PART 1: Preparation prior to cleaning
#1. Mind the comforter label
The best way to approach washing your comforters is to take a look at the label and decipher what are the care instructions left from the manufacturer. You should be able to complete this rather simple task at home with pretty much whatever detergent you have at hand.
Note: However, if you notice any specific instruction on the original care label, make sure not to never ignore.
#2. Wait. Do you really need to wash a comforter?
Of course you do. As everything else, comforters also accumulate dust, dirt and etc. Sooner or later you will have to wash the entire thing like it or not.A good wash every two to three months should suffice to keep things civilised. However, if you happen to be an allergy victim, then you might have to add washing your comforter to your household chores list at least once a month.
Note: On the other hand, if you are dealing with a single stain, then try to at least spot clean it before you resort to anything more thorough
#3. Check for damage, holes and loose threads
A small tear in the fabric will most likely become larger during the wash. It would be wise of you to closely examine the fabric before you proceed. In case you notice that the item has indeed suffered from damage, then consider patching the spot to ensure the “survival” of your trusty comforter.
#4. Stain removal
So, having that hot cocoa in bed wasn't such a good idea after all, was it?Well, be it a spilt drink or some greasy food splatters, it would be best to pretreat the stain in order to ensure its complete removal.
“Simply make a solution of lukewarm water and some dish-washing soap. Rinse and blot the spot over and over again until it is as clean as possible. Also, remember to let the item air-dry somewhere in case you won't be washing it entirely.” - Dmtriy Karra, upholstery cleaning professional at Fantastic Cleaners (London).
PART 2: Washing the comforter
#1. Load the washing machine
Alright, time to get things rolling! It is important to see if the item fits into the washing machine properly. Simply stuff it in and see how much space the comforter will take. In case there is barely any space left or you're having a hard time closing the door, then it would be best to take the comforter to a commercial washer with proper cleaning know-how.
Note: If the item fits well then you have no worries and you can proceed to add a pair of clean tennis shoes or balls inside.
You see, in order to ensure an effective cleaning, you need to balance the load with something that can add a little weight.
#2. Apply a “delicate” setting and adjust the water temperature
In order to preserve the integrity of the casing, it would be best to select a gentler washing program. However, determining the temperature of the water is another matter and you need to consider the following factors:
● What the label says;
● Use temperature over 54 C (130 F) to eliminate dust mites;
● Use cold water for cleaning blood stains and other organic fluids.
#3. Use a little liquid washing detergent.
You have to be careful with your choice of detergents. Best opt for something that is suitable for delicate fabrics and does not produce way too much foam.
#4. We recommend extra rinse cycle
Do this just in case to make sure the item is rinsed properly because a bulkier item like this might give your machine washer a hard time.
PART 3: Drying the comforter after the wash
#1. Turn your dryer on
Place the freshly washed comforter inside your dryer and make sure once again that it is distributed properly.
Tip: Put the tennis balls or shoes inside as well or simply resort to a rubber dryer ball.
#2. Use a low-heat setting
It might take some time before all the moisture leaves your comforter, possibly a few hours. On the other hand, if your goal is to eliminate the dust mites, that might have survived the ride in the washing machine, then resort to higher temperatures but make sure that the label allows it.
#3. Fluff the item
Occasionally, take the comforter out of the dryer and fluff it well. Do this every 30 minutes or so in order to redistribute the filling and ensure that the item will dry evenly. This way also you have the chance of catching any damage that might occur to the fabric in case you are resorting to higher temperatures.
#4. Hang the comforter outside and avoid mold
If it is a sunny day outside, then simply hang the item somewhere to air-dry. Even if your dryer did a good job, there might be some section that is still damp so take advantage of the nice weather if you can.
“Direct sunlight is another enemy of dust mites so this step might ensure less sneezing in the future and not to mention avoiding the heavy risks of mold infestation and mold related sickness” says Brian, a mold specialist at Moldblogger.com
On the other hand, if the weather doesn't allow it, hang the item indoors at a well-ventilated section within your property. Make sure to rotate and fluff it from time to time and thus ensure that it is air-drying properly.