Puffer jackets are exceptional outerwear with surprising versatility and industry-leading durability. Under the right conditions, these jackets can last upwards of a decade. However, these jackets are not completely impervious to wear and tear, especially if you often wear them hiking. Sure, you might not many issues at first, but you will see a downgrade in the looks of your puffer jacket outfits as it gets dirtier by the day. Luckily, most of these issues can be mitigated by washing your puffer jacket on time.
That said, washing these jackets is not as simple as just chucking them into the washer with other clothes and calling it a day. Instead, you have to practice a lot of caution and do this washing the right way.
If you don’t know what the right way of washing a puffer jacket is, this guide is for you.
Methods Of Washing
There are two key ways to wash your down jacket, hand wash, and machine wash. Both of these methods are equally valid and have their pros and cons. Let’s discuss them individually.
The biggest benefit of washing your windbreaker jacket by hand is safety. You get to choose the washing pace and intensity manually, so there is little to no risk of damage. You can also regularly inspect the jacket and stop washing if it’s cleaned already and don’t have to get it through the complete wash cycle.
The biggest downside of hand washing your puffer jacket by hand is that it is very time-consuming and kind of difficult. It is different when you’re washing a thin cloth as it can be handled pretty easily. A down-filled jacket, on the other hand, get doesn’t fit in your hands very well and can cause muscle fatigue in your fingers.
Machine washing your jackets is just extremely convenient. Sure, you have to do a lot of prep work beforehand but the time and effort required are nowhere near washing them by hand. You also can’t wash other outerwear like a full-grain leather jacket in the machine, only the puffers.
However, the thing that you’re giving away for convenience when machine washing your puffer is safety. Yes, you can make it safe but the risk is never as low as a manual hand wash.
That said, the time and effort savings of machine washing outweigh its negatives, especially since most of these negatives can be dealt with before you even start the washing process.
Safety Precautions For Machine Wash
Following these steps will provide a better wash, while also keeping your precious puffer safe.
Do not choose a harsh, grime-cutting detergent for cleaning your puffer jacket. It will destroy the water-resistant coating on the jacket and ruin the jacket permanently. Don’t pick a detergent with any bleaching chemicals as well, as they will affect the color and roughen up the fabric. Instead, look for detergents that are soft, and offer a conditioning element.
Room temperature is the ideal water temperature for puffer jackets. Washing with warm or even hot water might not destroy the jacket’s fabric, but it will affect how the detergent behaves, and its effects on the jacket. So, stay on the safe side and always pick the cold wash option on your washer.
One of the biggest threats to snow-compatible puffer jackets during a machine wash is the physical agitator. Rubbing against this surface is meant to remove all dirt and grime, but puffer jackets can get damaged by it. There might not be an issue on the first wash, but you will start seeing wear after a few. The perfect solution to this problem is a mesh laundry bag. These flexible containers let the water and detergent through without any issues while protecting your jacket from physical agitator damage.
Step By Step Guide To Washing Puffer Jacket
Now that you understand the basics, it’s time for a start-to-finish, step-by-step guide.
The first step of washing your puffer jacket is to remove any loose dirt from its surface with the help of a brush, long before it touches a single drop of water. Using an old toothbrush can work, but it will take a long time. So, use a soft laundry brush instead. You’d be surprised by the amount of dirt that just falls off during this dusting session.
The next step is to check the machine. Make sure it is cleaned on the inside, there are no other clothes in there, and that the water is set to cold. This step might seem unnecessary but remember that caution is the only thing keeping your jacket safe here.
Use this step to clean off and then refill the detergent compartment as well. Make sure you’re pouring the right soft detergent and not the one you use for regular laundry that can soften a leather jacket with its harshness.
Set The Cycle
Most modern washers have dedicated settings for different types of materials. Look for a setting labeled, gentle, wool, or something similar and select that.
Put in the jacket and start the machine. Don’t interrupt this cycle if you’ve done all of the previous steps correctly. If you’re still worried about this step, putting the jacket in a mesh bag might ease up your worries.
Once the wash is complete, it’s time to dry the 90s party puffer jacket. Now, you might think that you should air dry your puffer jacket as you do with leather jackets, but that is not the case. Air drying will not only take a long time, but it might also form noticeable clumps – ruining the jacket’s consistency. Instead, tumble dry your puffer at low heat. Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat to accelerate the process as that will only make the situation worse. Once you feel zero moisture when pressing down on the jacket, you’re good to wear it again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can machine wash your puffer jacket. There are a few risks involved but they can be turned into nonissues with proper preparation and procedures.
Yes, you can wash down jackets with ease. Just make sure to use down compatible soaps and detergents.
The only way to shrink puffers quickly is to wash them in hot water with the longest wash cycle. Do not add any detergent or soap; just your jacket and water.
Many people don’t realize the need to wash their puffer jackets and then complain when the jacket looks decades old with only a few years of use. The folks that do know about washing are often worried about ruining their expensive and beloved jacket. While their worries are not without a reason, they are not that big of an issue either. All you need to clean your puffer successfully is the right soft detergent, a laundry mesh bag, and a washer capable of cold washes.