After a long winter wear, it's inevitable that your kids' puffer coat will need to be freshened up and well-cleaned. Because puffer coats are filled with sometimes delicate insulation, such as down or down-alternative like PrimaLoft® Insulation ThermoPlume®, it's important to take special care when cleaning and washing puffer coats and jackets. These fluffy coats are renowned for losing their fullness and becoming lumpy, and harsh chemicals and detergents can damage the filling. Here are some tips on how to clean basically anything off your kids' puffer coat without destroying the internal insulation.
First of all, because each kid's winter coat is different and there are so many varieties of fillings, read the care label and look for any special instructions for cleaning your jacket. This label will tell you if you can machine wash your coat or if it will require a professional down cleaner.
Next, close all zippers and fasten all pockets to avoid ripping the outer shell, this will also protect any interior lining from harsh chemicals or wetness. Close zippers and buttons, and secure any flaps. Be sure to double-check all pockets for any items.
Now it's time to examine the coat for any dirt that can be removed with a dry cloth or wiped away. Removing any dirt this way can help the cleaning process. Spot clean the down jacket using an all-natural soap or special down soap made specifically for cleaning down. Simply pour a small amount of the cleaning mixture on the areas that need to be cleaned and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Once it has soaked the area, rinse with warm, clean water and pat dry.
When handwashing your kids' puffer coat, be sure to complete the above steps before moving forward. This ensures that all things are removed from the pockets and any external debris and dirt is removed before washing.
In a sink or bathtub, use warm water and detergent solution. Just like handwashing a delicate blouse or sweater, simply fill a bathtub, sink or large bucket with warm, clean water and all-natural or down detergent. Place the puffer coat in the soapy solution and gently move it around with your hands. Let the jacket soak for 10 to 15 minutes.
Avoid picking the jacket up when it's wet, as this may damage the outside shell. Instead, drain the water and solution from the bathtub, sink or bucket, and then refill the tub with clean water. Continue to do this until the soapy solution is removed entirely.
Once all that soap is out of your jacket, it's time to be overly precautious and fill your container with clean water again. Allow your puffer coat to sit and soak for another 10 to 15 minutes. Next, move the jacket away from the drain and pour out or drain the remaining water.
Before starting the drying process, simply ring and squeeze out any water from the puffer coat or jacket. Once you've squeezed out residual water, you can begin the drying process.
Follow the spot cleaning instructions in this guide to remove any excess grime or dirt from your kids' puffer coat before machine washing.
Before putting your kids' puffer coat in the washing machine, double-check your machine for any dirt or residual detergent that could potentially damage the filling of your down coat. Once you are positive the machine is clean, add down-safe or natural detergent to the dispenser.
Put the jacket in the washer alone to avoid any shedding or piling. Set the machine to a cycle for cold, delicates. This will ensure a gentle wash setting for your kids' puffer coat.
Once the washing machine is done with the cycle, set the machine to a rinse cycle and allow the machine to rinse the jacket one more time. This ensures all detergent is removed from the jacket before moving on to the drying process.
To dry your kids' puffer coat, simply set the dryer to low and put the puffer coat inside. Run the machine several times. This process takes a while and it will need numerous cycles before the jacket is thoroughly dry.
Every 30 minutes or so, open the dryer and remove the jacket. You'll want to vigorously shake out the jacket to even out the filling. Another amazing hack is to throw several clean tennis balls into the dryer with the jacket. The balls bounce around, manually fluffing the coat's insulation.
Once the jacket has gone through three to four cycles in the dryer and is thoroughly dry to the touch, remove it from the dryer and give it one last vigorous shake. Then, hang the jacket somewhere to air for a couple of hours to entirely dry out. You should never compress a kid's down jacket or insulated jacket for long periods of time, and it is best to store a down jacket in a place where it can hang and isn't compacted.