How to wash down gear
Here's our guide to machine washing, drying and caring for your down gear.
We’ve all heard the saying “like water off a duck’s back”. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for mud and fizzy drinks. As wonderful as down sleeping bags and down jackets are, the thought of keeping them clean can be a bit off-putting.
However, the extra effort is well worth it. These articles do collect oils and sweat, which slowly eat away at them, but a good wash will restore life and loft to your down items.
How to clean down gear
1. Find a front-loading washing machine. The agitator of a top-loader can damage down feathers.
2. Set the dial to cold water, and add a touch of a down specific cleaner. We recommend Storm Down Wash, which is specifically formulated to work on down products. Normal detergents can strip down feathers of their natural oils. This oil is what allows down feathers to maintain their fluffiness. If you strip them they become brittle and breakdown. Storm Down Wash doesn’t strip down of their oil and does not inhibit the water repellence that exists on the outside of the fabric. You will find the Storm Down Wash at any of our Cape Union Mart stores.
3. After the wash cycle, make sure your down article gets a thorough rinse. We suggest giving it an extra rinse cycle.
4. Once done, pop the garment in the dryer on a low or no-heat cycle. You want your products to come out fully dry so it might take a few cycles. Throwing a couple of tennis balls (nothing heavier) will help restore the fluff of the down.
What NOT to do
1. Don't dry clean your sleeping bag, dry cleaning fluids are toxic and break the feathers down.
2. Don’t wring-out your down items, as this will cause the feathers to clump.
Down gear is an investment, so treat yours with care. If you keep your down articles clean, shiny, and fully "poofed", they will provide warmth whether you're on the mountain or on a night out on the town.