Updated May 14, 2020Even though your bed sheets cover your body, your comforter still picks up sweat, dead skin cells, and dust mites every night. This accumulation builds up and may lead to allergic reactions. Cleaning your comforter routinely prevents allergen buildup.Regular cleaning may keep your comforter fluffy too. Proper washing reduces dust mites, bacteria, and other allergens, while also maintaining fluff. Plus, washing your comforter may also extend its lifespan.The best time to wash your comforter is every few months, but if you suffer from allergies, monthly cleanings are best. It’s not only important to regularly clean your comforter but to do so in the right way by following care instructions attached to your comforter.Before CleaningFollowing these steps before washing your comforter ensures the right care. Always check the care tags, since manufacturers know how to best care for their products. Making small repairs, like tightening loose seams and sewing up small holes, prevents worse damage. Finally, pre-treating your comforter by removing stains maintains its vibrant color and appealing look.Check the Care TagsCare tags are manufacturer instructions on how to care for the comforter. Ignoring these instructions could cause damage. You can usually find the comforter care labels by one of the bottom corners.Most care tags state if a comforter is machine wash or dry clean only, the proper water temperature setting, type of laundry detergent, if it’s okay to use bleach, and recommended drying cycle.Make Small RepairsLook over your comforter and check for loose seams and holes. Make sure to repair these areas with a needle and thread before washing. It may take more time, but it’s worth it. This extra step could extend your comforter’s lifespan.Otherwise, the washing and drying process may tear more seams or larger holes, causing the filling to leak out. If the damage is severe enough, you may have to replace your comforter.Remove Any StainsBefore washing your comforter, remove any stains. You may not have to wash the whole comforter if it’s still clean—spot treatments work perfectly instead. But, if your comforter is due for a wash, pre-treat it by removing any stains.To make a simple DIY stain remover, mix four tablespoons of baking soda and ¼ cup of cold water to make a paste. You can store the paste in an air-tight container for future use. Using warm water can set the stain and make it harder to remove.For fresh stains, dip a soft, white rag and wet in cold water. Gently press the damp rag to the stain and lift it—scrubbing may spread the stain. Rub a small amount of DIY stain remover (enough to cover the stain) into the fabric and let it set for a few minutes. Take a clean, soft cloth and blot to remove the stain.For older stains, dampen the area with cold water and apply enough DIY stain remover to cover the stain. Gently rub the remover into the stained area, then blot with a soft, clean cloth.If spot cleaning only, hang the comforter in a sunny, dry area. Make sure the comforter is completely dry before using—you don’t want to risk mildew growth.Washing Your ComforterBefore starting the washing machine, place your comforter inside to see if it will fit. Smaller sizes, like a twin, twin XL, and full, are more likely to fit. Larger sizes, including a queen, king, and California king, may be more difficult.Don’t force the comforter inside the washer. It should be loosely stuffed and evenly distributed. Running your washing machine with a tightly packed comforter may damage your machine, and the comforter may not get cleaned thoroughly. If your comforter looks like it’s tightly packed in, using a front load washing machine at your local laundromat or taking your comforter to a dry cleaner might be a better solution.Also, consider hand washing your comforter. It will save you the hassle of taking it to the cleaners and may even save you a few bucks.Select the cool water temperature setting and the delicate cycle for your washing machine. If you can, add an extra rinse cycle. This will better remove dust mites, bacteria, and allergens from your comforter.Add mild detergent for a large capacity load. This type of detergent is gentle on delicate fabrics, and if you’re washing a down comforter, it won’t strip the soft feathers of their natural oils. Natural oils maintain insulation—using a stronger detergent may result in a flat, lumpy comforter.If you don’t have a dryer, you may want to consider using hot water instead of cool water. Water temperature over 130 degrees kills dust mites.Add a few clean tennis balls to the washer. Tennis balls balance the load and enable even cleaning.Hand Washing Your ComforterIf you don’t have a washer or choose to hand wash your comforter, you can clean it using a bathtub. Follow these instructions for proper cleaning:Fill your bathtub with cold water and add mild detergent for a large capacity load. Swirl your hand in the water to make sure the detergent is mixed in with the water.Place the comforter in the bathtub until it is fully immersed in the water. Wash the comforter by gently pressing down and swirling around in the water. Never wring out the comforter—it may reduce fluff or cause damage. Let it soak for 10 minutes.Drain the water, gently pressing the comforter down against the bottom of the tub. Refill the bathtub with clean, cold water. Continue to press the comforter until you no longer see any suds.Once the comforter is sufficiently rinsed, drain the bathtub and press the comforter to remove excess water. Hang dry or place the comforter in a drying machine.The Drying ProcessAfter washing your comforter, place it in the dryer. You can use the same tennis balls from the washer or add wool dryer balls. Wool dryer balls speed up the drying process by absorbing moisture. Plus, they eliminate static. Both tennis balls and wool dryer balls prevent the comforter from clumping up while in the dryer.If you don’t have either tennis balls or wool dryer balls, take the comforter out of the dryer every 20 to 30 minutes and hand-fluff. Fluffing re-distributes fill and ensures even drying.Tumble dry your comforter on the low heat setting. It may take longer than the typical hour for your comforter to dry, but check it every 30 minutes until it’s done.Once dry, take it out and air dry your comforter in a dry, sunny area for a few hours. Rotate the comforter 90 degrees every 30 minutes to prevent fill from collecting in one spot. Also, the sun’s rays kill any remaining dust mites.Following this process ensures the comforter is thoroughly and evenly dried. Not allowing time for the comforter to air dry may result in leftover moisture that can cause mildew to grow.FAQsHow often should you wash your comforter?You should wash your comforter at least once a month. Even though your bed sheets have more direct contact with your body, your comforter still accumulates body fluids and dead skin cells. They also absorb dust mites and bacteria. Over time, your comforter may also become flat from constant use.Regularly washing your comforter removes these allergens and leaves your comforter smelling fresh. Also, cleaning maintains the comforter’s fluffiness for continuous comfort. It’s also vital to clean your comforter before storing it away for warmer seasons. This prevents allergen buildup and ensures your comforter is clean and fresh when you bring it out of storage.Will a king size comforter fit in a washing machine?King size comforters can fit large capacity washing machines. However, if you have a stackable washer and dryer, your comforter may not fit. Keep in mind that a comforter of any size should be loosely packed in.If you have to cram in your king size comforter, it might be a better option to hand wash instead. Also, most laundromats have large capacity washers and dryers. Taking your comforter to the dry cleaners is another great option.Please don’t force your comforter into your washing machine. A tightly packed comforter won’t get cleaned and may even damage your washing unit.Can I fit my king size comforter in the dryer?We don’t recommend drying your comforter in the dryer, especially since the filling could shift in the dryer or get clumpy. Instead, air-dry your comforter on a chair in the sun or indoors with a fan on it.Should you wash a comforter after you buy it?Washing a brand new comforter before using it removes any remaining residues and scents attached to the fabric. It can also give you the peace of mind that your comforter is nice and clean.A new comforter may have a lingering scent from the plastic packaging. Washing a new comforter may seem like a hassle, but it will remove any leftover allergens and leave your comforter smelling fresh.Can you wash your comforter in hot water?Check the care tag on your comforter for washing instructions and the correct water temperature to wash in. If your comforter is dyed with different colors, wash in cold or warm water. White comforters can usually be washed safely in hot water.ConclusionThrough proper care, the best comforters can last between 15 to 20 years. Regular cleaning and fluffing, plus minor sewing repairs, may even help it last longer.Be sure to follow the care instructions attached to your comforter. If your washer is not built for large capacity loads, a local laundromat or dry cleaner are also excellent options. Also, hand washing may take more effort on your part, but it will still result in a clean and fluffy comforter.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.