure they plan on washing a puffer jacket the traditional way—with soap and water—rather than dry cleaning it.

Check out this video for a wide array of puffer jackets

Keep Your Puffer Jacket Clean for All Seasons

A real down puffer jacket doesn’t come cheap, and you want your investment to last at least a few winters. That means washing it the right way.

Thankfully, this is one instance where your washing machine does the best job. So you can avoid the hassle of a visit to the dry cleaner. Make sure you stick to a few rules: use a gentle cycle, get the right detergent, and line dry where possible.

And don’t forget to store your jacket correctly when you’re not wearing it.

A proper wash regimen will keep your jacket smelling and lasting longer

If you’re on the hunt for the perfect down jacket FEDY Apparel has you covered. We specialize in creating dependable gear you can build your best life in. Shop our collection today.

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