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How to Wash a Duvet (+ Tips for Cleaning Duvet Sets)

While duvet covers should be washed regularly (since the cover comes into contact with your skin), a duvet does not need to be washed as much. Sometimes, however, dirt and dust can get trapped inside a duvet cover. (This usually occurs when the cover needs to be taken off for whatever reason.) If it’s been a while since your duvet has been washed (or if your duvet has never been washed) . . . then refer to these steps for how to wash a duvet!

Spot Cleaning a Duvet

When spot cleaning a duvet, dip a towel into cool water mixed with a drop of laundry detergent. Rinse the area well with cool water, and hang up the duvet to air dry. (If it’s a stain, treat the area with stain remover safe for the fabric. Let the solution soak for a few minutes, then rinse with cool water and repeat until the stain is gone.) 

Can You Wash a Duvet Insert?

Most duvet inserts can be washed, but check the tags on yours to make sure it’s safe to do so. If the tag says “dry clean only” or “do not machine wash,” and you do wash the duvet anyway, then you run the risk of damaging the fibers of the duvet. Most often, those warnings are printed to prevent color fading, shrinking, stiffening and filling loss. 

Washing a Duvet

Always follow the care instructions on the label; read them first before following these steps)!

The first thing to remember? It’s a good idea to avoid the highest heat setting on a washer or dryer. Whether or not you want to use warm water (versus cool water) will depend on your duvet’s materials and care instructions. If the instructions don’t specify and you are unsure about the quality of the material, go with cool. Excessive heat could lead to shrinking, color fading and unraveling. Remember, too: when you place the duvet itself into the machine, make sure to spread it out evenly to avoid tangling and help evenly distribute the detergent and water. Wash the duvet by itself (don’t mix in clothes or blankets). Use liquid detergent, and remember, a little goes a long way. Avoid detergents with bleach, fabric softeners or color-brightening solutions; bleach will damage the color, and softeners and brighteners can compromise the quality of the fabric.

When it comes to drying your duvet, select low heat, gentle cycle. Make sure the duvet is dried thoroughly; if it’s still wet when the cycle is up, put it back in for another cycle (or two, if needed). Placing a damp or partially-wet duvet back into a duvet cover is a recipe for mold and mildew growth, so always make sure it’s dry, evenly! 

How Often Should You Wash a Duvet Cover?

Duvet covers come into regular contact with your skin, so they need regular washing. If you go longer than two weeks without washing, you run the risk for sleeping in a bed harvesting dangerous bacteria and mites – and breathing in toxins while you sleep. Of course, the duvet insert is a different story; it doesn’t come into contact with your skin as much (if not at all) and you only need to wash it once every few years. (The exact length of time to go without washing a duvet will depend on how the duvet looks and smells to you and how often it’s gone without a cover.)

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.