The Dos and Don’ts of Down Care

Winter Journal 2019

Down is nature’s most efficient insulator, but to get the best out of your down gear you need to take care of it properly. Washing a down jacket can seem like a bit of a confusing task, and there are a few important things to know before you get cracking. But if you want to get the most out of your gear and have it last for a long time, it’s worth doing a bit of research first. Here are the dos and don’ts of washing your down jacket.

DO!

  • Be gentle! It’s OK to use a front loading washing machine on a gentle cool cycle, but a hand wash in warm water is always a safer bet and will put less stress on the shell and fill of your jacket.
  • Use a down-specific soap, like Nikwax Down Wash. Down wash is designed specifically for washing outdoor gear, and will help prolong the life and performance of your kit.
  • Dry your down properly! Be sure to handle your jacket with care when it’s wet. Gently knead the down to rinse the residual water out, then lay it over a clothes horse in the shade. Finally, toss it in the tumble dryer on a low heat with a tennis ball to help separate the clumps of down.

DON’T!

  • Use fabric softener or bleach. These products damage the shell and compromise the performance of down, meaning a wash will do more harm than good.
  • Dry clean. Again, the chemicals used by dry cleaners are bad news for technical outdoor gear.
  • Wash your down after every use. A few times a year is probably enough for most people, but use common sense here – if your down jacket has grubby, oily marks on it then it’s time for a wash.

The Responsible Down Standard (RDS) is a global standard in the ethical sourcing of down and feathers. RDS isn’t compulsory, but we’ve chosen to use 100% RDS down because we’re passionate about making the planet a better place. Track the entire process at www.trackmydown.com.