How To Wash A Puffer Jacket: Everything You Need To Know

How To Wash A Puffer Jacket: Everything You Need To Know

Having a puffer jacket is one of the best investments you can make when it comes to having reliable and durable outerwear to keep you warm when it's cold. They are waterproof, water-resistant, windproof and extremely comfortable, keeping you snug and warm, whether you're camping in the snow or on your way to work.

But when it comes to washing puffer jackets, many questions can arise. Can you wash puffer jackets? Is there a specific detergent you have to use? How do you dry them? What happens when they aren't as fluffy as when you first bought them? To answer all your questions and provide some helpful tips, here's everything you need to know about how to wash a puffer jacket.

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Washing A Down Jacket: Commonly Asked Questions

Get answers to frequently asked questions about washing and caring about your puffer jacket. Proper care can extend the lifespan and comfort of your jacket so get some tips from the questions below.


Can you put a puffer jacket in the washing machine?

Yes, you can put your puffer jacket into your washing machine. However, make sure you are using a newer front-loading or top-loading washing machine as they most likely won't have a centre agitator. This is basically a spindle that stands up in the middle of the washing machine and is notorious for catching and tearing the top layers of clothing such as down and puffer jackets.

Does washing a puffer jacket ruin it?

Absolutely not. Just like other pieces of clothing in your wardrobe, washing your puffer jacket is advised to stop it from smelling and looking ragged. If you are still paranoid about washing your down jacket, you can always hand wash it instead.

Can I tumble dry my puffer jacket?

You can certainly tumble dry your puffer jacket, but just make sure that you set your dryer to a delicate or low heat setting. However, it is always a good idea to read the label on your puffer jacket just in case.

How do I make my puffer jacket puffy again?

Without being overdramatic, deflated puffer jackets are the bain of one's existence. However, there are some simple ways to put the 'puff' back into your puffer jacket. A common trick is to throw a few tennis balls into the dryer when drying your puffer jacket, which we'll explain in greater detail further down in our guide.

How often should you wash a puffer jacket?

The answer to this question is similar to how long is a piece of string. Some sources say once every month and some say once every five wears. Others say that regular washing will slightly wear down the protective DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating of the jacket - but having grime and dirt on the jacket will make it easier for water to pass through the DWR shell. Your best bet is to simply wash it when it needs to be cleaned.

What detergent do I use?

When washing a puffer jacket or down jacket, it's best to use a down-specific detergent to give it a thorough clean, prevent any clumping and maintain its fluff. But if you don't have any, using regular laundry detergent is not going to kill your puffer jacket.

How To Wash A Puffer Jacket

Now the moment you've been waiting for, it's time to wash your puffer jacket! Rather than simply chucking it in the wash, slamming the lid shut and going off to do something more interesting, there are a few steps you'll need to take when it comes to washing down jackets. Generally, you can choose between washing your jacket by hand or by machine and we will detail the steps for both.

Don't forget to prepare the puffer jacket before washing

Before you can simply throw your puffer jacket into the wash, you will first need to 'prepare' it. You'll want to empty all the pockets, close all the velcro closures and ensure that your down jacket is completely zipped all the way up so it won't snag on anything inside the washing machine. You'll also need to remove any faux-fur trims on the jacket (if any), and wash them separately. This is also the best time to spot-treat any stains you notice.


How to machine wash a puffer jacket

Machine washing your puffer jacket is convenient and fast, but ensure you follow some special steps to ensure the best results. The general steps to machine washing your puffer jacket are:

  1. Check the label
  2. Use a specific cleaner detergent
  3. Select a gentle cycle
  4. Rinse the puffer jacket
  5. Remove water with your hands and avoid the spin cycle

Below we go over the steps in further detail so you can get it perfect.

Check the label

The first step on how to wash a puffer jacket is checking the label to make sure it actually can be washed in a machine. Also, make sure you are only using a washing machine that doesn't have a centre agitator and that you are using a gentle/delicate cycle setting.

Use a specific cleaner (if you can)

As mentioned before, using regular laundry detergent won't kill your down jacket, but if you can, opting for a cleaner that is specifically designed for down feathers is best. This is because it will help keep the feathers inside the jacket nice and fluffy.

Select a gentle cycle

Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle, such as wool or delicate, and set it to low heat. You should only wash your down jacket in cold water because using hot water will damage the outer shell of the puffer jacket.

Rise the puffer jacket

You'll need to make your puffer jacket is rinsed thoroughly, so for best results, add an extra rinse cycle if you can. If you can't, then an alternative is to extend the rinse cycle for as long as you can. If you suspect that there are still remnants of the cleaner in the jacket, play it safe and re-rinse the puffer jacket again.

No spin cycle

To avoid causing damage to the down feathers inside of the puffer jacket, make sure you skip the spin cycle on your washing machine. Using your hands, carefully knead your puffer jacket to ensure all excess water is drained.

How to hand wash a puffer jacket

Hand washing your puffer jacket is a safe option to maintain its quality and minimise any damage. Hand washing does require more effort so we have broken down the steps for you:

  1. Fill your sink or tub with water and add detergent
  2. Pre-soak your puffer jacket for up to one hour
  3. Gently rinse by running through cold water
  4. Give it a squeeze and knead the feathers

Read more regarding the specific steps below so you can hand wash your puffer jacket with confidence.

Fill your sink and pre-soak your puffer jacket

Fill up your sink or bathtub with warm water, adding down-specific cleaner (if available then use regular laundry detergent) into the water. Now allow your down jacket to soak for up to an hour.

Rinse thoroughly

Ensure you run your puffer jacket through cold water to rinse off the detergent and remove any dirt and build-up. For any particularly stained areas, use a microfiber cloth to wipe gently.

Give it a gentle squeeze

Take your puffer jacket out and begin rinsing it by gently kneading and squeezing all the water out. It's important to knead the jacket evenly because the feathers inside may clump together if kneaded unevenly. It's also crucial to not wring the jacket forcefully or the feathers will start sticking together.

How To Dry A Puffer Jacket

Now that it's finally washed, rinsed and looking good as new, here is how to dry your puffer jacket the correct way. There are two main ways to dry your puffer jacket which are

  • Using a machine dryer
  • Air drying

Read more below on the specific steps to dry using either method.


How to dry your puffer jacket in a machine dyer

Put the puffer jacket inside the dryer

Once your down jacket is fully rinsed out, place it into a machine dryer - but make sure that as much excess water has been drained out beforehand. It's best to dry your puffer jacket separately, as other items will crush the fluff down during the dry.

Use a low heat

Set the temperature on your dryer to low or the lowest setting you have. This is because a higher heat will cause damage to the feathers inside of the puffer jacket or the fabrics on the outer shell.

Throw in some tennis balls

To make sure your puffer jacket keeps it fluff or to restore it, throw in three clean tennis balls before starting the cycle. This is because the tennis balls will bounce around inside the dryer and continually 'beat' the jacket. As it does this, it will be breaking up clumps of feathers inside the jacket, also helping it to dry more evenly and faster. Once they're in, close the door, turn on the dryer and set a timer for 30 minutes.

Remove your jacket

Once the 30 minutes is up, remove the puffer jacket from the dryer and give it a gentle 'fluff'. This will further help to break up any clumps that might be forming. Gently massage and shake your jacket, and push any feathers that might be sticking out of the jacket back in rather than pulling them out. Continue this process every 30 minutes until your down jacket is completely dry.

Continue drying for three hours

Because of the low heat setting, the whole process will take around three hours to complete. Even though it may be annoying to fluff your jacket every 30 minutes, it's the best way to dry your puffer jacket without risking any damage to the material. It's also the most thorough way to make sure there is no moisture left inside the fathers, which will result in mildew and unpleasant odours. If you notice any moisture still hanging around after three hours, then continue the process until dry.

How to air dry your puffer jacket after washing

Hang the jacket up to dry

After you have finished rinsing out the puffer jacket, slide it onto a coat hanger and hang it up in a place that's somewhere dry and cool. Make sure it's not somewhere humid as the moisture in the air will cause your puffer jacket to smell as it is drying - undoing all your hard work.

Give it a good fluff

As with the steps regarding machine drying, make sure you set a timer for every 30 minutes. Each time the timer goes off, take down the puffer jacket and give it a good shake. This will help keep the jacket fluffy when air-drying. Then use your fingers to massage out any clumps of feathers that may be forming and hang back up for another 30 minutes.

Dry for five hours

As you won't be using a dryer, it will take around five hours for the puffer jacket to fully dry using this method. Just make sure that you are fluffing it every 30 minutes and ensure that there is no moisture left in the jacket before you put it away and store it.

How To Correctly Store Your Puffer Jacket


To make sure your freshly cleaned puffer jacket stays nice and fresh when in storage, it's best to store the jacket in a fabric garment bag so it can hang in storage with an adequate amount of air circulating it. If you don't happen to have a garment bag, the next best thing is to use a clean bedsheet instead. Avoid rolling your puffer jacket up and storing it in a small bag, as this will seriously damage the inside filling and it will lose its fluff when you go to retrieve it from storage.

Tips When Washing Your Puffer Jacket

Tips for dry puffer

To make sure there are no hiccups along the way, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when washing and drying your puffer jacket.

  • Even though we've mentioned it plenty of times - always make sure that your down jacket is completely free from any moisture when drying. Any remaining moisture will turn into mildew and leave you with a smelly jacket.
  • Always check the label inside your puffer jacket before attempting to wash or dry it. It might be made from a particular type of fabric or material that requires a certain method to follow.
  • It's best to avoid dry cleaning as the harsh chemicals and cleaning agents they use can wreak havoc on your puffer jacket.
  • Once again, make sure your washing machine does not have a centre agitator (the thing in the middle of the washing machine that sticks up) as your jacket will most likely get caught on it.
  • Make sure you always brush off any dirt or mud on your puffer jacket before chucking it in the wash. Also make sure the detergent compartment on your washing machine is clean as well.

Look After and Wash Your Puffer Jacket Correctly to Extend Its Lifespan

For everything you need to know regarding how to wash your puffer jacket, dry it and correctly store it, this in-depth guide has you covered. If you're looking to stay warm during the colder months, check out our complete guide on how to choose the right puffer jacket for more information. When you're ready to start shopping, explore our awesome range of men's puffer jackets, kids puffer jackets and women's puffer jackets and make sure you're all set for winter.

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