How to Clean a Comforter

Woman putting a comforter into a washing machine at a laundromat
Does your comforter have a few stains? Easily spot clean your comforter by blotting stained areas with a cleaner and rinsing with water. Dry your comforter using a blow dryer, or allow it to air dry for a few hours before making your bed again.

Your comforter doesn’t require cleaning nearly as often as your sheets and pillowcases because it doesn’t come in contact with your skin and hair every night the way your sheets and pillowcases do. Therefore, it’s reasonable to wash your comforter three or four times per year. As a natural reminder, plan to have your comforter cleaned with the changing seasons.

Here’s how to clean a comforter using several different techniques.

Spot Clean Your Comforter

When a small blood stain, grease smear, or other mark makes your comforter look grubby, spot cleaning is often the fastest, easiest, and most effective option for treating the trouble area. Just follow these steps:

  1. Move filling away from stain. Manipulate the comforter filling to move it away from the stained area.
  2. Use cleaner on stain. Apply a small amount of gentle cleaning agent. Popular options include diluted Woolite, baking soda and water paste, or a 50-50 solution of water and white vinegar. Never use bleach.
  3. Blot the stain. Press on the stained area with a clean, white cloth.
  4. Rub fabric together. If the spot remains, scrub the fabric against itself to loosen the stain. Then, rinse with a bit of clean water. Squeeze the excess water out and blot with a clean, white cloth.
  5. Let comforter dry. Dry the cleaned area with a blow dryer or allow it to air dry.

Wash Your Comforter at Home

If you have a large-capacity, front-load washer, you may be able to wash your comforter conveniently at home. Before you begin, check the care label for washing instructions. Most comforters can be washed with water and mild detergent, but some may specify dry clean only. To prevent damaging your expensive bedding, heed these instructions.

  1. Select washing machine settings. Start by loading the comforter into the machine. Add a small amount of mild detergent to the dispenser. Select the bulky setting on the washer, and choose the proper temperature as instructed on the care label. Program an extra rinse cycle to ensure all the detergent is removed.
  2. Select dryer settings. When the wash cycle is complete, transfer the comforter to the dryer. Use the low-temperature setting and auto-dry function. Add a few dryer balls or clean tennis balls to help prevent the filling from clumping.
  3. Rearrange filling. Check on the comforter every 30 minutes to fluff it up and redistribute it within the dryer. If the bedding still feels wet when the timer goes off, rearrange it to expose the wet inner portion. Reset the dryer and continue to check on it every 30 minutes.
  4. Hang comforter until completely dry. When the timer goes off a second time, assess the dryness level again. You may need to hang the comforter to allow it to finish drying completely before putting it back on your bed.

Head to the Laundromat

If your washer and dryer aren’t big enough to handle your California King-size comforter, you can avoid damaging your appliances and the bedding itself by heading to the laundromat. Choose the largest front-load washing machine possible and follow the same instructions for washing your comforter at home.

Take Your Comforter to the Dry Cleaner

You might be wondering, “Can I wash my comforter at home, even if it specifies dry clean only on the tag?” This instruction from the manufacturer tells you that dry cleaning is the safest and best way to help your comforter last. If you decide to put dry-clean-only bedding in the wash, you do so at your own risk.

For more cleaning tips, or to arrange professional house cleaning in your area, please contact your local Molly Maid today for a free estimate!