Cleaner for down filled clothing and gear
Effectively removes dirt whilst revitalising insulation and water-repellency
Down keeps you warm because it puffs up and traps air. Eventually, if down is not cleaned properly, body oils and grime will migrate into the down and inhibit its elasticity, stopping it from regaining its loft and bulk when it is unpacked. What’s more, dirt is generally water attractive, and if the outer fabric easily absorbs water, rain and condensation can easily transfer into the down, which will also cause it to lose its loft and insulation.
Down has exceptional insulating properties. No other product can offer so much insulation for so little weight and bulk, for sleeping bags, duvet jackets and down clothing generally. However, it does have one Achilles heel: water. If it gets wet it loses all of its insulating capacity. If you expect to be exposed continuously to very damp and humid, but cold conditions, you may be better choosing a synthetic insulation, or treating your down with Down Proof.
Down makes great high mountain clothing for mountaineers, skiers and snow boarders, but is just as great for city life...
Down is the proven material for high Alpine winter and Himalayan expedition conditions. But it is also a great material for street wear and everyday use where you get more cold than wet. Different qualities of down exist for different applications, but they all have one thing in common. The down needs to be cleaned carefully.
You should not wait until your down equipment is thoroughly dirty before cleaning it. The longer you leave it, the more damage you can potentially do to it. So as soon as you see that the outer surface of your down jacket easily absorbs water, you will know that there is a layer of dirt on the surface. Time to clean your jacket.
Down Wash is a safe product to use to clean down. If you choose the wrong cleaner, for example soap flakes, you might cause the dirt from the outer fabric to be re-deposited on to the down, which would kill its loft and insulation. And a conventional detergent may leave behind a residue of water-attractive detergent residue on both the outer fabric and the down, causing it to lose loft more quickly in damp conditions.
It is most important that down is thoroughly rinsed after washing, and very thoroughly dried. Even if you wash your item by hand, try to spin dry it using the highest speed. You can spin dry 2 or even three times, to get the maximum amount of water your down, and on the highest speed. Tumble drying is recommended; leaving down wet can ruin it completely.
Firstly Down Wash removes body oils from the inside fabric and grime form the external fabric. Secondly, it cleanses the actual of down of dust and odours, and finally, it does all of that without removing the water-repellency of the outer fabric, so that the down is less vulnerable to rain and condensation.
Nikwax takes great care to minimise the effect of Nikwax products on the environment and on you, the consumer. Nikwax avoids materials in its cleaners like palm oil, which may be sourced for unsustainable plantations.
Nikwax Down Wash is the product of choice, as used by professional Outdoor trainers.
To find out more about people who are using Down Wash, and other Nikwax products, take a look at our testimonials page.
- Remove all detergent build-up from the detergent dispenser.
- Place item in washing machine (maximum 1 item).
- Use 150ml in medium/hard water* areas and 100ml in soft water areas.
- Wash according to care label, preferably on low setting and slow spin.
- Run at least one additional fast spin cycle after the washing cycle is complete.
- Use gloves. Immerse item(s) in hand-hot water in bowl or bathtub. For clothing use 150ml in medium/ hard water* areas and 100ml in soft water areas for 1-2 items.
- For sleeping bags use 150ml in 4cm deep water in a bathtub.
- Agitate to mix, leave to soak for 5-10 minutes, then agitate thoroughly.
- Rinse clothing in cold water until water runs clear. For sleeping bags repeat process, drain and gently press bag to expel excess water.
- Sleeping bags can be transferred to a washing machine and spun slow twice, before a third or fourth fast spin.
- Spin dry 3 times (slow spin).
- If care label allows tumble dry according to manufacturer's instructions on a low setting until 'clumps' have disappeared. Shaking and patting the item regularly during drying process will help restore loft to the down. Never pack up a down item until it has been aired for at least a day after drying in a warm and dry space.