Want to wash your down jacket but don’t have a tumble dryer to fluff it back up afterwards? No worries. Our simple guide to how to fluff a down jacket without a dryer breaks down how to maintain the loft in your down jacket so it keeps performing for you winter after winter.
If you’ve read our article on fill power, you’ll know that your favorite down jacket keeps you warm by trapping air between the feathers and warming it using your own body heat. Needless to say then, the more air inside your jacket, the better it is at doing its job, and that’s why there’s nothing worse than a deflated-looking down jacket when it comes to staying warm.
Down jackets are no small investment and are some of the most fragile outdoor gear around, but to keep yours lasting a long time, you want to be sure you’re washing it regularly to remove bacteria and drying it properly to keep the down in good condition. If you don’t own a dryer, you can still wash your down jacket and fluff it by hand. It does take a little longer, so you’ll probably want to wash your down jacket in the morning, so you aren’t up all night fluffing it.
1. Squeeze excess moisture from your jacket
After washing your jacket, squeeze the excess moisture out of it – however you don’t want to wring it, which can damage the fabric. The best way to do this is to hang it over the sink and squeeze from the shoulders down to the sleeves and the collar down to the waist. Squeeze as much water out as you can, but be gentle.
2. Hang your jacket up to dry
Put your down jacket on a coat hanger and hang it somewhere cool to dry. Try to avoid humid conditions and use a drying closet if you have one, or a bedroom closet.
3. Hand fluff your jacket
This part is the most labor intensive. Every 30 minutes, remove the jacket from the hanger and give it a vigorous shake. Then, gently massage the jacket using your fingers to separate any feathers that are clumping together. It’s best to set a timer for every 30 minutes. You’ll do this for five hours, meaning you’ll hand fluff your jacket ten times total. Don’t pack your jacket away while it is still damp or it will start to smell.
Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.
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