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How to Wash a Patagonia Down Jacket

A keen house proud house dweller who wants to share her tips on cleaning.


Washing Your Patagonia Down Jacket

Patagonia jackets are some of my all time favourite jackets. I love the brand and what it represents, plus they make some darn awesome jackets too. However, it's not exactly straight forward on how to actually just go ahead and clean these jackets.

There is a bit of mix on advice on how to go about washing a Patagonia down jacket, but I just wanted to walk you through how I go about it. I know there are a few people who are scared to do it, but actually I have always found Down to be pretty robust and getting pretty heavily damp doesn't really damage it from my experience.

To be honest, it is not that much washing just regular clothing. So let's get into it.

For those in a rush on how to wash your jacket, my steps are the following:

1. Wash your Patagonia jacket on a low wash and slow spin cycle with a specialised Down Soap.

2. Air dry your jacket under a towel and break it out to avoid clumping where necessary.

3. Alternatively you can use a dryer with a low setting (along with the use of tennis balls).

What Do You Need to Wash Your Patagonia Down Jacket

Pretty simply you need a washer, a dryer and some down liquid soap (the NikWax range in particular is the go to option that I use). That's it.

Getting the specialised soap as opposed to just regular detergents can work against the oils in the Down material, and you will find that the soap does a better job of getting washed away as well and rinses out more effectively. There are a range of good options out there, I would just opt for the specialised soap over the regular detergent use that use on most clothing.

Washing the Down Jacket

If you have a washer that's front load, that will be ideal. If it is a top one, just make sure you go more easy on it, set it to a lower setting than you would normally. This ensures that you just don't get the jacket getting snagged on anything. Depending on the jacket, they can often advise which type of washer to go for.

So, ensure that you set your washer on a relatively low setting, even if it is really mucky, you can always clean those spots manually with a specific stain remover (or visit the stain remover section depending on the type of stain you have).

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Go ahead and opt for the 'press cycle' option and make sure you follow the correct instructions not the down soap bottle, not too much and not too little. Don't be afraid to stop mid wash or if you feel like the jacket is taking too much of a beating, if you can turn it down to a lower setting still and just the jacket soak up.

You will find that sometimes, the soap is still residing on the jacket, we don't want that, so make sure to give it a rinse wash. If you use detergent, you're definitely going to come across this issue more so. At this point, you should have a clean albeit pretty wet down jacket.

Removing Stains from Your Jacket

There is a great section on the Patagonia product care page that talks you how to remove various stains. Everything from Berry stains to Ink stains. They offer specific advice on every type of stain, so it's definitely worth checking that on how to specifically remove the type of stain you have.

Drying the Patagonia Jacket

There's no rush here. It's not the quickest thing in the world, so get a little be prepared to dry it up properly. You don't want to expose the jacket top excessive heat as that can cause damage, but of course you need something to actually get the jacket dry.

Personally, I don't want the headache of trying to figure out exactly what the right settings are to dry the jacket and get worried, as this is the most 'dangerous' part, so I go the old fashioned air dry route. It takes longer but at least you know you're safe doing it. Just lay it out on a towel over a table and then if it clumps together, just break it apart, flip it over and repeat. Takes a while but certainly feel better doing it.

You can also always opt for the home dryer machine, at the lowest and gentlest possible setting. You don't want one that's over the top in anyway. So make sure to specifically check the heat setting and if your jacket gives you any instructions on the label around both washing and heating it.

There is a lot of advice of washing the jackets with tennis balls to help with clumps and speed up the drying process, but it's not something I often do. Plus, again, like the washer, don't hesitate to turn the dryer off, if you think your jacket is getting over exposed, it's good to periodically check in on it.

Putting Your Jacket Back On

Make sure that your jacket is absolutely dry and is not clumped up before packing it or trying it on. It's deceptive, as it is fantastic at absorbing water, this is what makes them such good jackets, but you need to make sure that it is really properly dry just to ensure that there is no growth of any mildew and mold.

If all the above intimidates you, feel free to take it to a specialist and see what they have to say. I even reach out to Patagonia themselves for advice as well if I really not knowing what to do, they have a great customer services team and they often come back with some good advice.

If you do have any questions at all about washing your Patagonia jacket, then please do let us know and we will try our best to help. However, I always recommend following the instructions that the jacket provides and if you do have any questions, reach out to them directly and visit their care guide it is really informative open what to do.

They break it down by the material of your Patagonia jacket, then based on that they can offer you different instructions and directions on what to do. As a basic rule of thumb, opt for the specialised cleaning product (in this case Down Soap), wash it on the lowest washing setting (give it a proper wash rinse cycle as well) and don't hesitate to give it a break. Then when it comes to drying, I like to opt for the safe, air dry solution, but it can take a long time.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Carlyn Hayes

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