There’s nothing more cosy than getting into your big puffer jacket for a long winter walk. Puffer jackets keep us warm and, in most cases, dry as well.
But what happens when it gets dirty? How do you wash a puffer jacket without ruining it?
Many people are unsure of how to safely wash a puffer jacket so that the outer shell and filling remain intact.
In this guide, we explain how to wash a puffer jacket in the machine and by hand, how to dry a puffer jacket and how often to wash it.
How to Hand-Wash a Puffer Jacket
Whilst most puffer jackets can be washed in the machine, it’s always gentler to hand-wash more delicate clothing.
Hand-washing any garment will extend its life cycle and reduce the risk of possible damage. If you do decide to hand-wash your puffer jacket, follow these steps:
- Choose a detergent made specifically for waterproof clothing, or a down or delicate detergent.
- Fill up a bucket or your bathtub with warm water and add detergent according to the bottle.
- Let the jacket soak for around one hour.
- Remove the jacket and gently squeeze out any excess water. Don’t be tempted to wring out the jacket as this can cause the filling to clump.
- Lay the jacket on a flat surface to drip dry and then follow the instructions below to dry your jacket properly.
How to Wash a Puffer Jacket in the Washing Machine
Most puffer jackets can safely be washed in the machine. However, it’s always best to check the care label in case there are any special indications.
Follow these steps as a general guide:
- Remove any excess dirt with a brush or dry cloth.
- Do up any zips, buttons, Velcro etc.
- Turn the jacket inside out.
- Again, opt for a waterproof, down or delicate detergent.
- Wash your jacket on a cool temperature, on the delicate cycle.
- Avoid adding a spin cycle.
- Add a rinse cycle to be sure to get as much water out of the jacket as possible. If you can’t add a rinse cycle, you can gently squeeze out excess water by hand.
- Dry your jacket by following the steps below.
How to Dry a Puffer Jacket After Washing It
Drying your jacket correctly is just as important as washing it properly.
Drying it the right way will ensure that it doesn’t retain leftover water and cause a musty smell.
It also helps the jacket puff up again.
You can tumble dry a puffer jacket but first make sure that all of the excess water has been removed.
- Tumble dry your jacket on low for around 30 minutes.
- Fluff it up when it comes out of the dryer.
- You may need to repeat this process two or three times before the jacket is completely dry.
You can also try adding dryer balls or tennis balls to the dryer to help fluff the jacket up.
Air drying isn’t as effective as tumble drying for re-fluffing a puffer jacket, so you will have to fluff it more often and by hand.
Here’s how to air dry a puffer jacket:
- Hang up your puffer jacket to dry once the excess water has gone.
- Every 30 minutes, take the jacket down and re-fluff it by massaging the jacket and shaking it out.
- Repeat until the jacket is dry.
What Makes Puffer Jackets Go Flat After Washing?
When puffer jackets go flat after washing, it usually means the filling has clumped together. This can happen if the jacket is squeezed too much when wet or it’s left to air dry without fluffing.
The most effective method to fluff up a puffer jacket is to use a tumble dryer. As mentioned before, you can add dryer balls or tennis balls to the tumble dryer and dry your jacket on a low heat. The balls will fluff the filling back up.
You can also fluff a jacket by hand by massaging it to break up any clumps.
How Often to Wash a Puffer Jacket
This depends on how you use your puffer jacket and how often you wear it. If you wear the jacket on a regular basis and sweat a lot, you may need to wash it around once a month.
Many people find that washing their jacket two to three times per year is enough.
If your jacket smells bad or is visibly dirty, you may want to wash it right away.
In The Wash is your guide to the best laundry and cleaning products, tips and tricks. Our mission is to solve the UK’s cleaning and laundry dilemmas!