How to Wash a Comforter

Dec 16, 2023

Washing a comforter can feel daunting, but with the proper knowledge and guidance, it becomes a straightforward endeavor. Comforters, cherished for their warmth and coziness, require periodic cleaning to maintain their freshness and extend their lifespan. Whether dealing with seasonal cleaning or tackling stubborn stains, this comprehensive guide will walk you through washing a comforter. From selecting the appropriate washing machine settings to choosing the suitable detergent and handling delicate fillings, you’ll discover the secrets of “how to wash a comforter in a washing machine” to keeping your beloved comforter clean, comfortable, and as inviting as the day you first snuggled beneath it.

What You’ll Need to Wash a Comforter

Before embarking on the journey to wash your comforter, it’s essential to gather the necessary tools and materials as suggested by a commercial laundry in Houston. Here’s a list of what you’ll need to ensure a successful cleaning process:

  • Mild Detergent: Choose a gentle, high-quality laundry detergent suitable for delicate fabrics. Avoid using harsh detergents, as they can damage the comforter’s fibers. You can also use fabric softener at the end.
  • Large Capacity Washing Machine: Ensure your washing machine has sufficient capacity to accommodate the size of your comforter without overcrowding. Many users prefer front-loading machines for their gentle washer and dryer action.
  • Dryer: You’ll need access to a large-capacity dryer to dry the comforter at home thoroughly. Ensure the dryer is in good working condition.
  • Tennis Balls or Dryer Balls: Adding clean tennis balls, wool dryer balls, or specialized dryer balls to the dryer helps fluff the comforter and prevent filling clumping.
  • Clean White Towels: These will balance the load in the washing machine and provide a buffer to place the comforter during the spin wash cycle.
  • Laundry Bag or Pillowcase (Optional): A laundry bag or a large pillowcase can protect the comforter from potential damage during washing.

Now that you’ve gathered your materials, you can wash your comforter.

Read the Label on the Comforter

Before washing your comforter, checking the care label or manufacturer’s instructions is crucial. The label typically provides valuable information about the appropriate cleaning methods and any precautions you should take. It may include details regarding:

  • Recommended washing temperature (e.g., cold or warm water)
  • Suitable washing machine cycle (e.g., gentle, delicate, or standard)
  • Drying instructions (e.g., low heat or air dry)
  • Any special care or maintenance recommendations

Understanding and following the care label’s guidance ensures that you clean your comforter in a manner that preserves its quality and prolongs its lifespan.

Inspect Comforter Before Washing

Before you proceed with washing your comforter, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough inspection. Here’s why this step is essential and how to go about it:

  • Identify Damage: Scrutinize the comforter for any visible signs of damage, such as tears, loose seams, or open stitching. Identifying these issues beforehand can prevent further damage during the washing process.
  • Check for Loose Filling: Inspect the comforter for areas where the filling may have shifted or become uneven. Gently redistribute the filling to ensure it is even inside the comforter’s baffles or pockets.
  • Spot Stains or Soiling: Look for any visible stains, spills, or soiling on the fabric. Identifying these areas allows you to pre-treat stains before washing, improving the chances of successful removal.
  • Note Any Repairs Needed: If you discover any damage or loose stitching, note it. Consider repairing these issues before proceeding with washing to prevent them from worsening.
  • Consult the Care Label: Check the care label or manufacturer’s instructions for specific washing recommendations and any precautions or limitations. This label provides valuable guidance on how to clean your comforter safely.

Inspecting your comforter before washing ensures that you address any potential issues and prepare it for a successful cleaning process. It’s a proactive step that helps maintain the comforter’s quality and prolongs its lifespan.

Pre-Treat Stains If Necessary

Before washing your comforter, addressing any visible stains or spots is essential. Here’s how to pre-treat stains effectively:

  • Identify Stains: Scrutinize the comforter for any stains or spots that require attention.
  • Spot Cleaner: Utilize a fabric spot cleaner or create a mixture of mild detergent and water to treat the stains. Gently blot or rub the stained area with a clean, white cloth or sponge. Follow the instructions on the spot cleaner’s label.
  • Allow Soaking Time: Permit the spot cleaner to sit on the stains for the recommended duration indicated in the product’s instructions, allowing the cleaner to break down and lift the stains.
  • Rinse Thoroughly: After soaking, rinse the treated areas with cold water to remove the spot cleaner and any loosened debris. Pat the treated areas dry with a clean cloth.
  • Inspect Again: Reassess the comforter to ensure the pre-treatment removes the stains. Repeat the spot treatment process if any stains persist until you achieve the desired results.

Use the Right Washing Machine

Selecting the appropriate washing machine is crucial to ensure a thorough and gentle cleaning process for your comforter. Here’s what you need to consider:

  • Large Capacity Washer: Use a washing machine with a large drum or capacity that can accommodate the size of your comforter without cramming it. Overcrowding can prevent proper cleaning and rinsing.
  • Front-Loading Machine: Front-loading washing machines are often preferred for washing comforters because they provide a gentle washing action that reduces stress on the fabric and filling.
  • Balancing the Load: Add a few clean white towels to the washing machine and the comforter, as this helps balance the load and prevents the comforter from becoming lopsided during the cycle.

Choose the Appropriate Laundry Detergent and Washing Cycle Settings

To clean your comforter effectively while preserving its quality, follow these guidelines when selecting detergent and cycle settings:

  • Detergent Selection: Opt for a mild, high-quality laundry detergent for delicate fabrics. Avoid using harsh detergents, as they can damage the comforter’s fibers.
  • Detergent Quantity: Refer to the detergent’s instructions for the recommended amount based on the size and weight of your comforter. Typically, it’s advisable to use a detergent formulated for high-efficiency machines.
  • Washing Cycle: Set your washing machine to a gentle or delicate cycle with cold water. Consult the care label on your comforter for any specific temperature or cycle recommendations.
  • Start the Cycle: Initiate the washing cycle, allowing the machine to fill with water and mix in the detergent before adding the comforter.

Dry the Washer

Once the washing cycle is complete, it’s crucial to dry the washing machine thoroughly. Leaving moisture in the machine can lead to mold and mildew growth. Here’s how to dry the washer:

  • Open the Door: After removing the comforter, leave the washing machine’s door ajar to allow air circulation and prevent moisture buildup.
  • Wipe the Drum: Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe down the interior of the washing machine, including the drum and door seal, to remove any remaining moisture.

Following these steps, you can pre-treat stains, select the right washing machine, choose appropriate detergent and cycle settings, and ensure that your washing machine is properly dried, setting the stage for a successful comforter cleaning process.


Should you wash a new comforter? 

Washing a new comforter before using it is generally a good idea, even if it appears clean, as this helps remove any manufacturing residues, dust, or allergens that may have accumulated during storage and transportation; if you can’t do it yourself, you can always contact Houston Laundry services for professional assistance. Additionally, washing can help soften the fabric and make the comforter more comfortable. Check the care label or manufacturer’s instructions for specific washing recommendations for your new comforter.

How often should you wash a comforter?

According to a drop off laundry in Houston, the frequency of washing a comforter depends on several factors, including personal preference, usage, and stains. In general:

  • For typical home use, washing a comforter every 3-6 months is often sufficient to maintain freshness.
  • If you use a duvet cover, you can wash the cover more frequently (e.g., monthly) and often to clean the comforter itself less often.
  • Spot cleaning can address minor spills or stains between full washes.
  • Always check the care label or manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning recommendations for your comforter, as some materials and designs may have unique care requirements.

Ultimately, the frequency of washing should balance maintaining cleanliness with preserving the comforter’s quality and lifespan.


Washing a comforter may seem like a meticulous task, but it’s essential for maintaining its cleanliness, freshness, and longevity. Following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can ensure that your beloved or down comforter remains a cozy and inviting addition to your bedding. Remember to pre-treat stains, use the suitable washing machine and detergent, and select appropriate cycle settings to protect your comforter’s delicate fabrics and filling. Additionally, it’s crucial to inspect the comforter for damage, read the care label, and consider the frequency of washing based on your specific needs and preferences. With proper care and attention, your comforter can continue providing warmth and comfort for many restful nights.