Sheets, pillow cases and even some pillows are easy to wash regularly, since they easily fit in the washing machine.
But because duvets are bulky and don’t fit in most washing machines at home, many people go for long without cleaning their duvet. This is not hygienic since the duvet accumulates skin cells, body oils, sweat and allergens that can affect your health, especially if you are asthmatic or have allergies.
Getting a duvet cover can help, since you can wash the cover regularly in a washing machine. But some dirt will still settle on the duvet itself. So try to wash it at least once a year.
The washing machine is the easiest way to clean a duvet. But if you don’t have one or yours is too small to fit the duvet, here are some great alternatives. Read on to learn more about how to clean a duvet without a washing machine.
1. Go to a Laundrette
Most laundrettes (or laundromats) have industrial-size washing machines that can fit any duvet size.
See if there’s one in your area. In most laundrettes, it shouldn’t cost more than £10-£20 to wash and dry the duvet.
Before you go to a laundrette, however, check if your duvet is machine washable. Check the cleaning instructions on the care label.
In addition, check the recommended washing and drying temperature as well as the kinds of detergents you can use. Usually, it’s best to use a gentle detergent and avoid bleach.
2. Dry Cleaning
Certain duvets with delicate filling like goose down or wool cannot be machine washed, but are safe for dry cleaning.
Most regular duvets can also be dry cleaned, but check the care label to be sure.
Dry cleaning is great for removing tough stains, deep-down dirt and build-up skin cells and allergens. Most laundrettes also offer dry cleaning, and your duvet can be cleaned in a day.
3. Hand Washing
The other option is to hand wash the duvet at home. It won’t cost you anything, apart from washing detergent. On the downside it’s time consuming and tedious to handwash something as bulky as a duvet.
By the way, check the care label to see if the duvet can be hand washed. Some delicate duvets are marked as dry clean only. Do not hand wash if your duvet’s label says that.
If your duvet is very dirty or stained, you may want to soak it first in water. If you don’t have an oversized basin, use your bathtub.
Add gentle detergent or borax to the water to help loosen dirt and lift stains.
After a 30-minute soak, gently hand wash the duvet by swirling it about and pressing down on it in the water.
Drain the soapy water and add fresh water. You can also add fabric softener to the rinse water to keep the duvet soft, wrinkle-free and smelling nice.
Keep swirling and pressing the duvet until you no longer see any soap suds in the water. You may need to rinse it several times until you get all the soap out.
Do not wring the duvet as you could deform the filling. Either hang-dry it outside (it may take several hours to dry), or put it in the dryer if the care label says it’s okay to do so.
4. Spot Cleaning
If the duvet is mostly clean and only has a few dirty spots or stains, spot cleaning is better than cleaning the entire duvet.
A mixture of baking soda and water (about 4 tablespoons in a ¼ cup of water), makes an excellent stain-removal paste. You can also buy a stain remover cleaner that’s safe for your duvet material.
First wet the stained or dirty area using a wet cloth, then apply the stain remover. Gently rub around the stain until it goes away. Using a dry cloth, blot the wet area to make it as dry as possible.
Open the windows to get the duvet to dry quickly. You can also hang it outside to dry.
5. Use a Mattress Cleaning Spray
Another option that doesn’t require a visit to a laundrette is to use a cleaning spray. Get one of those mattress deodoriser/sanitiser sprays. One of the best is Envii Bed Fresh.
Follow the instructions on the label to clean your duvet. These sprays do a good job removing stains and brightening colours. They also eliminate any smells trapped in the duvet fibers.
Note: Do not use an all-purpose cleaner. Most all-purpose cleaners are meant for use on hard surfaces like the floor or kitchen countertop.