How to Wash a Feather Bed How to Wash a Feather Bed

A feather bed is a heavy top cover for a mattress. The comfort of these covers relies upon the proper distribution of the feathers throughout the cover. The best advice about washing a feather bed is ‘Don’t do it’. If you feel that it has to be washed then you must be very careful about it.

Step 1 – Remove the Bed

Remove the feather bed from the mattress. Check the labels for ‘how to clean’ instructions. If the feather bed is inside a cover, remove the cover. If the cover is of any quality it will have protected the feather bed and the need to clean it might not be so urgent.

Step 2 – Locate a Big Enough Machine

Once you have the feather bed in hand you will be able to estimate the size of machine it will need to wash it. Don’t forget that the feather bed has to be able to move about inside the machine in order for the water and detergent to have any effect. You will probably find that a Laundromat has a machine big enough to handle the feather bed.

Step 3 – Wash the Feather Bed

Load the feather bed into the machine and set it to a warm wash and use a very delicate detergent. If the machine has a ‘delicate’ setting you should use that.

Step 4 – Remove the Feather Bed

Once the cleaning cycle has finished remove the feather bed and take it over to the dryers. Try to pull it into shape a little before loading it into the dryer.

Step 5 – Dryer Balls

Most professional cleaners and some Laundromats supply dryer balls for use with their dryers. These are solid rubber balls that bounce about inside the dryer and pummel the feather bed into shape.

Step 6 – Dry in Stages

The feather bed needs to be dried slowly and thoroughly. Only have the heat level at a little over ‘warm’. Remove the feather bed from the drier every twenty minutes or so and try to pull it into shape. Break up any obvious clumps of feathers that might be forming. Every time you handle the feather bed you should be trying to get it back into shape and breaking up any clumps of feathers.

Step 7 – Open Airing

After the feather bed has been dried as well as possible in the electric dryer you need to place it in the sunshine and breeze to finish off. Feathers rot very quickly if left damp so it is important to get the feather bed as dry as possible as quickly as possible.

Step 8 – After 24 Hours

After the feather bed has been out of the drier and in the sun and breeze for 24 hours it should have been returned more or less to its proper shape. Replace the feather bed into its cover and make your final efforts to pummel it back into shape


Sometimes a feather bed will react well to being washed but you should not make the washing of it too regular.  Rely more upon the protective strength of the feather bed cover.

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