Can You Wash A Duvet Insert?

It may look like the cover of your duvet has eliminated the need for you to wash your inserts, and while that is true to some extent, it doesn’t take it all away.

Your duvet inserts will eventually lose freshness through spills that seep deep through spaces in the fabric cover to moisture that gather around fibers and cause smell, and it can happen in a matter of weeks or months depending on your situation. 

When you have a duvet insert that needs washing, you can put it inside the washer for cleaning using cold water and a delicate or duvet cycle. Dry using three cycles and lay it flat on the bed to rest for some hours before sleeping with it. 

Additionally, you can wash the duvet insert by hand. In this article, you’ll learn exactly how to wash a duvet insert using the washer and by hand. 

What is a duvet insert?

A duvet insert is the bedding item you put inside a duvet cover. It’s simply what you know as a duvet. The main duvet. 

Duvet insert consists of a fabric shell made up of a variety of fibers from natural to synthetic, and baffles inside the shell which partition fillings (of down, feather or both) into evenly sized pockets. 

Because the construction of a duvet insert is typically complex, cleaning it regularly can cause a quick breakdown. 

Because of this, and also the fact that it’s expensive, it’s recommended to use a cover with it to protect it from sweat and stains and therefore reduce the frequency of washing. 

If you’re not using a cover with duvet, then a flat sheet placed underneath the duvet is sufficient, so all the sweat and moisture that comes off from your body is collected on the sheet as opposed to the duvet!

How do you wash a duvet insert?

Eventually, as we mentioned earlier, your duvet insert will lose freshness. It may be bacteria that breed and cause smell, it may be a spill that seeps deep from the cover all the way to the insert, etc. When you have a duvet that needs washing, how do you make it clean again?

These are the steps

Check the fabric care label

This step can never be over emphasized. Before attempting to wash the duvet, check the care label for instructions on how to do so and what to avoid doing to the duvet. 

Some duvets can only be dry cleaned, while others may only be hand washable (like silk duvets) or machine washable (like polyester and cotton based duvets). 

If you find that your duvet insert can be cleaned at home, find out how to clean the duvet using the label and follow that procedure. If it can’t however, take it to a professional and reputable upholstery cleaner or dry cleaner. They have people with professional knowledge on how best to clean the specific fabric you have without causing damage to its fibers or overall looks. 

Treat stains

If you’re using covers, it may be difficult to collect stains on your inserts, but if you somehow manage to pick up stains, then treat them using a solution of mild detergent and water. 

Apply the concentrated solution to the stain area and work it in using a soft brush. Allow it to sit for some minutes then rinse with cold water. Proceed to launder according to the care label or using the washer as we will explain below. 

If the stain doesn’t go out completely, use a treatment specially formulated to tackle the type of stain you have. Then rinse and launder. 

If stain was the reason why you thought your duvet insert needed washing, then doing this step alone (and then drying the duvet outside) would suffice. You don’t have to put it in the washer and wet the entire thing. 

Make sure to fluff up the stained area after air drying the duvet. 

Wash the duvet using the washer

Before washing the duvet, make sure to vacuum it to remove as much dust from it as possible. Cleaning a duvet insert at home is possible using the washer or by hand. 

When it comes to the washer, make sure it’s large enough to comfortably contain the duvet (with a lot of free space for the duvet to turn). Same thing with the dryer too. Cramping up the duvet into a tight cleaning or drying space can cause poor washing and scorching respectively. 

To get the best cleaning, use a front loading washer as opposed to a top loader. The agitators of the top loader can cause the internal baffles of the duvet to tear and the fact that air pockets develop in the fabric when using a top loader makes washing less efficient.

When it comes to the wash settings, use cold water and the gentlest cycle possible, and make sure to run an extra rinse cycle to properly remove suds that can coat down or feathers and weigh down the duvet, taking away it’s loft. 

If you have a cotton or linen duvet, you can use hot water (60°C) to disinfect it. Never put polyester in hot water (consistently) as it will shrink eventually. So also silk, it can get damaged in the washer. Silk should always be washed with cold water and the gentlest cycle possible. 

How to dry a duvet insert

After rinsing, put all duvet with the exception of silk and those with labels that warn against machine drying in the dryer. 

Run three cycles with the first cycle on medium heat to facilitate drying, while the other two on low heat to promote drying of deep spots. Make sure to fluff the duvet in between cycles to make sure no wet spots remain as well as to make the duvet fluffy again. 

Take out the duvet from the dryer and lay it out flat on your bed. Allow it to sit for some hours before putting it to use to allow any remnant wet spot to fully dry.

Do not dry duvet on a rope or line, as the down can get very heavy and stretch the internal baffles which can cause them to tear! 

Dry clean

When it comes to cleaning a large bedding item like a duvet, the best way to do so is using the services of professionals. 

So take it to the dry cleaners or for wet washing when the pocket allows. It’s safer because they have professionals with knowledge and experience on how best to clean your item (and even treat stains on it). It also takes away the stress of doing it at home. If you have the cash, let it work for you! 

Final Thoughts

Duvet insert can be washed, although it should be washed less frequently especially when a cover is used along with it, for instance after 3 months. 

When washing a duvet insert at home, use the washer and opt for the gentlest cycle possible using cold water and mild detergent. Make sure to dry using the dryer and run three cycles to make sure the moisture trapped inside the fillings are completely removed before use.