Home generalDown jacket: Feathers clump together when washing - what helps?

Down jacket: Feathers clump together when washing - what helps?

  • Problem: Caked down jacket
  • causes
  • Declowing down
    • Wash down jacket

Caked down feathers make the down jacket virtually useless. The garment, which is so important for the cold winter, no longer warms - apart from the fact that it feels funny and looks ugly when worn. We'll explain how you get clumped down jackets fluffy again and prevent another clumping!

Typical scenario: At the beginning of the cool season, you wash your down jacket - and it is perplexed after drying on the stand. Why "> Problem: Caked down jacket

Clumped down - these are the consequences:

1. Reduced bulk strength

With loose feathers the down jacket envelops your body wonderfully fluffy, with clumped material, however, it is flattened and misshapen.

Tip: Just think of a dry and a puddled poodle. The effects are very similar.

2. Funny wearing

The clumping causes an uneven distribution of the down, which is funny and tends to feel uncomfortable.

3. Reduced insulation

Loosely fluffy falling down feathers form thousands of small air pockets between them. In this way, the down jacket keeps you warm. A clumped design can not form these pads and thus you no longer protect from the cold.


Caked down feathers are the result of wrong care. Down jackets need to be washed and dried in a specific way.

Here are the five most common mistakes at a glance:

Mistake # 1: Wrong detergent

If you do not know how to wash your down jacket properly, you will often use regular heavy-duty detergent. Do not do that! Such detergent contains molecules that cleave proteins. This is optimal for removing grass, blood and other spots, but counterproductive for down. Down feathers, like hair and wool, consist of keratin. The term is a collective term for fiber proteins. In short, washing your down jacket with a heavy-duty detergent containing protein-splitting molecules will damage the garment.

Note: Avoid using fabric softener when washing your down jacket. It reduces the elasticity of down feathers.

Mistake # 2: Wrong wash

If the down jacket is washed with other textiles, the down feathers in the drum can not develop sufficiently. In addition, the risk of detergent sticking in the jacket is much higher on a fully loaded machine. This promotes clumping. The same applies to an inappropriate washing program. Cooking linen and other "hard" programs are NOT suitable!

Bug # 3: Wrong spin

In fine or wool washing programs (gentle cycle) the washing machine hurls much less in most cases, to prevent wrinkles and mechanical abrasion of particularly sensitive fibers such as virgin wool or silk. But: A down jacket absorbs a lot of water. In order to get a large part of the moisture out of the springs, an additional spin cycle makes sense. Simply activate it manually after the end of the actual washing program.

Error # 4: Wrong wringing

Despite the additional spin, a down jacket has plenty of residual moisture after washing. This often leads to the jacket after the wall over the sink vigorously wring - a serious mistake that reinforces the sticking of the springs.

Mistake # 5: Wrong drying

With normal drying on the clotheshorse (without regular shaking) the logical consequence is that the springs in the jacket clump together.

Attention: Who gets it by wrong drying once so far that the down clumping together, can often not save his jacket.

Declowing down

To bring clumped down feathers back into a loose fluffy state, only one thing helps: From the dryer to the jacket. Our manual explains the procedure in detail:

Step 1: Put ONLY your clumped down jacket in the dryer with three to four new, dry and clean tennis balls.

Tip: Alternatives to tennis balls are so-called "dryer balls" or "dryer balls".

Explanation: Through their constant movement in the machine, the balls relax the down. This dissolves lumps and the feathers do not stick together when drying.

2nd step: Set the dryer to a maximum of 30 degrees Celsius.

Step 3: Get the down jacket out of the dryer after one hour and shake and beat it carefully.

Step 4: Carry your jacket back into the dryer and let it run for an hour.

Step 5: Take out your jacket again. Do not forget to shake and knock!

Step 6: Repeat the procedure two or three times depending on the filling weight of the jacket.

If the jacket feels dry on the outside, it does not automatically mean that it is dry inside. Therefore, it is advisable to do the process once too often too rarely.

Tip: If you do not have a dryer at home, ask a family member or friend for help. If there is anyone in your circle who owns a dryer, you can still switch to a public laundrette.

Wash down jacket

Last but not least, a short set of rules for the proper washing of a down jacket - if you follow this, your winter companion will no longer clump:

Rule # 1: Always wash down jacket by yourself.

Rule # 2: Empty the down jacket (coins, handkerchiefs, etc.), close the zipper and turn the jacket to the left (open buttons if necessary).

Rule # 3: Use only special down washing detergent or wool / mild detergent specifically designed for down with slightly moisturizing effect.

Rule # 4: Give two to four tennis balls to the down jacket in the machine.

Rule # 5: Wash down jacket with a gentle washing program, preferably with specific down program (modern and very high-quality machines available, such as the function name "pillow" or "feather bed"), otherwise with a classic delicates program (reduced drum movements and more Water).

Important: Wash the down jacket at a maximum of 30 to 40 degrees Celsius, in case of doubt prefer 30 instead of 40 degrees.

Rule # 6: Activate extra rinse to get the detergent completely out of the down (if possible, otherwise go for extra spin).

Rule # 7: After the program spin again - but at a relatively low spin speed (about 800). At higher speeds, you can pull more water out of the jacket, but also risk that the quills buckle or cause other damage to the down.

Rule # 8: Gently wipe residual moisture over the sink (do not wring!).

Rule # 9: Dry as described in the instructions for decoiling.

Cumbersome and hardly realizable alternative: Dry the jacket on the drying rack for one to two weeks (spread) and shake it every one to two hours and knock it out - after the first few days "only" every four hours.

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