How to wash your down garments safely.

Winter is at an end and the weather is improving for outdoor activities. Now is a great time to clean your down items before storing them away ready for next winter.

Many people can be nervous about washing down items, but cleaning them with the right product is important to maintain performance, and Nikwax has the perfect aftercare product for you to use!

Nikwax Down Wash Direct is the high performance technical cleaner specifically designed for both hydrophobic and regular down filled items. Easy to use, Down Wash Direct cleans effectively whilst restoring water repellency, maintaining fill power and reviving insulation.


To care for your down items just follow these steps:

Washing – cleaning and waterproofing

  • Regular detergents can damage the natural properties of down. Cleaning with Down Wash Direct will clean down items and restore the durable water repellency (DWR) of hydrophobic down.
  • Carefully read the washing instructions of Down Wash Direct for either machine wash or hand wash, for best results.
  • For regular down filled items you should follow the washing process with Nikwax Down Proof (in a separate cycle) to add high performance water repellency.
  • Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s aftercare recommendation when washing your down items.
  • For optimum results do not overload your washing machine. Sleeping bags and very large down jackets are best washed in a bath (or equivalent) and then spin dried in a washing machine.


  • It is important to remove the maximum amount of water from the down items. To achieve this, spin dry on a slow setting three times. If the items are spun too quickly whilst holding a large volume of water, it is possible to damage the down’s delicate structure.




  • Tumble dry (if the item’s care label allows) on a low setting, until `clumps` have disappeared from the down fill. This helps ensure the down dries thoroughly and quickly as possible.
  • During the drying process tease apart the clumps regularly to restore loft to the down. Tennis/dryer balls can be used in the drying process to break up clumps.
  • After drying we recommend the item(s) are air dried for at least a day in a warm, dry space.
  • If your item cannot be tumble dried, you should place the item flat on a drying rack in a warm, well ventilated room and repeatedly (every 2 hours) tease apart clumps to restore the loft. This process can take up to 24 hours.


Storing your down items

  • Down items should be stored in a dry place and hung loosely.
  • Compression bags for sleeping bags are meant for transportation only, however some sleeping bag brands do provide a larger bag specifically for storage.

Nikwax Down Wash Direct is safe and easy to use; it is free from dangerous fluorocarbons (PFCs), non-aerosol, is water-based and biodegradable.

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