Sidling across the West Highland Way or braving Edinburgh's Hogmanay, a high-quality down jacket will keep you perfectly snug and smug. Properly cared for, a Kathmandu down jacket can last for decades. Regular washing will help your down jacket last longer and perform at its best.
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How to wash a down jacket:
Machine-wash your down jacket on a gentle cycle at 30 degrees °C.
Carefully remove your down jacket and lay flat to dry on a clothing rack.
Put it in the tumble drier on a low heat.
Throw in two to three tennis balls, or Granger’s drying balls.
Gently fluff up the down jacket.
Find the perfect down jacket
Kathmandu Product Expert Daan Dijkstra explains the best way to wash your down jacket.
Machine-washing a down jacket
Machine-wash your down jacket on a gentle cycle at 30 degrees °C. If it's available, select the ‘extra rinse’ option. Use a down-specific soap or detergent, like Granger's Downwash.
Skip the spin cycle. It’s better for your down jacket to drip dry and/or use a tumble dryer.
Hand-washing a down jacket
Soak your down jacket for up to 60 minutes in a sink. Again, go for a down-specific detergent such as Granger's Downwash.
Rinse by lightly squeezing out excess water (don’t wring it!) and follow the drying steps below.
Drying your down jacket
Once the wash is complete, carefully remove your down jacket — it'll be heavy — and lay flat to dry on a clothing rack. As you do this, gently fluff up the down.
It’ll take around 24–48 hours to drip dry depending on the weather conditions. As it dries, keep giving it the occasional fluff, particularly around any wet clumps of down.
When the down jacket is almost dry, put it in the tumble drier on a low heat and check it regularly. To maximise the loft of your down jacket, throw in two to three tennis balls, or Granger’s reusable drying balls. This will really help fluff up your down jacket.
What to avoid when washing a down jacket
Down is a tough performer against the cold, but when wet, needs a little extra attention from you. To ensure you don’t damage your down jacket, here’s what you should avoid:
Fabric softener. Stick to a down-specific detergent for the best results.
A dry clean. The solvents they use in the dry cleaning process can damage your jacket.
A top-loader with an agitator. It’s a rougher wash, and your down jacket deserves a gentle hand.
The spin cycle. Down is heavy when it’s wet, so err on the side of caution to avoid damage.
Wringing. Don’t wring your down jacket, no matter how heavy it is. If you must, gently shake any excess water off while supporting its weight.
Use or storage of your down jacket while it’s wet. Otherwise, you’ll both be wet and smelly.