Washing a TNF down jacket?

2:41 a.m. on May 2, 2015 (EDT)
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5,429 forum posts

I inherited a nice but well used and not washed much down jacket. I got it recently along with some other winter gear a friend who passed away used for many years. Its warm or will be next winter down in Grand Staircase Nat Mon. 

But I need to wash it, what is the best washing and machine dryer method to do it right. I don't have the luxury of hanging it out to dry outdoors but do have a large room to perhaps to this. Does the sneaker/tennis ball method in the dryer help to unclump the down? It has been more that 35 years since I had any down to wash.

I would take a picture of it to show how dirty it is but I just sent my camera off to be repaired. Its a full parka with hood and two outer hand pockets and a couple inner pockets. It feels a bit heavy so am guessing my friend used it for winter mountaineering. Its a gold orange color under all the dirt and stains.

4:05 a.m. on May 2, 2015 (EDT)
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Gary, I would wash it in a front loader machine using down washing soap like Nikwax makes. REI has article on washing down on their website. I'm not sure about drying it.  You probably could use a dryer on low, but you may want to call TNF or another maker and ask them what they recommend. I took my bags to a local store that sent them out and they came back perfect so haven't tried it myself.

8:46 a.m. on May 2, 2015 (EDT)
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5,429 forum posts

Thanks I may try that North Face asking. Its a good condition jacket and would be a welcome warmth item this winter in Utah's sandstone country.

11:21 a.m. on May 3, 2015 (EDT)
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196 forum posts

I would first try handwashing with a downwash in a sink or tub, and gently squeezing the water through it (most of the cleaning to come from soaking, not from agitation).  Then rinsing a multiple times the same way.  Normal laundry detergent leaves residue.  Probably ok to pretreat the stains on the shell, though.  For drying, I squeeze as much water as possible out (without wringing) and then roll it in towels to get more water out.  Then I air dry.  Then finally in the dryer with the tennis balls for a short time with no heat to fluff.

10:10 p.m. on May 8, 2015 (EDT)
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397 forum posts

^I agree, hand wash with a down soap like Nikwax, gently but thoroughly squeeze (don't wring), rinse thoroughly. Then squish as much water out as possible and put in the dryer no heat with a couple of clean tennis balls. When you take it out of the tub/sink support it well from underneath, the most delicate part of the garment is the baffles inside, the weight of the wet garment could tear them.

Yes the tennis ball method works great. I once washed a down quilt and I thought I had ruined it because it dried with the down in clumps, after running it in the dryer again with tennis balls it came out amazingly lofted.

February 24, 2020
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