Cleaning Down Equipment
Through careful washing you can extend the effective lifespan of your down equipment and enjoy a clean and fresh feeling every time you use it.
Down washing advice
Our jackets do not have to be professionally cleaned. However for the best chance of restoring the down to its original performance we recommend you use Mountaineering Designs. If you have decided to do it yourself how do you clean your down equipment? Firstly a large tumble dryer is worth its weight in gold! Grab some tennis balls or your clean tennis shoes. Air drying will take a very long time in the typical British climate and you will have to constantly agitate the down as it dries to ensure it does not clump.
We do not recommend dry cleaning or bleaching down products.
1A - Hand wash - the gentle approach
If you share a house with other people make sure you negotiate an appropriate time slot since this may take some time. Fill your bath with luke warm water mixing in either pure soap flakes or your favourite down cleaner. Place your jacket into the bath and gently press it down so it is submerged. Agitate it a little and now go and get a cup of tea. After an hour or so let the water drain from the bath and refill with fresh water. Gently massage to remove the soap from the down, if you have a shower head this could work well. Keep at it until all the soapy water is removed. Gently push down to evacuate as much water as possible. It is important that you do not wring or squeeze the bag, this will just damage the down.
1B - Machine wash
For all our jackets a normal household machine has a capacity of under 7kg and is the perfect size to spruce your jacket up. Try to remove all soap residues by flushing the machine through with an empty wash and clean out the soap dispenser. Set the water temperature to 30C (warm) and fill the soap dispenser with the recommended quantity of Nikwax Down Wash. This depends on the weight of the jacket. Choose the slowest spin cycle. After the wash cycle is complete rinse the bag thoroughly.
2 - Waterproofing (optional)
You can increase the effectiveness of your down in damp conditions by treating it with Nikwax Down Proof. Before removing your wet gear from the washing machine reload the dispenser with the recommended quantity of Down Proof. Let you machine work its magic whilst you go and get a coffee. If you are in the bath roll up your sleeves again and get hands on.
3 - Rinse well
Rinse until the water runs clean. Then rinse once more just to make sure.
4 - Drying your Kit
Now what are you going to do with that soggy mass of feathers? Hopefully you have that tumble dryer we told you about earlier. If so set it to the lowest heat option, (take care with laundrettes they seem to have a single setting that would melt glass). Throw in the clean tennis shoe or tennis balls with your kit. As the down product dries these will break up the down clumps. We recommend tumble drying when using products such as Nikwax Down Proof as the heat helps cure the waterproofing to the fabric quicker.
No dryer? then lay it opened in a clean, dry shady area to dry. Massage and separate the drying down until completely dry. Air drying a jacket can take days! If your jacket is left unattended the down will clump together and it will not be nice and fluffy. Important: Do not just throw your jacket over the washing line and leave it to drip dry over night. Better still place in the dryer on a low heat.. oh did we say that already?
Store your down product in a clean, dry, ventilated area, not in a compression sack or squeezed in a drawer. We recommend a large cotton/mesh bag for your sleeping bag, hang your jacket up in the wardrobe or lay it on top.
Professional down cleaning services
PO BOX 20,
Phone : +44 1539 536333
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