Washing a down jacket without a tumble dryer?

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 AlanLittle 13 Sep 2021

I have a down jacket that's become a little aromatic. Not full on 1970s Snell's Field, but noticeable.

All the instructions I've found online suggest tumble drying with tennis balls to dry and de-clump the down, but I don't have access to a tumble dryer. Anybody have experience of doing this successfully? I assume I'm going to need to massage down clumps by hand to break them up, direct sunlight bad, etc.

 mthr 13 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Honestly it’s just worth going to a laundrette or asking a neighbour with a tumble drier and using tennis/laundry balls as you said.

I’ve tried the by hand method when a student and it really doesn’t work especially well, the down when wet is much more delicate.

 galpinos 13 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

I’d second the “find a tumble drier advice”. Surprisingly easy with, absolute nightmare without…….

The bigger tumble drier the better!

 AlanLittle 13 Sep 2021
In reply to mthr:

Thanks both. Laundrettes seem to be a lot rarer than they were before nearly everybody had a washing machine at home, but it it turns out they do still exist and there's even one not too far from me. Will pay it a visit at some point.

> I’ve tried the by hand method when a student

You could afford a down jacket as a student? Geese hadn't evolved yet when I were at uni (etc)

Post edited at 08:22
 LastBoyScout 13 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Just check the temperature is ok and use the lowest setting.

I say this, as someone I knew at Uni tried tumbledrying his base layers in the hall tumble dryer and got a lump of melted plastic back in return!

 Sealwife 13 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

I have washed a down jacket successfully without a tumble drier.  I used a hairdryer on it.  It took ages but did seem to fluff up the down nicely and stop it clumping.

 Mike-W-99 13 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Perfectly doable without a tumble dryer. Choose a windy day and hang it out on the washing line and periodically check it and give it a shake.

 James Malloch 13 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

Probably not what you’re looking for, but I got some little holes repaired by Lancashire Sports Repairs and my jackets got cleaned by them at the same time. 

I’ve never managed to get a good loft again when cleaning jackets myself (with balls and tumble dryer) but their service made the jacket feel like new again. Obviously it’s more expensive but if I wasn’t cleaning regularly I’d probably just send mine off there again once a year or so.

 AlanLittle 13 Sep 2021
In reply to James Malloch:

> Probably not what you’re looking for

Not at all, getting a professional to do the job was also an option I considered. Problem being that my local specialist shop has a turnaround time of 3 to 4 weeks, meaning I either have to get my finger out right now before it gets cold, or resign myself to stinking (a bit) until the spring

 duchessofmalfi 13 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

A last bit of advice - make sure the patches are up to being washed.  I've a jacket where I have an empty baffle because I forgot to sort out the gaffer tape and now I've got to find some down to fix it - (if anyone has a good hand full of down they don't want let me know!)

Also might be worth using the wash-in hydrophobic treatment stuff to can get - this has made my old jacket much better in a light shower and quicker to refluff  after a soaking.

Apart from that I'm in the "find a tumble dryer" crowd.

Post edited at 14:40
In reply to AlanLittle:

As mentioned above... In a word: "Laundrette"      EDIT: Waschsalon
Bring a pound coin and a couple of 50p, expect to have to explain the tennis balls  EDIT: Errmm... 1 Euro coins?? 

Post edited at 15:52

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