How to wash a down jacket

Washing your down jacket or vest is crucial to keep it feeling fresh and performing well.

We would recommend washing once a season, or sooner if it gets visibly dirty or the down fill looks clumpy or flat.

The easiest way to do this is by using Rab Wash, our no-nonsense, specialist downwash service.

Click here to find out more.

However, if you'd rather do it yourself...

Here's a step-by-step on cleaning a down jacket or vest:

  1. Rinse your washing machine out before use. This clears any leftover detergent and softeners that might damage the fabrics and coatings. Clean the detergent drawer and then run one or two rinse cycles.
  2. Make sure the pockets are empty.
  3. For best results, use a technical down cleaner specifically formulated for the job.
  4. Place the wash solution in the detergent drawer and if you are reproofing at the same time then add our Eco Proofer in the conditioner compartment.
  5. Machine Wash on a gentle, cool setting. Check the white care label, but 30ºC or 40ºC is usually ideal both for your jacket and the environment.
  6. After spinning the garment can still be heavy with water and being too rough can rip internal compartments. Support bigger items by ‘cradling’ in a bath towel or similar whilst removing it from the machine.
  7. If required very gently squeeze out any excess water using a towel.
  8. Immediately tumble dry your jacket. Use a front-loading dryer on a cool (or synthetic) setting.
  9. Every 20-30 minutes remove your item from the dryer. Give it a gentle shake and a good pat. You are looking to get an even distribution of down throughout the baffle. You can be more vigorous with this as the down starts to dry out. Adding a couple of clean tennis balls or tumble dryer balls may help speed up the drying time and increase loft.
  10. Don't remove your item from the dryer too soon. It is tempting, we know. The outer fabric might feel dry, but the down inside may still be damp.
  11. Drying can take anywhere from 3-5 hours. The bigger the item, the longer it takes. When your jacket is nice and puffy again, it's time to take it out.

Once you are done, air your jacket for a couple of days before use and if storing it, store it uncompressed in a cool, dry place.

Have more questions? Submit a request