Puffer jackets, also known as quilted jackets, have a signature puffed quilted design filled with what is known as "down" insulation. This down insulation, or synthetic fibers, provides a high level of warmth to the wearer depending on the quality of the synthetic fibers.
These jackets are also much more lightweight than other jackets, compared to wool and leather especially. Where wool and leather are heavier and warm, puffer jackets that are puffed up with down or synthetic fibers are lightweight and warm.
However, when this "down" stuffing gets wet, for example, it can cause the jacket and your clothing to start to smell. The smell a damp down jacket gives off is stale, musty and overall unpleasant so how do you get smells out of a puffer jacket?
You want to start by first putting your down-filled jacket into the washing machine with setting at warm water, using a very mild detergent and adding a single cup of white vinegar into the rinse water. A puffer jacket should also be washed in the washing machine on the delicate cycle and in a mesh laundry bag and/or down-specific detergent.
Once you have taken it from the washing machine, you should immediately transfer it into the dyer. When you move the jacket into the dryer, ensure that you put it in with two towels to absorb the moisture and a couple of unused tennis balls.
These tennis balls will help avoid the down in the jacket from bunching in one spot and help fluff up the jacket throughout the drying process.
It is important to remember that a puffer jacket starts to smell musty and stale when it gets wet and stays wet. As such, even after using the dryer to get the moisture out of the jacket, you should still position it on a drying rack that is sitting in the sun.
Make sure that you flip the jacket over to ensure both sides are completely air dried, and once it is tried, it should be stored hanging in a dry location to prevent more moisture absorption.
Another critical warning in regards to washing a down jacket is that you should only wash it at home if you have a front-loading washing machine. If you do not have a front-loader, you should take your down puffer jacket to the professional cleaner to clean the odor.
Between full washes of a jacket, sometimes jackets need a quick freshen up. Additionally, if you don't have an in-home washer/dryer and can't get to the nearest washer/dryer, finding a way to clean the armpits of any smell between washes could be a lifesaver.
Here are some tips to help freshen up your jacket and clean off any unwanted stench.
When you are cleaning the jacket's armpits alone, it is critical that you find a clean, sunny, dry location to air dry the jacket. Especially with puffer jackets, odor occurs when there is trapped moisture in the jacket's puffer parts.
If most of the odor seems to be centralized in the jacket's armpit area, then one of these quick tricks may be able to help quickly remove the odor. However, if the odor is throughout the jacket, a full clean in a washing machine is the best route to take for a smelling puffer jacket.
Properly caring and cleaning your puffer jacket will impact the life of your jacket. Through regular cleaning and delicate care of the jacket, you can help ensure that your jacket's appearance is maintained, restores the jacket's loft, and helps extend your jacket's life.
Though many recommend taking a puffer jacket to a professional cleaner, many people still choose to clean their down jackets safely at home carefully. Here are some tips to ensure that you safely wash and dry your puffer jacket.
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Over time and use your puffy jacket will end up picking up a bunch of odors, both from you and also from the environment as things like fire and sweat can be ripe over time.
Taking the time to clean and decontaminate your puffy jacket can lead to a longer life for your gear. Since many jackets don't come in high quality for cheap cost extending the life is a goal most should strive for.
Hopefully what you have read above will help you extend the lifespan of your puffy gear, breathing life back into something you expected to be done and saving you $100s on new purchases.