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  • Writer's pictureTribe Pilot

Washing Down

Our down jackets are our most prized pieces of gear up here in the colder climates. As I stare out at snow blowing sideways and debate rolling the garbage cans out to the street, my hooded down is the only jacket I will reach for in these conditions. We live in our down puffy jackets four to six months of the year. Manufacturers recommend you wash your down once a month or once every six weeks 😬.

Though we aren’t that good in our house about the wash cycles, it isn’t difficult to keep our favorite gear clean. A common misconception is that washing down rakes life out of it, which is untrue. Frequently washing your down takes out dirt and oils that reduce its lofty insulating powers. Keeping it clean will rejuvenate it and keep it presentable and warm.

How to Wash:

1. Use a down specific detergent for your cycle. Common household cleaners might have extra scents and softeners that will not be friends with the fluffy insides. We like Nikwax Down Wash Direct. The folks at Nikwax have been treating outdoor gear for a long time, and we trust them with our most prized possession.

2. Spot treat any stains or problem areas with your down detergent or an “OxiClean” unscented, non-additive cleaner. My son uses the front of his coat as a napkin, so this is essential in our house.

3. Set the machine to a warm cycle, add your down detergent according to instructions, and run through the cycle. To ensure all the detergents are rinsed out, we typically run one more cold without detergents.

4. Dry on a low heat setting and toss in a few tennis balls, or we use these wool dryer balls that will bang out any clumps and fluff up the down. It may take several cycles, so be patient. It should be fully fluffed when complete.

5. Store uncompressed to ensure the longest life.

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