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Old 03-23-2014, 04:54 PM
sara20 sara20 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 252
How to wash puffy coat in top loader properly

I have a top loader washing machine and when I try to wash my puffy winter coat in it it just floats to the top and doesn't get washed properly, is there anyway to fix this? I have tried squeezing the air out of it.
Old 03-23-2014, 05:10 PM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
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Location: Sunny California
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Forgive me for posting a mere speculation instead of, you know, an actual answer so early in the thread, but:

I'm not at all sure you can wash a puffy coat in a top-loader without sort of ruining it. It's like washing a pillow -- allegedly possible, but never turns out well. It may depend on how well baffled your coat is inside. My general experience has been poor, the few times I've tried it.

I suspect that washing it in a front-loader might work better. And that's a big maybe. I can't recall if I ever tried it.

To be sure, this leaves the questions: Just how do you wash a puffy coat? I don't really know the answer to that.

So: Who can answer the OP's original question? Or my question: Does it work better in a front loader?
Old 03-23-2014, 05:26 PM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is offline
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Location: Chicago, Far Northsider
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I have two puffy coats that are specifically labeled as machine washable. That's first. If it's not labeled as machine washable, you really should take it to a dry cleaner. I never looked into the machine after I shut the lid, so I can't say whether the coats float, but they are clean at the end of the cycle. I wash them with a full load, not alone, and usually with a blanket and towels, not regular clothes. I think the mixture helps. Maybe start with the coat on the bottom and put the rest on top of it. Once it gets completely saturated, it really should wash up normally. Unless it's not supposed to go into a washer.
Old 03-23-2014, 05:59 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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I have a puffy coat that I have had for over 20 years that I wash every year or two and it still looks good. I just put it in, let the machine fill up with water and open the lid to stop the cycle. Mine tends to float too but, much like a person, the longer you hold it underwater, the less likely it is to come back up again. I just drown the thing with my hands for a couple of minutes until it gives up the fight and sits lifelessly at the bottom of the washing machine. Then I close the lid to start the cycle again to complete its fate.

In my experience, you can get good results that way. The dryer settings are more important. Go for low to medium heat only. You still may get some clumping of the insulation. That will work itself out as you wear it but you can avoid it by throwing a couple of tennis balls into the dryer with it once it is at least half dry.
Old 03-23-2014, 09:11 PM
Telemark Telemark is offline
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Your best bet is to take it to a laundromat and use a front loader. A top loader stands a good chance of ripping your coat to shreds. Get some down cleaner and follow the directions. Throw some tennis balls in the drier and use low heat and plenty of time.

Yes, you can use a top loader as Shagnasty has posted, but if you have access to a front loader - take it there.
Old 03-23-2014, 09:33 PM
Isilder Isilder is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,195
Do not use the toploader on fragiles.

Why not just hand wash ? Do you think machines have some special power to zap dirt away ??? No they just do the agitiation by machine instead of by hand.

Use enzyme powders to remove food stains without scrubbing.
Old 03-24-2014, 02:23 AM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 14,839
Not sure why dry-cleaning would be any easier on your jacket, by the way.

What they call "dry-cleaning" involves throwing the clothing into a washing machine that works very much like a normal washing machine. It's just filled with some toxic solvent fluid instead of water. It's only "dry" in the sense of not having any water there.
Old 03-24-2014, 08:13 AM
JerrySTL JerrySTL is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,187
Take it to coin operated laundromat and use a front loader machine. I have some sleeping bags which are too larger for my top loader at home and I take them there.

You might be able to combine your coat with such things as large blankets to get your money's worth. Just read all the labels to make sure they are compatible.
Old 03-24-2014, 09:32 AM
Telemark Telemark is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2000
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Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
Not sure why dry-cleaning would be any easier on your jacket, by the way.
Dry cleaning will destroy a down jacket. Or at least standard dry cleaning will. Dry cleaning down without stripping the oils from the down requires special procedures that most dry cleaners don't have and don't know about. You'll need to take it to a specialty shop that knows down.


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