Many people hold off from washing their duvet for fear of ruining it or a lack of knowledge about how to do it correctly. But since we shed skin cells and sweat when we sleep, and skin cells attract dust mites, it’s good hygiene to wash your duvet regularly. So, if you want to know how to wash a duvet, read on. There are a few things you should know so your duvet is as good as new when you have washed it. That way, you can continue to enjoy it for years to come.

Can you wash a duvet?

First up, before we get into this step by step guide, we need to answer a couple of key questions. The answer to the question, "Can you wash a duvet?" is that it depends. Generally, hollowfibre duvets and duvets made with synthetic fillings can be machine washed. But if you have a duvet with natural filling, like goose feather or duck down, you must read the label for washing instructions. Some naturally filled duvets have to be dry cleaned, and you should not try to wash them yourself at home.

Can you wash a duvet in the washing machine?

You can wash a hollowfibre duvet or synthetically filled duvet in the washing machine subject to certain conditions. You will need to check the duvet’s care instructions label, consider your duvet’s size and your washing machine’s capacity, and choose the right programme and temperature settings. Some duvets are made to be machine washable, and the packaging will tell you that when you buy them.

How to wash a duvet

Now let’s have a closer look at what you need to do when you wash a duvet in the washing machine.

1. Check the label on your duvet

You can machine wash a synthetic or hollowfibre filled duvet as long as the washing instructions on the duvet’s label say it is safe to do so. The label, which will be sewn into the seam of the duvet, will tell you what temperature setting to use and set out any other instructions you need to follow. Check the label to determine what temperature setting to use.

2. Check your duvet fits into the machine

Even if the care label says it’s safe to go ahead and wash your duvet in the washing machine, it depends on the size of the duvet and the size of your machine’s drum as to whether you can go ahead. Duvets come in different sizes including single, double, king, and super king size. Before going any further, remove the duvet cover from your duvet and see if your duvet will fit into your washing machine. Gently feed it into the drum, folding it over if it’s difficult to fit it in.

You should be able to fit a single, double, or even a king-size duvet into a standard 7 kg washing machine, but it depends on the tog and the thickness of your duvet. Put your hand into the drum; check there is enough room for the duvet to tumble around inside when you start the wash.

If you can’t fit your duvet into your washing machine, you can take it to a laundrette where the washing machines may be bigger. The tumble dryers will most definitely be much bigger than your own tumble dryer at home.

3. Pretreat any stains

To stand the best chance of getting a stain out of any fabric, you need to treat the stain as soon as it happens. For example, you should rinse a bloodstain with cold water to prevent the stain from setting into the fabric and then leave it to soak in cold, salted water. You can treat spilt tea with white vinegar or baking soda. And you can press salt onto a fresh red wine spill to absorb the wine and lift the stain.

It’s not so easy to remove old stains from a duvet, although you can buy special detergents targeted towards stubborn stains. Before washing a duvet, it’s a good idea to try and pretreat any tough stains.

If you want to treat a stain on a feather-filled duvet, shake the feathers away from the affected area to isolate the area. Then treat the stain.

4. Set your wash temperature and run cycle

Unless the label says otherwise, we recommend a 30 to 40ºC wash temperature, and a normal spin setting. Don’t forget to add your washing detergent as recommended by your particular brand. We recommend using a non-bio detergent when washing a duvet. Check your machine settings; some machines have a special Duvet Wash programme.

5. Once finished, check for soap residue

When the wash cycle has finished, remove your duvet from the machine and have a look for leftover soap residue. If you can see patches of washing powder or liquid soap, you will need to wash your duvet again. Your duvet needs to be completely clean of any soap residue before you proceed to the drying stage.

6. Transfer to your dryer

To dry your duvet in the tumble dryer, set your dryer to a low heat setting. Occasionally, during the drying cycle, take it out and shake it to distribute the filling and fluff it up. A dryer ball or a clean tennis ball will help to stop clumps from forming. Don’t forget to check the label of your duvet before transferring to your dryer as some synthetic fillings could melt in a dryer.

Alternatively, instead of drying your duvet in the dryer, you can hang your duvet outside to dry on a washing line or airer, especially in the summer. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are a natural disinfectant that helps to kill any remaining bacteria, and sunlight can help kill dust mites. You can also drape your duvet over a drying rack inside your home, but it could take a while to dry. It’s crucial that your duvet is completely dry before you use it.

7. Don’t forget your pillows and covers

Don’t forget to wash your pillows too instead of buying new pillows. Wash your duvet, pillow covers, and any other bed linen separately about once a week.

How often should you wash your duvet?

We recommend that you wash your duvet every few months, or at least once per year. If it’s too difficult to wash your entire duvet, you can just treat individual spills and stains. Then hang it out to dry to freshen it up.

Here at SleepSeeker, we stock a range of pillows, duvets, mattress toppers and protectors, and more. We believe that a good night’s sleep is something everyone deserves, and good-quality bedding can help make that a reality. Get in touch with us with any questions or to let us know what’s on your mind.