How to Wash Comforters

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Dear Home-Ec 101,
I don’t know if you have any advice that you can give me for this, but I went to go wash my daughters comforter and the washing instructions start out with “Front Load Washer only” – I’ve never seen this before, and I only have a top load washer. I don’t want to ruin the comforter, but I really need to wash it…do you (or any of your followers perhaps) have any advice? Can I wash it in my top load washer without ruining it? Thank you SO much!
In Need of CLEAN Comfort

how to wash a comforter

Heather says:

The warning to wash in a front load washer is more about protecting your machine than actually protecting the comforter. A comforter can hold a LOT of water which can cause excess strain on the motor and either shorten or end the life span of your top-loading washer. Naturally this won’t be true for all top loading washers, it’s going to be based on the capacity and the strength of the motor. However a washing machine is a significant investment and I’m not about to tell you to load test your appliance to save 5 or 6 dollars.

Your best bet is to head to the laundromat and wash your comforter -according to the manufacturer’s directions, naturally- in a large-capacity front loading washing machine. Yes, it will take you a little bit of time and cost you a few bucks, but it’s still significantly cheaper than a washing machine repair bill.

As a bonus many laundromats have water extractors. You can toss your comforter in there where it will be spun at a higher rpm than even the front loading washer, removing a significant amount of water and reducing the amount of time needed in the dryer (dryers are typically the appliance that cause the most damage to fabric).

how to launder unusual items
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Don’t forget to check the drum of the dryer before drying your daughter’s clean comforter. It would really stink to end up with chapstick or lipstick stains all over your clean blanket.

Best of luck!

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7 thoughts on “How to Wash Comforters”

  1. I recently took my comforter to the drop off laundromat. It’s massive and has lots of ribbony things sewn on it. For $20, they cleaned it better than I ever could have. Just dropped off another last week. Well worth the money!

    • @mindywinn My dry cleaners charges $15 to clean the king size comforter that I keep in my car for the dogs to lie on. Washing at home is not an option as the comforter is too big for the machine but I’m glad I didn’t try it because I’m sure that it would weigh a ton when it came out.

  2. I did not take a heavy coverlet to the laundrymat. I have a new 4.5 cubic washing machine, it fit fine and did not have all the stuffing inside as a regular comforter so I thought all would be fine. I did not break my washing machine but that bedding filled with water and was so heavy the machine could not spin it. I had a heck of a time lifting this out of the machine, had to lay it flat on my deck for the sun to dry it. NEVER AGAIN! Heather is right on..

  3. I had tried pillows in a top loader and ended up breaking the little pin off the lid that holds the latch down that lets the machine run. I had it fixed once, but the second time I needed to fix it we found that the electric dryer cord had fused to the outlet. Since the dryer had to be replaced and I wanted a gas dryer (hook-up was already in place) anyway, I replaced both with a front loader he4 pair. But… unless you have a much older washer./dryer pair and want an excuse to replace them, don’t do pillows or large bedding in a top loader.

  4. I really wish someone had told me this sooner! I always thought that the manufacturers wanted people to go to the drycleaners so the comforters would last longer.  I had no idea I was destroying my washing machine, which is apparently what’s happened.  My washer is not wringing out a lot of the clothes.  It’s pretty random.  Sometimes the spin cycle works, and sometimes it doesn’t.


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