Spring cleaning this weekend? How and when you should be washing your duvet

Wondering how and when you should be washing your duvet? Well, this is the weekend to get started.

Washing our bed sheets, is a topic of contention, but most of us know that we should be doing it pretty regularly if we want to keep our hygiene levels above board.

But washing our duvets? Hmm… that’s a different beast entirely. Now, we’re not talking about your duvet sheets, we’re talking about the actual duvet you stuff inside of them – the thing that keeps you warm.

Do you wash it once a year? Every couple of months? Never? Would you take it to the dry cleaners, or is it safe to chance the washing machine?

And hey –there’s no shame in feeling confused. 

The Stylist office has had its fair share of debates over this topic. Kayleigh Dray, Stylist’s editor-at-large had a fateful experience with her washing machine: “I thought it would be okay to bung it in there, but it ripped to shreds and got mouldy where it had sat against the wet glass.” 

While Stylist’s deputy online editor, Jazmin Kopotsha can proudly say she’s had hers dry-cleaned. Although, she isn’t all that sure how necessary it is. 

“I did it on the advice of my mum when I moved after university but refused (couldn’t afford) a new duvet. It was super cheap at the time and I felt smug for a while, but I couldn’t really tell the difference… sometimes I’m like YES KILL THE GERMS THIS IS GROSS, other times I’m kinda like, ah, what’s a little five-year-old grime gonna do when it’s hidden by a nice duvet cover?” she says.

These are hard hitting questions that need answering, and we’re here to do just that.

After all, this is the perfect time to get cracking. Now that we’re into Easter territory, it officially feels like spring, which has many of us feeling inspired to do some – you guessed it – spring cleaning.

So, as well as de-cluttering with some stylish storage solutions and maybe giving your décor an update with pieces nodding to the latest interiors trend, this could be the perfect weekend to get started on that duvet.

How often should I wash my duvet?

Sally Bonser, spokesperson for Silentnight, has the definitive answer to the question we’re all asking. She says: “You should be washing your duvet every eight to 12 months – there’s no excuses on this one. Not washing it for this amount of time can mean a build of dead skin and dust mites.”

Can I wash my duvet at home – if so, how?

Check your duvet’s label for washing instructions. If it shows a washing machine symbol with a number to indicate the temperature of wash, then you can and you should follow those instructions.

First though, check your duvet all over and see if there’s any stains that need attending to. Sponge them off with some stain remover. Next put the duvet into the washing machine and be careful to choose a gentle wash cycle, and a non-biological washing detergent and no fabric softener.

You’ll need to rinse your duvet twice if it’s got a natural filling and make sure the spin cycle isn’t too vigorous. If you have a tumble dryer use a low heat. Top tip: pop in a couple of clean tennis balls while tumble drying and it will help it dry more thoroughly and keep its fluffy shape. Then, to make sure it’s 100% dry, air your duvet outside. Plus, drying them in the sunlight will kill micro-organisms. Remember, feather and down duvets are thicker and heavier, therefore will take a long ol’ time to dry. 

Do I need to dry clean my duvet?

This really depends on the type of duvet you have and it will be indicated by the label. Another reason you might need to dry clean it though, is if it is too big for your washing machine drum. If you’re struggling to get it in, a good tip is to fold your duvet in half before turning it into the drum. This will spread out the weight of your duvet, and it shouldn’t be as noisy either!


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