How to Wash Your Down Jacket With Nikwax

Rick Meade

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A person gets ready to throw a snowball

Down jackets are famously great insulators, but they can quickly lose insulation value when wet or dirty. The treated down trend has been helping with the soggy down issue, but dirt and body oils will still significantly reduce performance. Cleaning ensures all types of down perform their best, keeping you warm and looking sharp.

Most jackets can be washed and brought back to like-new performance in a front-loading, home washing machine, but read your particular garment’s care instructions before tossing it in the washer.

Nikwax Down Jacket

Down requires a gentle, detergent-free cleaner and some specific care. Nikwax Down Wash Direct is specially formulated to clean down garments without compromising the loft. Down Wash Direct will also maintain the water resistance of treated down and provide some exterior water repellency.


  1. Wash: To start, clean any residual detergent from your washing machine. Read garment care instructions and the Nikwax label for dosage. Wash and rinse thoroughly.
  2. Dry: Tennis anyone? The damp down will be clumpy from the wash, and completely drying it is critical. Use a low heat setting and toss one or two clean tennis balls in the dryer to break up the clumps. Be patient—drying the jacket may take one to three hours. Keep resetting the timer until your beloveds are lump-free and fully dry.
  3. Storage: Until that epic trip, store your down jacket on a hanger (not in a tight stuff sack). Over time, perpetually squished down feathers will become more resistant to re-lofting to their original air-trapping excellence.


When you pull your newly revived jacket out of the dryer, not only will it be clean, it will also be puffier. By gently cleansing the delicate feathers, Nikwax Down Wash Direct restores loft and reinvigorates the down—delivering warmth when you need it and helping your jacket serve you well on all your upcoming adventures.


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