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How to Wash A Duvet

By: S I
Updated on: April 05, 2024

  • Duvet vs. Comforter: Duvets are distinct from comforters, comprising two parts – a cover and an insert, providing insulation and easy maintenance compared to a single quilted comforter.
  • Importance of Cleaning: Regular washing eliminates dust, dead skin cells, sweat, and allergens, ensuring a clean, hygienic sleep environment and preventing odors, allergies, and potential health issues.
  • Washing Instructions: Pre-treat stains, remove the duvet cover, add tennis balls for agitation, use mild detergent on a gentle cycle, check for soap residue, dry on low heat or air-dry, and fluff periodically.
  • Maintenance Tips: Utilize duvet covers for protection, air out occasionally, maintain fluffiness, store properly in a dry place, and rotate periodically for even wear and longer lifespan.

Washing a duvet may seem daunting, but it is vital for maintaining its cleanliness and prolonging its lifespan. A duvet is an investment that provides comfort and warmth, so it’s crucial to know how to clean it properly. It is essential for maintaining a hygienic and comfortable sleep environment. However, many people are unsure of how to wash their duvets properly. This comprehensive article will walk you through the step-by-step process of cleaning and maintaining your duvet, ensuring that it stays fresh and cozy for years.

Understanding Duvets

Before diving into the cleaning process, let’s first understand what a duvet is and how it differs from a comforter. Unlike a comforter, which is a single quilted blanket, a duvet comprises two parts: a cover and an insert. The cover is a protective layer, while the insert offers insulation and warmth. Duvet inserts are usually filled with down, feathers, or synthetic fibers, both down and natural materials, and they come in various sizes to fit your bed.

Why is it important to wash your duvet?

Keeping your duvet clean is not just about maintaining a fresh and pleasant sleeping environment but also about ensuring good hygiene and prolonging the lifespan of your bedding. A duvet, like any other bedding item, accumulates dust, dead skin cells, sweat, and even allergens over time. If left unattended, these can lead to unpleasant odors, allergies, and even respiratory issues. Regularly washing your duvet helps remove these impurities, ensuring a clean and healthy sleeping space.

Preparing for Washing

Before washing your front duvet covers, gather all the necessary materials and tools. You will need:

  • Mild laundry detergent
  • Two or three tennis balls
  • Clean socks
  • Drying rack or clothesline (optional)

It’s important to note that the size of your duvet will determine whether you can clean it at home or if you need to take it to a laundromat with larger washing machines. Check the label’s care instructions to ensure your duvet can be washed at home.

Step 1: Pre-Treat Stains

To ensure that your duvet comes out looking fresh and clean, it’s a good idea to pre-treat any stains before washing. Carefully inspect your duvet for small or large stains requiring extra attention. Additionally, check for any rips or tears that need to be repaired before washing.

Step 2: Removing the Duvet Cover

Before putting your duvet in the washing machine, take off the duvet cover. This will allow for better agitation and ensure a thorough cleaning. Spread the duvet out within the large washing machine as much as possible to prevent overcrowding.

See Also: How to Put on a Duvet Cover

Step 3: Adding Tennis Balls for Agitation

To aid in the cleaning process and restore the fluffiness of your duvet, place two or three tennis balls in separate clean socks and tie the socks to prevent the balls from escaping. Add these now clean tennis balls and ball-filled socks to the washing machine along with your duvet. The tennis balls will provide extra agitation, helping to remove body oils, sweat, and dirt from the duvet.

Step 4: Selecting the Right Detergent

Choose a mild laundry detergent suitable for delicate fabrics. Use approximately half the recommended amount for a normal load and pour it into the detergent dispenser of the washing machine. Avoid using liquid fabric softeners or bleach, as they can damage the duvet fibers.

Step 5: Setting the Washing Cycle

Set your washing machine to a gentle, warm water cycle. If your machine has additional options, such as an extra rinse and spin cycle, it’s advisable to include them for a more thorough clean. The gentle cycle will ensure that the duvet is completely dry and not subjected to harsh agitation, which can cause damage.

Step 6: Checking for Soap Residue

After the washing cycle is complete, remove the duvet from the machine and check for any soap residue. If you feel or see any residue, rewashing the duvet without soap or running an additional rinse and spin cycle should eliminate it.

Step 7: Drying the Duvet

Once you’ve confirmed no soap residue, gently remove the duvet from the washing machine and transfer it to an appropriately sized dryer. Adjust the dryer to a low heat or air-dry setting to avoid harming the duvet fibers. Alternatively, you can choose to air dry your duvet on a clothesline or drying rack.

Step 8: Fluffing and Checking for Dryness

While the duvet is drying, periodically check on it to ensure that all the detergent fill is evenly distributed. You may want to take it out and gently fluff it by hand to maintain its loftiness. Be cautious not to touch the duvet if it feels too hot, indicating that it is still damp. Drying a duvet thoroughly can take several hours, so plan accordingly.

Step 9: Completing the Washing Process

Once your duvet is completely dry, remove it from the dryer and proceed to wash the rest of your bedding, such as your pillows and sheets. Once everything is clean, you can make your bed by placing the duvet cover back on the duvet insert. Enjoy the fresh and clean feeling of your newly washed bedding.

Spot Cleaning for Stubborn Stains

Spot cleaning can be effective if you encounter stubborn stains on your bed linens or your duvet that may not come out in the wash. Prepare a clean white cloth, a mild stain remover, and a spray bottle filled with water for spot cleaning. Follow these steps for spot cleaning:

  • Shake the filling away from the stained area to focus on the outer fabric covering.
  • Wet the stain and surrounding area with water from the spray bottle.
  • Apply a small amount of stain remover to the fabric and gently pat it with the rag.
  • Let the stain remover sit for approximately 20 minutes.
  • If the stain persists, rub the fabric together or gently scrub the stain with a toothbrush.
  • Repeat the process until the stain is completely gone.
  • Once the stain is removed, spray the area with water to remove any remaining soap.
  • Use a blow dryer or air dry the duvet to ensure the spot is completely dry.

How often should you wash your duvet?

The frequency with which you should wash your duvet depends on several factors, such as personal preference, allergies, and the climate in which you live. However, a general guideline is to wash your duvet every six months to a year. If you have allergies or live in a humid environment, you may want to keep a feather duvet and wash it more frequently, such as every three to six months. Additionally, if you spill something on your duvet or notice any stains, it’s best to wash it as soon as possible to prevent the stains from setting in.

How to maintain your duvet between washes

While regular washing is essential, there are steps you can take to maintain your duvet between washes:

  • Use a duvet cover: Investing in a duvet cover is a great way to protect your duvet from spills, stains, and general wear and tear. A duvet cover can be easily washed and removed, keeping your duvet cleaner for longer.
  • Air out your duvet: Occasionally, on a sunny day, hang your duvet outside or in a well-ventilated area to allow any trapped odors to dissipate. This helps keep your duvet fresh between washes.
  • Fluff your duvet: Regularly fluff your duvet to maintain its loft and ensure even filling distribution. Give it a good shake or toss it in the air to help restore its shape.
  • Store your duvet properly: When not using it, keep your duvet in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing it in plastic bags as they can capture moisture and cause mold or mildew to develop.
  • Rotate your duvet: Consider rotating your duvet every few months to ensure even wear. This can help maintain its overall quality and prolong its lifespan.

FAQs about How to Wash A Duvet

Can I wash a down duvet?

Yes, down duvets can be washed following the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s important to use a gentle cycle and a mild detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics. Ensure the duvet is completely dry before using or storing it.

Can I wash a silk duvet?

Silk duvets typically require professional cleaning due to their delicate nature. Check the care label or contact the manufacturer for detailed instructions.

Can I wash a memory foam duvet?

Memory foam duvets cannot be machine-washed. Alternatively, clean any stains by spot-cleaning with a gentle detergent or refer to the manufacturer for precise cleaning instructions.

Can I wash a duvet with feathers?

Yes, duvets with feathers can be washed in a machine following the care instructions. It’s important to use a gentle cycle and ensure all out wash until the duvet is completely dry before using it again.

Can I wash a duvet without a washing machine?

If you don’t have access to a washing machine, consider alternative cleaning methods such as spot or dry cleaning or taking the duvet to a professional cleaner.


Properly cleaning your duvet is essential for a comfortable and hygienic sleep space. This thorough guide helps you effectively wash your duvet, eliminate stains, and prevent allergens and dirt buildup. Remember always to check the care instructions on your duvet’s label and adjust the cleaning process accordingly. With regular cleaning and care, your duvet will remain fresh and cozy, providing you with a good night’s sleep for years to come.


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