AchooAllergy.com Blog
Down Comforter Care for Allergy Sufferers
Posted by Shifrah on Friday, May 07, 2010
With temperatures creeping ever upwards especially in our neck of the woods (Atlanta), it may seem like a strange time to talk about down comforters. But as spring cleaning projects wind to a close, you may be laundering your winter bedding before storing it away for the next winter season. Proper cleaning and storing are very important for allergy sufferers in particular.

Traditional down comforters can be a haven for dust mites; while some individuals are actually allergic to the down itself. Alternatives such as allergy-free synthetic down PrimaLoft Comforters or naturally hypoallergenic Hypodown Comforters are excellent choices. However, even a regular down comforter can be used by allergy sufferers comfortably – when covered by an allergy proof duvet cover, which ensures that dust mites never enter your breathing zone.

It's these regular goose down comforters that we will discuss here. While many recommend only dry cleaning your comforter, chemicals used in the dry cleaning process can leave behind irritating fumes and residues, especially for those with multiple chemical sensitivities or asthma. We prefer giving the comforter a good old fashioned wash – while taking some necessary precautions.

Down comforters and allergies can go together, if you know how to use and care for the comforters appropriately.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Always use a large front loading washer. Trying to squish a comforter into a top loader or a small washer can damage the down and can also keep detergent from being completely rinsed out.
  • Use only a very small amount of detergent. Too much detergent can strip the down of its natural oils and damage it. Lingering detergent can also irritate sensitive skin.
  • It is absolutely critical that the down is dried completely. Otherwise mold can grow in the down, which would be unhealthy and even dangerous for allergy sufferers and non-allergy sufferers alike.
  • Use a large dryer, and thrown in a few tennis balls or dryer balls to pound the down and fluff it up.
  • Dry the comforter on low heat for a long time – up to three hours or more – taking the comforter out and readjusting it to ensure that no damp patches remain.
  • When you take it out of the dryer, hang the comforter out to dry in the sun, if possible, or air dry it at least over night.
  • Shake the comforter out and fluff it to distribute the down evenly.


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