How To Dry A Down Coat In The Dryer & Keep It Looking Brand New — PHOTOS

When it comes to winter coats, there's basically nothing better than a nice down coat. The lightweight material is seriously warm, so you can stay warm even if you're wearing a relatively thin jacket. I don't know about you, but I avoid cleaning my winter coats as long as possible. I always forget to take them to the dry cleaner during the summer, then it's too late by the time I remember. Luckily, I learned how to dry a down coat in the dryer at home, and my life is better because of it.

It's actually relatively easy to wash and dry a down coat at home, and you'll save money on dry cleaning (save that for your wool coats). UK website e-outdoor.co.uk put together a video tutorial on how to wash your down coat at home, and it's super useful. The most important thing to note, however, is that you have to be careful with your coat, use proper materials and take some time to do it right. Down is expensive, and washing or drying it incorrectly can actually ruin the coat.

Luckily, I did the research for you. By the time you're done reading, you'll be a down coat-washing expert. Here's what to do:

1. Buy a specialty detergent

Gear Aid ReviveX Down Cleaner, $8, Amazon

This isn't an absolute must, but it's a good idea. You can get a bottle of specialty down detergent for a decent price, and it'll ensure your down is properly cleaned.

2. Wash once, then rinse

Wash your jacket (or vest, or comforter) in water set to a cold temperature. Then, rinse the jacket by washing it again, this time without soap. It'll ensure it's completely free of detergent.

3. Dry low and slow

Make sure you keep your dryer temperature low. It'll be a process to dry your coat, but it's worth it because you're saving money by not having it professionally cleaned. Your jacket has to be completely dry before you can use it again, but keep the heat low no matter what.

4. Pack the dryer with tennis balls

Tennis balls (or balls made of rolled up socks, if you're in a pinch), will break up the wet down and give your jacket its signature lift and fluffy appearance. Put three (clean) tennis balls in the drier with your jacket.

5. Break up clumps as you go

Ultra Light Down Jacket, $80, Amazon

While your jacket is washing, take it out a few times each hour and break up the clumps. Your jacket won't do its job of keeping you warm if it's full of clumps.

Luckily, it's possible to dry your down jackets at home if you're prepared to dedicate the time to it.

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Images: Chuck Schlegel, Daniel Horacio Agostini, sibhusky2/Flickr, Erika Wittlieb/Pixabay, Courtesy of Brands