How to Wash/Clean/Maintain Your Down Jacket

Key Words: light, lightweight, packable, down jacket, wash, clean, storage, dry, hand wash, spot treat.


When its freezing outside, you need a warm down jacket or a down vest for layering. Packed with the best feathers we can find, they are lightweight yet excellent at trapping heat. Wantdo jacket is your trusty companion that keeps you warm on an early-season backpacking rip, or over-air conditioned flights. Over the time however, sweat, dust and body oil can seep through the material and compromise the insulation value of down inside. Therefore, proper cleaning the down jacket is required to bring it back to like-new performance. We want to make sure your beloved jacket can last for years, so here is a guide on how to wash your jacket.



Spot treat

For minor mud blotches, simply wash away the soiled spots by spot cleaning. It can help your down jacket to last longer, since a full wash puts it thought more wear and tear.

Before you start, brush off any loose mud or dirt from the fabric. Make a paste of mild soap and water. Hold the soiled fabric away from the filling, and use a brush or cloth to gently clean it. Let your jacket air dry, and make sure its completely dry before you pack the down jacket for the next trip. 



Soak your down jackets in lukewarm water for up to 60 minutes. Use a special detergent made for down. Regular household detergent can damage the down and feathers or the water resistance of treated down. 

Rinse by lightly squeezing out excess soapy water. Fill the tub again with clean water and repeat the process until the water is clear. 

Dry your down jacket by following the instructions below. We do not recommend air-dry since it can take several days, which can make your jacket smell or even mold.



Machine Wash

  1. Make sure you are using a front loading washing machine. Top loading washing machines can be too rough for down jackets.
  2. Clean any residual detergent from the washing machine. Use a down-specific detergent according to the instructions on label.
  3. Close all zippers and velcro attachments.
  4. Set the washing machine on a gentle cycle.
  5. Run the jacket through at least two cycles to ensure no soap residue is left in the down .



Down can get clumpy from the wash, therefore proper drying process is critical to re-fluff the down jacket

Use the lowest heat setting and add 2-3 clean tennis balls to break up the clumps. Depending on the size of the jacket, it can take several drying cycles to completely dry the down jacket. 

Take out the jacket and shake it gently between each drying cycle to keep the down from clumping. Drying the down jacket can take up to 3 hours so be patient!



Do not stuff your down jacket into its own pocket or in a small space since it will compress the down. Store your down jacket on a hanger in a well-ventilated closet. Feathers will re-loft to the original fluffiness.



Things to avoid: 

-Fabric softener/ bleach.


-A dry clean

-A top loader with an agitator


-Use or storage of your down jacket while it is wet


Wantdo offers a range of functional, lightweight, and comfortable down jackets that are perfect for layering. They are also packable so you could easily fit into your limited amount of luggage space when you are traveling or backpacking. 

Shop our Men's Lightweight Packable Jacket and Women's packable down jacket.