How to wash your down jacket

Disclaimer: Information and photos used in this blog post are from the Berghaus website. An established brand and manufacturer of down jackets. More detailed information can be found here: 

 How to wash a down jacket - a guide by Berghaus


People are often afraid of washing down products for fear of ruining their expensive jackets. This has been compounded by the fact that for many years, professionals advised not to do so. It's viewed as something that should only be done as a last resort. 

But in reality its quite easy to do and we recommend doing so in order to get the most out of your item. Especially when buying pre-owned or used, just a simple wash can make it seem good as new. Washing and drying a down jacket can be dangerous and may lead to damaging the jacket if not done correctly, so we have put together this blog post to help guide you through the washing process.


Care products and procedure 

Before washing make sure you take brush off all loose dirt and do up all zips, Velcro and loose tabs. 

To get the best results and clean you items the safest, we recommend using a cleaner that is specifically for down jackets. We recommend Nixwax’s ‘Nixwax Down Wash‘ or Tech Wash for the cleaning process and Nikwax Down Proof™ or TX Direct for re-proofing.

Here is the link to it on Amazon: NIKWAX DOWN PROOF EASY USE WASH IN WATERPROOFING FOR DOWN FILLED GEAR PACK OF 2 by Nikwax : Sports & Outdoors


1) Cleaning 

  • Remove all detergent build up from the detergent dispenser 
  • Place item in washing machine (1 item per wash)
  • Use the Nikwax down wash 150ml in medium/hard water areas and 100ml in soft water areas (depending on location) 
  • Wash according to care label, preferably on a gentle cycle and slow spin.
  • After the wash cycle has finished run multiple spin cycles, each time increasing the spin speed to remove excess water
  • If possible, use a tumble drier on a low heat with the added aid of drying balls or tennis balls as a budget option. this will help to break up the down and allow for maximum loft and warmth. Here is a link to some good quality drying balls: Whitmor Dryer Balls - Eco Friendly Fabric Softener Alternative (Set of 4) : Grocery
  • When dry, remove from the machine and lightly shake the garment.

If you do not have a dryer: 

  • The drying process will be slow: it can take up to 3+ hours to dry a down coat but it is important that you stay patient. 
  •  Pull the item out every so often and give it a shake to break up any clumps that might be forming. The more your coat dries, the easier it will be to remove clumps.
    If dying outside of a tumble dryer allow to dry naturally on a washing line or on a radiator, once fully dry you will need to agitate the down fill to allow its loft to return. Do this by shaking the garment rather vigorously to separate the down (this is completely normal for all down products and does take a while)


2) Re-Proofing 

For the majority of people, step 1 will ne enough to make the jacket look new again, this is especial with jackets that are already newish when being washed. But for people that have older products which are have problems like the outer fabric absorbing water, then you may need to fix this.

Most outdoor jacket comes with waterproof repellence but this will wear overtime and not be as effective. To make your jacket repellent again we recommend using the Nikwax down proof and following the following steps: 


  • Wash the item using step 1 
  • Remove all detergent build up from the detergent dispenser 
  • Place clean item in washing machine (1 item)
  • Use 150ml for 1 item Nikwax Down Proof 
  • Run 30 degree Celsius cycle and slow spin (please check the garment care label)
  • After the wash cycle, run multiple spin cycles increasing the spin speed to remove excess water 
  • Fully dry the garment on a low temperature in a tumble drier, its important to use a tumble drier to activate the water proof repellence. 
The final step it crucial, as tumble drying the item will allow the waterproof micro fibres to stand up on end, which in turn allows water to repel better.

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