How To Wash A Down Garment - Puffa Jacket / Sleeping Bag etc.

How To Wash A Down Garment - Puffa Jacket / Sleeping Bag etc.,

Purchasing a Down Product, Puffa Jacket / Sleeping Bag etc., is rite of passage for us outdoor types.
It’s the quintessential uniform for all mountain towns, a basecamp buddy, a belay bestie, and a go-to layer for all chilly situations.
Buying a down garment represents achieving the “next stage” of outdoorsiness.
Anyone who spends time sleeping, skiing, hiking, or otherwise adventuring outside understands that a down coat (or bag, or booties, or gloves, or, yes, even hats) can mean the difference between basic survival and enjoyment.
Down offers an unbeatable warmth to weight ratio.
It’s perhaps the best insulator out there. Did we mention it’s cozy?
It also requires care and attention to extend its lifespan.

Here’s the good news: Washing your down garment is easy, affordable and guarantees a long lifespan for your gear.
What’s the best way to take care of your down gear?

Wash:
Gear performs better when closest to its original, pristine state.
Case in point: the birdbath. Birds know that their down will best protect them when it is clean.
Down, specifically, requires a gentle, detergent-free cleaner.
We recommend Nikwax Down Wash Direct, which is specially formulated to launder down feathers without weighing down the loft (also see NikWax Down Proof).

Rinse & Spin:
So long as there isn’t a center-mount agitator, a special washing machine isn’t required for down gear.
If the washer is large enough to handle the load, it’s good to go.
The hard and fast rule is rinse, spin, then spin again.
Get as much water out before drying as possible.

Dry:
Relax to the rhythmic sound of a tennis ball tumbling through the dry cycle.
The down will be clumpy from its time in the washer, and drying it completely is critical.
Tossing a clean tennis ball (or two, or three) in the dryer provides a gentle “smack” to break up the clumps.
Fair warning: this is not a short process and you will likely have moments of clumpy terror when you check on the progress.
Keep resetting the timer until your beloveds are lump-free and fully dry.

Results:
When you pull your newly revived jacket out of the dryer, not only will it be gleaming with cleanliness, it will also be puffier then when you began the day.
By gently cleansing the delicate feathers, Nikwax Down Wash Direct revives loft and reinvigorates the down’s ability to trap air once again. Voilà!

Store:
Hang it all out there.
Just say no to storing down gear in tight stuff sacks.
Over time, perpetually “squished” down feathers will become more resistant to re-lofting to their original air-trapping excellence.
Store down apparel and sleeping bags hanging freely with plenty of space or hanging in large, breathable bags.

Additional resources:
Down is only effective when dry. Periodically apply Nikwax Down Proof, which both revives the outer fabric’s DWR, AND adds water repellency to the down itself, without adversely affecting the insulating properties.
Always read and follow the label instructions for temperature and other considerations.

Why Down Items Lose Their Insulating Properties When They Get Dirty

Down filled items are used to provide lightweight insulation to keep you warm. The structure of down allows air to be trapped between its filaments and warmed by body heat to provide insulation for the user.

Through use, dirt and body oils build up on down items. This affects both the fabric and the down fill. Dirt attracts water; if the fabric absorbs water, rain and condensation can easily transfer into the down. If down gets wet it clumps together. This causes it to lose loft and insulation as it can’t trap air effectively. When wet, down loses all of its insulating properties, as water conducts heat away from the body up to 25 times faster than air. It will also gain weight and its breathability will be significantly reduced; leaving you feeling cold, wet and uncomfortable.

Down filled items are most likely to get sweaty and wet inside when used in damp or wet conditions. Therefore it is important to stop down filled gear from getting wet by maintaining Durable Water Repellency (DWR). The outer fabric of your down filled item, as well as the down inside, must be maintained to ensure comfort. Nikwax Down Wash Direct will revitalise the insulation and restore DWR.

Down Is Perfect For Very Cold and Dry Conditions

Down filled items are used to provide lightweight insulation to keep you warm. The structure of down allows air to be trapped between its filaments and warmed by body heat to provide insulation for the user.

Through use, dirt and body oils build up on down items. This affects both the fabric and the down fill. Dirt attracts water; if the fabric absorbs water, rain and condensation can easily transfer into the down. If down gets wet it clumps together. This causes it to lose loft and insulation as it can’t trap air effectively. When wet, down loses all of its insulating properties, as water conducts heat away from the body up to 25 times faster than air. It will also gain weight and its breathability will be significantly reduced; leaving you feeling cold, wet and uncomfortable.

Down filled items are most likely to get sweaty and wet inside when used in damp or wet conditions. Therefore it is important to stop down filled gear from getting wet by maintaining Durable Water Repellency (DWR). The outer fabric of your down filled item, as well as the down inside, must be maintained to ensure comfort. Nikwax Down Wash Direct will revitalise the insulation and restore DWR.

Down Items Are Ideal For People Who Are Outside In Very Cold Conditions

Anyone who is outside in very cold weather will benefit from down items. Whether you’re a mountaineer, skier or snowboarder or you’re regularly outside in cold conditions, you will benefit from the lightweight insulation of down.

How You Treat Your Down Is As Important As The Products You Use

Wet down is heavy, so it is important to use the right wash cycle to ensure no damage occurs to your machine or your down items. A gentle cycle with a slow spin is recommended.

After washing it is important that down items are thoroughly rinsed and very thoroughly dried. Even if you treat your items by hand, spin drying is recommended using a slow spin to get the maximum amount of water out of your down. It’s best to spin dry multiple times, each time incrementally increasing the speed of the spin cycle. If items are spun too quickly while still holding a large amount of water it is possible that internal baffles may be broken.

Tumble drying is recommended to ensure that the down is dried thoroughly and as quickly as possible. Leaving down wet or damp can ruin it completely.

Ensure that there is sufficient room in the tumble drier to house the item once dry, as items will return to their original size during the drying process. Teasing apart clumps repeatedly during the drying process will help restore loft to the down.

How NikWax Down Wash Maintains Your Down Items

Nikwax Down Wash Direct has been specifically designed and optimized for down filled gear. It is a highly effective cleaner which removes body oils and dirt from both the fabric and the down fill. It also restores the Durable Water Repellency (DWR) of both the outer fabric and the down. This protects against rain and condensation, preventing the item from wetting out and maintaining the natural insulating properties of down. Additionally it revives breathability, allowing moisture vapour to pass through the item, optimising performance in cold and damp conditions.

Nikwax Down Wash Direct prolongs the effective life of your down gear. It is the safe way to thoroughly clean your down clothing and equipment. Application in a washing machine is quick, easy, and ensures that the whole item is thoroughly cleaned.

Like All NikWax Products, NikWax Down Wash Direct Is Safe To Use

Nikwax takes great care to minimise the effect of Nikwax products on the environment and on you, the consumer. Nikwax avoids materials in its cleaners like palm oil, which may be sourced from unsustainable plantations.

Nikwax Down Wash Direct is environmentally friendly; it is non-hazardous, WaterBased and biodegradable.

NikWax Down Wash Direct In A Washing Machine

Sleeping bags and very large jackets are best hand washed in a bath or equivalent and then spin dried in a washing machine.

Use neat Down Wash Direct to treat stubborn stains before washing. Remove all non-washable parts. Shake well before use. Follow care label instructions. Do not use conventional detergents.

Machine Wash (for down clothing only):
• Use a front-loading washing machine only.
• Remove all detergent build-up from the detergent dispenser.
• Place maximum 2 items in washing machine.
• Add 100 ml.
• Wash according to care label, preferably on low setting and slow spin.
• After the washing cycle has finished run multiple spin cycles, each time incrementally increasing the spin speed, to remove excess water.

NikWax Down Wash Direct Can Also Be Applied By Hand

Sleeping bags and very large jackets are best hand washed in a bath or equivalent and then spin dried in a washing machine.

Use neat Down Wash Direct to treat stubborn stains before washing. Remove all non-washable parts. Shake well before use. Follow care label instructions. Do not use conventional detergents.

Use gloves.

Hand Wash (use gloves):
• Add 100 ml to 12-15 L of hand-hot water.
• Immerse item and agitate to mix, ensuring complete wetting.
• Leave to soak for 5-10 minutes, then agitate thoroughly.
• Rinse thoroughly until water runs clear.
• To remove excess water transfer item(s) to a washing machine and run multiple spin cycles, each time incrementally increasing the spin speed.

Make Sure To Thoroughly Dry Your Down Filled Gear

If you intend to re-waterproof the washed item there is no need to dry it first.

To get the maximum amount of water out of your down it’s best to spin dry multiple times, each time incrementally increasing the speed of the spin cycle. Wet down is heavy, so if items are spun too quickly while still holding a large amount of water it is possible that internal baffles may be broken.

Tumble drying is recommended (if care label allows) to ensure that the down is dried thoroughly and as quickly as possible. Leaving down wet or damp can ruin it completely. Tumble dry according to manufacturer’s instructions on a low setting until clumps have disappeared. Ensure that there is sufficient room in the tumble drier to house the item once dry, as items will return to their original size during the drying process.

Teasing apart clumps repeatedly during drying process will help restore loft to the down.

After tumble drying it is recommended to air item(s) for at least a day in a warm and dry space, prior to packing away.

 

How toTips

Popular posts

  1. Meet our owners Ruth & Stephen Beere