Nikwax Down Wash

2 reviews
5-star:   2
4-star:   0
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0



Have a down filled jacket or sleeping bag? A bit dirty…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $7


Have a down filled jacket or sleeping bag? A bit dirty or has it lost it loft? Look no further! If you want to take care and make your expensive gear stand the test of time, you can't do without this!


  • Restores loft
  • Great on down
  • Cleans gear too


  • # uses per bottle
  • $ per use

I did the ultimate "no no." I washed my down jacket like it was a regular piece of gear. I know, I know! I looked at the directions on the jacket and I followed it. After it came of the wash (I used very little least I had that going for me) and I dried it (once on regular) it came out flat and pretty depressing.

I was nervous I ruined my jacket. I read about Nikwax and gave it a shot.  y jacket is the only piece of down filled gear I have, but I'd love to have a down sleeping bag someday, so this needed to be tested. The minimum for each wash cycle is 100ml (the entire bottle is 300ml for $7 as a reference). Had this been  more gear or a 3 season bag, it would have used 150ml...only two times per bottle. 

Nevertheless, here is what I did and it worked for me, try it for yourself. I washed on gentle cycle in a FRONT LOADING WASHER using hot/cold option (warm/warm is fine too). I put the Nikwax in the detergent tray.

Note: I cleaned out the bleach, detergent and fabric softener tray beforehand. I only wanted water and this Nikwax on my jacket. I washed it through two cycles, the first with the detergent and the second without any. It was only for it to be washed with water again and make sure the jacket was clear of any remaining detergent.

After this I put the jacket, again alone, into the dryer with a pillow case and 5 tennis balls in it. Used the case to tie itself shut. I put it on Permanent Press (or Knits or Delicates) for 50 minutes and did two cycles.  I can easily see adding another rinse cycle and extra dry cycle if this were a sleeping bag.  The tennis balls help to fluff up the jacket and remove clumps. I also took it out every 20 min or so to remove clumps by hand too.

I really wish I took a before and after photo. My jacket seems brand new. It's bright yellow again and very fluffy. The loft is back and so is the warmth protection. This Down Wash helps to do this and keep the oils in the feathers and adds a BIT of water resistance.

I also purchased the Down Proof so I can give it some added water resistance.  From my reading the Down Proof will last through 6 or 7 Down Wash cycles before it needs to be reapplied.  I'll let you know more when I review that!

Highly recommend for anyone with down-filled gear. Since a bottle is about $7 and may be for 2-3 uses, that may seem off-putting...but I'd rather spend $3 a wash as opposed to $150 for new gear!


Thanks for the insights, Daniel. I own a down jacket, sleeping bag, & UnderQuilt. I've been wondering about the laundering them.

8 months ago
Daniel Oates

I was nervous at first, especially after I messed up and had a flat jacket. Keep in mind not to use this on synthetics and remove any extra detergent that may remain in the washer. A lot of time with tennis balls or some sneakers even in the dryer and you're good!

8 months ago

This product really works! Took a 20+ year old down…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Price Paid: $10

This product really works! Took a 20+ year old down sleeping bag that was soiled, stinky and flat to looking like new with all the loft restored.

It took 2 washings in a front loader, but this one was really bad! Nikwax Down Wash is fragrance free and still managed to get rid of the odor and not mask it.

Manufacturer's Description

Visit Nikwax's Down Wash page.

Retailers' Descriptions

Here's what other sites are saying:

The Nikwax Down Wash cleans and maintains the loft of down-filled sleeping bags, duvets, comforters and clothing. This wash prolongs the life of gear, optimizes outdoor performance, and revitalizes loft and insulation without damaging the structure of the down. Unlike detergents, the Nikwax Down Wash does not leave behind water attractive residues which encourage wetting-out, and removes detergent residues left behind by previous washes.


Nikwax Down wash safely cleans your down-filled gear to help restore the loft and insulation.


Nikwax Down Wash is a mild, water based cleaner formulated to care for your most delicate puffies, sleeping bags, and equipment. Nikwax Down Wash safely revitalizes breathability and water-repellency of exterior face fabrics and revitalizing loft and insulation without damaging the structure of the down. This product is a non-detergent that it safe on all fabrics, including technical textiles. Nikwax Down Wash helps lift out dirt and oils that can attract water and mask water repellent finishes, while also removing detergent residues left behind by previous washes Unlike detergents, it does not leave behind water attractive residues which encourage 'wetting-out' Prolongs the lifetime and performance of the item Maintains original water-repellency Can be applied to fabrics as a stain or grease remover prior to washing Always check the garment care label and follow instructions to a 'T' Tips for clump-free drying: After rinsing well (twice if you're unsure), only if care label allows, spin dry 3 times and tumble dry on a high setting until all clumps have disappeared. Use clean tennis balls or sneakers (that won't melt) in a clean pillow case to help break up clumps Waterbased, biodegradable, environmentally friendly, biodegradable, non-flammable, non-hazardous and contains no fluorocarbons Suitable for front and top loading washing machines, although a commercial dryer may be helpful for large down sleeping bags Nikwax Down Wash helps to revitalize DWR coatings by removing oils and dirt, however, if you require a more substantial 'boost' we recommend pairing with Nikwax's Down Proof

- OMCgear

Nikwax Down Wash is like CPR for your down-filled parka and sleeping bag. This non-detergent, water-based, bio-degradable treatment restores loft and revives the natural water-repellency of goose feathers.