10:27 a.m. on December 14, 2011 (EST)
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Think Woolite would be ok to clean a down bag?


anybody know of a detergent good for down that can be purchased at a supermarket or walmart or such??

10:38 a.m. on December 14, 2011 (EST)
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The original Woolite was recommended by Marmot Mountain Works for washing the fabulous down-GoreTex bags and garments they made until purchased by some comglomerate or other. I had this gear, including a bag hat I used extensively from 1978 to 1999 and I washed according to their suggestions, with the powdered Woolite. I also used it on other highend down garments and for my Feathered Friends down-GT bag from 1989 to 2009, when I gave it to a friend. The results were always excellent and I wish one could still obtain it.

However, the newer, liquid Woolite is a detergent and I would hesitate to use it on down as it will strip the vital oils from the down and thus ruin it. So, I now use that Woolite for washing my other bush clothes and am going to use the purpose-made products for washing down and wpb shells offered by various makers, such as Nikwax.

I worked very hard to afford the highend gear I have and want it to last the rest of my life, so, I would not use supermarket products to care for it. Washing in plain, skin temp. H20 will clean most down bags and airing them outside in the shade for several hours will help a lot, as well. I do this with mine as often as I can and after any use.

1:33 p.m. on December 14, 2011 (EST)
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To second Dewey's comments - do NOT use supermarket detergents and such. Purpose-made down washing products like those made by Nikwax are the only thing to use.

And definitely do not make the mistake of having any down product drycleaned - it removes the oils, reducing the insulation properties, plus the drycleaning chemicals are poisonous to inhale. You would have to air the bag out in the outdoors for several days to get the chemicals to a tolerable level.

3:07 p.m. on December 14, 2011 (EST)
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I don't know...Those oil covered ducks seemed to enjoy their baths in Dawn liquid detergent and it made the hands of the volunteers soooo silky smooth.


yea, looks like this is gonna turn into another mail order for some nikwax soap.


Who dry cleans anything anymore?

6:30 p.m. on December 14, 2011 (EST)
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I had my bag cleaned by taking it to a specialty outdoor store (A 16 in West LA) who sent it out to be washed. If I was doing it myself, I would be sure to only use a big front loader washer without the impeller in it.

11:56 a.m. on December 15, 2011 (EST)
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Gonna be a home bath tub wash job

1:10 p.m. on December 18, 2011 (EST)
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Nikwax has some Down product care products

5:38 p.m. on December 18, 2011 (EST)
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definitely do not use fabric softener either as it will cause the down to loft less and lose its insulating ability!

9:07 p.m. on December 18, 2011 (EST)
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Here's a good article from this past summer on this topic.

7:51 a.m. on December 19, 2011 (EST)
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Thanks for posting that.

According to Alicia - Woolite is ok (after I check manufacturers web site)


Bag I have is a Mountainsmith Vision light 15...or something like that



10:53 a.m. on December 22, 2011 (EST)
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Gear Aid product too

May 25, 2018
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