Washing Tips

How to wash a puffer jacket – Best guide to wash your valuable jacket

Puffer jackets or down jackets are getting popular these days. Especially, after Hollywood stars have worn them during catwalks. From high streets to low streets, they are the topic of discussion. Puffer jackets are not overrated, they not only make you look posh but also help you stay warm in chilly winters. These valuable jackets are expensive and they need extra care. Care of wearing and most important care of cleaning them. And this is what the blog is about: “How to wash a puffer jacket?”.

wash a puffer jacket
Photo by Katalin Fábián

Why are they called puffer jackets?

This question may seem irrelevant to you regarding this blog. but it is very important to know the reason behind its name. Because it will let you understand why these jackets need so much careful washing. These jackets are called puffer jackets because of their stitched sections pattern. Their stitched section is filled with insulation and this gives them a puffy look.

puffer jackets
Photo by Анастасия Триббиани

What type of insulation do they have?

Their super insulation is due to the inside filling of down insulation or synthetic fibers. This super insulation requires a lot of time and labor for growing and collecting fine ducks or goose down. This makes these jackets expensive. They must be washed carefully otherwise feathers inside puffer jackets may get damaged. Delicate feathers inside puffer jackets must be dealt with delicately.

feathers inside puffer jackets
Photo by Mikhail Nilov

Don't wash puffer jackets frequently

Avoid washing your puffer jackets frequently. They do need to be washed when they get extra dirty, usually at the end of winter. Try to wash puffer jackets once a season. Don’t wash them again and again because it can damage the feathers inside your down jacket. It can also damage the outer shell of your down jacket.

don't wash puffer jackets
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

Avoid Dry cleaning

Avoid dry cleaning your beloved puffer jackets because harsh chemicals used by a dry cleaner may harm your down jackets. Dry cleaning your down jacket can damage down feathers. Feathers inside your padded or puffer jackets are delicate and you have to be careful regarding them. Sending your beloved jacket to a dry cleaner will damage its outer shell also.

avoid dry cleaning
Photo by Gratisography

Ways to wash puffer jackets

Puffer jackets should be washed with care and there are mainly two ways to wash your puffer jackets.

  • Machine-washing your puffer jackets
  • Hand-washing your puffer jackets

We will discuss both ways in detail in the next section.

Machine-washing your puffer jacket

Machine wash is completely okay for your puffer jacket. But you have to be careful while washing your puffer jacket. Here are the following steps which you can use to clean your puffer jacket easily.

washing your puffer jacket
Photo by Sarah Chai

Check the label

Before cleaning a puffer jacket in a washing machine, check its care label to see if it is machine washable or not. Mostly, puffer jackets are machine washable but it is better to check the care label before cleaning a puffer jacket in the washing machine.

check the label

Use front-loading washing machine

Always wash puffer jackets in the front-loading cleaning machines. Don’t use old-top loading cleaning machines because their center agitator can damage the thin outer layer of your puffer jacket. And if you want to use the top-load washing machine then prefer the new top-load washing machine. You should use a gentle cycle of top-load or a front-load machine to wash puffer jackets. Always place your machine in a delicate setting when you wash your beloved jackets.

feathers inside puffer jackets
Photo by Jon Meza

Check the machine

If you are intending to wash your puffer jacket in the washing machine, you should make sure that the machine is clean. Your washing machine must be free of dirt and residues if you want to wash your puffer jacket thoroughly. If your washing machine is not clean then use True Fresh Washing Machine Cleaner Tablets to clean your washing machine. Don’t put your jacket directly into a dirty machine.

check the machine
Photo by Sarah Chai

Check the pockets of your jacket

Before cleaning your favorite jacket in the washing machine, check the pockets of your jacket inside. Because if there is anything in it, it may wreak havoc on your jacket. You should also zip up all the pockets of your puffer jacket. You also have to close the velcro closures of your puffer jackets if they have any. And turn the puffer jacket inside out before cleaning it in a washing machine.

check the pockets of your jacket

Remove loose dirt from the jacket

Every time you wash your puffer jacket, try to get rid of stubborn pieces of dirt from your jacket before cleaning it. Because they can contaminate the wash.

remove loose dirt from the jacket
Photo by Barbara Olsen

Spot Cleaning

If your puffer jacket has stains on it, you should spot-clean it or pre-treat it before cleaning it in a washing machine. To remove oil stains, you can use alcohol. Take a few drops of alcohol and put them on the stain. Then rub the alcohol on the stain. For spot cleaning of food stains from your jacket, you can use a mixture of water and vinegar. Put that mixture on the stain and scrub it gently.

spot cleaning
Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Put down jacket in the machine

Now it is time to put your puffer jacket in the machine, but make sure that you have done all of the things mentioned above.

put down jacket in the machine
Photo by Sarah Chai

Use down specific detergent

Use a down-specific cleaner for cleaning your puffer jackets. Avoid using regular laundry detergent because it can cause damage to the down feathers of your down jacket. A regular laundry detergent makes down feathers weak by stripping the feathers of their natural oils. Whereas, an unscented down specialty detergent cleans your jacket inside gently. You should also avoid the use of fabric softener while cleaning your down jacket. Put down specific detergent in the detergent dispenser of your washing machine.

specific detergent
Photo by Anna Shvets

Set your machine to a gentle cycle

You should always set your machine to a gentle cycle and low heat setting before cleaning your jacket in a washing machine. Hot water can damage the outer shell of your jacket. So make sure to set your machine to a delicate setting and low heat option. Cold water is good for cleaning your puffer jackets so prefer cold water over warm water. Always remember that a low heat cycle guarantees the safety of your precious jacket. If you cannot find a gentle wash cycle on your washing machine, then choose a wool wash cycle or any equivalent of a delicate setting. Now turn on the delicate cycle on the machine.

Set your machine to a gentle cycle

Rinse your puffer jacket

While cleaning your favorite puffer jacket in the washing machine, make sure that it is rinsed thoroughly. You can do so by adding an extra rinse cycle to the wash cycle. Or you can re-rinse your puffer jacket. Because a single rinse cycle may not be enough for your beloved jacket. Rinsing the jacket removes all of the detergents from its down feathers.

Don't spin your puffer jacket

You should skip the spin cycle while cleaning your puffer jacket. Because the spin cycle may damage the down feathers inside your down jacket. Instead of spinning just knead your puffer jackets for 10-20 minutes to drip-dry. Lay your jacket flat when it is drip-drying. And fluff it down gently to avoid clumping.

Don't leave your down jacket in the machine

After your down jackets or faux fur trims have been cleaned in the machine, don’t leave them in the damp machine.

Hand-washing your puffer jacket

Hand washing is also safe for your beloved puffer jackets. But you must be super careful while cleaning your puffer jackets by hand. Following are the steps you can use to wash your puffer jackets.

Empty your puffer jacket

Before cleaning your puffer jacket, check its all pockets and then empty all of them.


As we discussed earlier, you must spot-clean your puffer jacket if it has any spots. We have already discussed all ways to clean spots from your beloved jacket. So, use those ways to clean your puffer jacket before cleaning it.

Hand-wash puffer jackets gently

If you don’t have trust in the cleaning machines and you think they may damage your valuable jacket, then you can hand-wash your puffer jackets gently. You have to be gentle with your favorite down or puffer jackets. If you think you cannot, prefer to clean it in a washer.

Find a tub and fill it with water

Find a tub to soak your puffer jacket or you can even use the bathtub. Fill the tub with warm water. Do not use hot water because it can damage the outer part of your down jacket. You should also avoid using too cold water for cleaning your puffer jacket.

tub to soak your puffer jacket

Add detergent to the tub

As we discussed earlier, regular laundry detergent must be avoided for cleaning puffer jackets. Because it may damage the feathers of your puffer jacket. You should add down-friendly detergent into the tub and mix it with the water.

add detergent to the tub

Soak your puffer jacket

Now soak your puffer jacket in the detergent and water mixture. Soak your puffer jacket for 60 minutes. Make sure that your puffer jacket is completely soaked.

Rinse your puffer jacket

After removing your puffer jacket from the soapy water, rinse it with clean water two to three times. An extra precaution you have to take while cleaning this is that you do not stab your puffer jacket hard on the water.

Gently squeeze excess water from the jacket

Generally speaking, the best way to remove the excess water from your puffer jacket is by kneading the water from your puffer jacket as evenly as possible. Don’t wring your jacket because it may cause the down feathers of your jacket to stick together. A good shake can also remove water from your puffer jackets.

Hang the jacket to dry

Lie your jacket flat on the drying rack or clothes horse, and let it drip-dry for 10-20 minutes before putting your jacket in the machine dryer.

Drying a puffer jacket

After you have cleaned your puffer jacket in the washer, you have to dry it. Now we will be exploring all ways to completely dry your puffer jacket.


Don’t air dry completely

You should not leave your puffer jacket to air dry completely. Air-drying, your puffer jacket seems to be a gentler option. But air drying can cause moisture retention in your down jacket and your favorite jacket may start to smell.


Tumble dry your jacket

Put your puffer jacket in the dryer for tumble drying on a low heat setting. Tumble dry is the best way to dry your down jacket quickly and safely.

tumble dry your jacket
Photo by Adrienne Andersen

Put dryer balls in the dryer

You should add dryer balls to your dryer while drying puffer jackets. But if you don’t have dryer balls, you can use clean tennis balls. By adding a few tennis balls to the dryer you can make your puffer jackets or coat fluffy. Bouncing motion of the tennis balls during the drying process re-fluff your puffer jacket or coat. But make sure that the tennis balls are clean.

put dryer balls in the dryer
Photo by cottonbro

Dry for a few cycles

You may need to dry your puffer jacket or coat for a few cycles. Make sure that your puffer jacket or coat is completely dry.

dry for a few cycles

Fluff by hand

Now gently fluff your puffer jackets by hand. After the cleaning and drying have been finished, save your puffer jackets in plastic bags.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why are they called puffer jackets?

A: Because they have down feathers which make them puffy.

Q: Can a puffer jacket be washed in a machine?

A: Yes, it can be. But you should use a front-load washing machine.

Q: How to re-fluff a puffer jacket?

A: You can use the tennis balls to re-fluff it.