Because of their puff, it might appear a bit intimidating to wash puffer jackets. But in reality the technique of washing puffer jackets is no different from washing a polyester duvet or comforter.
To wash a polyester puffer jacket in the washing machine, simply stuff it inside the wash tub, add cold or warm water and pour in a mild detergent. Opt for the gentle cycle possible and an extra rinse. Dry the jacket in the dryer or outside using a padded hanger.
And that’s it! Learn the steps in detail below.
How to wash a puffer jacket
Check the care label
Before submerging a polyester puffer jacket in water for cleaning, make sure to check the fabric care label first.
The fabric care label is attached to a seam in the neck region or on the side of the clothing, or even elsewhere. Make sure to go through it to find out exactly how to wash the specific type of puffer jacket you have, how to dry it and also how to properly take care of it after washing.
Doing so will prevent you from making dreadful mistakes that can ruin your jacket forever.
Puffer jackets are created differently, with the main variation occurring in the type of fillings they have. Some jackets have a cotton filling, some have down lining, some have feathers and some recycled polyester, and not all of these can be cleaned using a universal technique. Some jackets can get ruined with or in the same condition that others thrive at. And vice versa.
Your puffer jackets can pick up stains from time to time even though polyester, as a clothing material, and to a great extent, is resistant to water based stains.
When you have stains on a polyester jacket, treat it almost immediately to prevent setting in, especially when it’s an oil based stain as they collect easily on polyester and can get notoriously difficult to remove when they have aged.
Tackle fresh stains using a solution of mild detergent and water. Use a soft sponge or brush dipped in the solution to sponge or brush the area respectively. Rinse and then proceed to launder as we will teach you below.
For sets in stains, or really old stains, you can try the basic technique from above, but the chances of seeing any meaningful result is small, or use a professional stain removal product and see if that works. Make sure to do a spot test in a conspicuous area first to learn how the fabric will react to the chemical, so you don’t end up ruining the jacket.
If that doesn’t work too, then take the jacket to the dry cleaners or a professional stain removal service.
Use cold water
With polyester puffer jackets, cold water is almost always the best bet. This is due to the fact that puffer jackets have filling inside of them that can get damaged by hot water, and so in order to prevent that from happening, cold water should be used.
Cold water is gentle because it’s molecules are in rapid movement like in warm or hot water, thus little penetration is occurring at the chemical level of the material and thus little damage.
Another reason why you should opt for cold water is because some puffer jackets have a bit of structure to them for aesthetics, and that can be affected when you use hot water to wash them.
Use mild detergent
Polyester is generally a tough material and isn’t affected greatly by the chemicals in laundry detergents. So you can get away with using even heavy duty detergents in it. But to conserve the quality of your fabric for long, opt for a detergent that is mild or gentle, and revert back to the more heavy duty ones on special occasions like when you need to disinfect or remove stains.
Use the gentle cycle
With jackets like the puffy jackets that are structured, it’s always best to wash them using the littlest agitation possible. And in the washer, you can only get that with the gentle or silk cycle. These cycles employ low agitation and low spin speed to wash and rinse clothes which reduces the chances of creating a mess of your puffer after washing.
Another thing about jackets is that, just like duvets, they are created with internal baffles which can get destroyed by heavy agitation.
When you’re all set, run a full cycle and then run another cycle with fresh water, so you have three cycles of rinsing to properly get rid of excess suds that collect on the inside and outside of the jacket.
Can you use fabric softener on polyester?
Fabric softeners are good for polyester because they reduce static cling, but for jackets having inner stuffings, avoid them as they will reduce their breathability and coat the fibers into clumps. This will weigh down the jacket and also prevent it from performing its insulation function properly.
For any other jacket aside polyester puffers, use a fabric softener if you like. It will eliminate static cling, add freshness and scent to your jacket and also make it soft.
When adding fabric softener to your jacket, use the dispenser specially made for it, and if you do not have that, then make sure to add the softener on water pockets (during the rinse cycle) and avoid adding it directly on clothes as it can cause staining.
Can you use fabric sanitizer on polyester?
Absolutely, should you find the need to disinfect your polyester, which we recommend you do when your polyester has had contact with a sick person, you can definitely use a fabric sanitizer like the one from OxiClean to sanitize your clothes.
Make sure to check the product label to confirm the status of the product on the type of fabric you have, and also run a test in an inconspicuous area of the cloth to determine its reactivity with the product.
Can you bleach polyester?
You can only use chlorine bleach on all white polyester puffer jackets, and avoid the practice of using chlorine bleach regularly because it will eventually weaken the fibers of the jacket, making them sensitive to little agitation.
If you have a polyester jacket that is colored (and also white), you can use a non-chlorine bleach like oxygen bleach instead.
Set the dryer on low heat
When it comes to drying polyester puffer jackets, use the no heat setting. High heat can cause damage to the structure as well as cause distortion of the polyester staple fibers.
High heat can also remove any finishing on the polyester jacket which will reduce its overall aesthetic appeal.
Because we’re ditching high heat and opting for the no heat setting, the drying time of the jackets will definitely be increased.
So you might have to run a couple more cycles after the first cycle to fully dry out the fillings inside, because the outer material of polyester dries faster.
Between cycles also, take out the jacket and fluff it up so it doesn’t dry out flat. A good idea is to put a dryer ball or clean tennis ball alongside the cloth in the dryer. The balls hitting against the surface of the fabric will cause any clumped fillings to be separated which will enhance drying and puffiness.
Alternatively, air dry
If for one reason or the other, you don’t have a dryer, you can air dry your puffer jackets.
Polyester fares well with the UV rays of the sun and also with pollutants like the acidic
ones in the atmosphere. So you have nothing to worry about when you put your puffer jackets outside to dry.
When you drain items like puffer jackets that have a bit of structure to them, you want to make sure you dry them in their structure and not just crumble them anyhow.
So you avoid line drying jackets without a padded hanger, or lay them out flat on a clothes rack to dry.
Cleaning your polyester puffer jackets is an easy task. To do so, first check the care label to find out if the jacket can be machine washed or hand washed, and if it can be machine washed, then follow the instructions in this article to learn how to properly machine wash it.
This way, your jacket will keep for a longer period of time.
And one more thing, never try to wash a puffer jacket by hand (using agitation). Sponging is fine so long as you’re not applying agitation that is translated from the surface through the fillings and to the opposite side, like wringing for example. That can cause your jacket to come out flat, or even destroy the internal baffles.