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Is it safe to wash comforters in your washing machine?

Nothing beats the feeling of climbing into bed at the end of a long and tiring day. Our beds are havens of comfort and tranquil – but it can also be a nesting place for bacteria, germs, and allergens. As we sleep, our beddings absorb all the sweat, saliva, dust, and dead skin cells that can cause irritation and diseases. This is why we should know how to regularly wash our sheets, even though it can be a bit challenging to do so.

As much as we would love to keep our cozy blankets, comforters, quilts, or duvets sparkling clean, they do come with a setback. It’s hard enough to wash clothes, what more for heavy beddings? Just leave it at the local Laundromat and call it a day.

But here’s the thing: it’s actually not as hard as you think! You just need a few hacks up your sleeve – or sheets, in this matter. Here’s how you can wash a comforter in your washing machine.

1. Check the care label before everything else.

Before you start cleaning a comforter, you have to check for specific instructions in the care label. Read the directions carefully and make a note of any particular instructions, such as water temperature, dryer temperature, washing cycle, and so on. Some materials are also not meant for a machine wash, so if your covers say dry clean only, then it’s time to hand it over to your local dry cleaner. Additionally, you should also check if your comforters are okay to be put in the washing machine, since some materials require handwashing.

2. Pre-treat the stains.

Before washing the comforter, use a stain removal pen or spray to address any problem areas. It's critical to give stubborn stains a boost if you want to achieve maximum cleanliness. Also, inspect for any ripped seams or holes and patch them before washing to avoid the filling from escaping during the process.

And if you ever have to treat stains or restore your white covers to its original glory, you can use bleach. Mix half a cup of bleach with two gallons of cold water, then soak the comforter in the solution for five minutes before washing.

3. Prep your washing machine.

Yep, it’s not only the comforters that need some prep time. Before you load your washer, make sure that it is appropriate for your comforter. Does it fit? Can it handle the weight of your comforters when they are wet?

Even though it's tempting to add in some items, it's best to wash a comforter on its own. You want to allow as much space as possible for the comforter. The filling may compress, and the item may not be totally clean if the comforter does not have adequate space. If space is limited, consider using a huge commercial washing at your local laundromat.

4. Choose the right washing cycle and laundry detergent.

You should set your washer to a gentle or delicate cycle, whichever is the gentlest on your machine. The wash should ideally be set to warm and include an extra or extended cold rinse cycle. It’s also important to remember that there should be no detergent residue left after the rinse, so you can add another rinse if necessary. Additionally, follow the recommendations on the bottle when using a moderate or natural laundry detergent.

5. Load your comforter in the dryer.

Before starting your dryer, make sure that it can also fit your comforter and there is enough space for it to tumble around. Then, add in dryer balls or tennis balls. The balls will move around and agitate the blanket while it dries, preventing the down from clumping. Set the machine to the lowest setting for 30 minutes.

There are also a few extra steps you can take to help maintain the fluffiness of your comforters. Set a timer for every 30 minutes while the dryer is running. To redistribute the filling, pause the cycle, remove the comforter, and shake it out as best you can to remove any leftover moisture.

6. Remove the comforter from the dryer – then you’re done!

After taking it out of the dryer, hang it in a warm, dry place to fully dry before putting it back on the bed or inserting it into a duvet cover. You'll know it's finished when it feels fluffy and airy once again.