How To Clean A Comforter That Is Too Big For My Washer

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall

Comforters are a popular bedding choice, adding some extra design flair to your bedroom. However, the plush coziness of many comforters that makes them so appealing often also makes them bulky. If your comforter is too big to fit in your washer, how can you clean it?

If your comforter won’t fit in your washing machine, use the bathtub. Fill the tub with cold or slightly warm water and add your detergent of choice. Soak the comforter in the tub for several minutes, swirling it around with a broomstick. After 15 to 30 minutes, drain the tub and refill it with clean water to rinse your comforter.

The same health hazards on your sheets could end up living on your comforter if you never wash it. But unless you have a large capacity washer, you likely need to find another way to get things clean. Here’s an easy step-by-step guide for cleaning your comforter without a washing machine.

My Comforter Won’t Fit In My Washing Machine. How Do I Clean It?

If you can’t fit your comforter or duvet in your washing machine, you could always bring it to a professional cleaner. Another option is to go to a laundromat that has large-capacity washers.

You certainly don’t want to force the bedding into your washing machine, as it can pose several problems. If the comforter doesn’t have enough wiggle room inside the washer, it won’t get clean. Also, you could potentially damage your appliance.

However, if you prefer to stay home and tackle the task, it’s time to turn to your bathtub.

1. Fill Your Tub

Before washing the comforter, check for any stains that need spot treatment. Spray them with the stain remover of your choice according to the product’s instructions. While the treatment sits, start filling the tub with lukewarm or cold water.

2. Add The Detergent Of Your Choice

Add the laundry detergent of your choice to the tub. Use the end of a broomstick to swirl the water to help mix and dissolve the detergent. Make sure to add enough detergent to handle an extra-large load of laundry.

3. Soak The Comforter In The Bathtub For A Few Minutes

Place the comforter into the tub and let it soak for a few minutes. Make sure all areas of the duvet are underwater. Spread the comforter out, so it isn’t bunched up in a ball.

4. Move Things Around

Using the end of the broomstick, swirl the comforter around in the tub to get it clean. The stick provides the agitation your comforter would receive if it was in the washing machine. Adding this movement helps the detergent reach all areas of the bedding and boosts the cleaning power.

Take turns swirling the comforter for a few minutes and letting it soak for a few. The entire washing process should take between 15 and 30 minutes. Judge how long to wash the comforter based on its size, dirtiness level, and how long it’s been since you cleaned it.

5. Rinse The Comforter

After washing the comforter, you need to get all of the soap out of it before letting it dry. Drain the tub, then refill it with cold water. Swirl the comforter around in the plain water using the broomstick to rinse out the bedding.

If it still seems soapy, repeat the process until you no longer see any suds.

6. Allow The Comforter To Dry

After completing the wash process, it’s time to let the comforter dry. If your comforter is able to go in the dryer and fits, then toss it in. However, keep in mind, you didn’t have a spin cycle to get rid of the excess moisture.

Avoid wringing the comforter. Instead, you can use a thick towel to gently press the comforter and soak up some of the excess water. Do this on one side of the comforter, flip it, and repeat on the other side.

If the comforter is not dryer-safe, or it won’t fit in your dryer, set up a drying rack. Drying the comforter outside will speed up the process, but it’s not necessary. You can hang it over an ironing board or over a portable clothes rack. If drying it inside, hang it over the shower curtain rod.

How Much Does It Cost To Clean A Comforter At A Laundromat?

If you’re not thrilled about taking the time to clean your comforter in the tub, take it to your local laundromat. Bring your detergent, comforter, and enough coins for the machines. You might also want to bring a book to read and a snack to enjoy while you wait.

The cost to wash your comforter at a laundromat depends on the size, but expect to pay between $3 and $7. If you also dry the comforter there, it will cost a few dollars more. It definitely won’t break the bank, but it is rather time-consuming. However, if you have a good laundromat close to your house, it could be worth it.

Keep in mind, if it is not recommended to put your comforter in a dryer, you’ll be toting it home wet. If this is the case, bring an extra-large garbage bag along to put the comforter in, so you don’t end up with water all over you and your car. As soon as you get home, remove it from the bag and hang it up to dry.

How Often Should You Wash A Comforter?

If your comforter is purely decorative, you should at least wash it every couple of years, depending on how dirty it is. To make things easier, consider getting a duvet cover. If you use a duvet cover, you can remove it, and toss it in your washing machine, since it is much less bulky.

Using a duvet cover makes keeping your comforter clean much more manageable and extends its life. You can then likely get away with cleaning your actual comforter every five years. If your comforter is dry-clean only, expect to pay between $20 and $50 to have it professionally cleaned.

Clean Your Comforter Without A Washing Machine

If your comforter doesn’t fit in your washing machine, you can still clean it at home in your bathtub. Fill the tub, add detergent, and swirl the comforter around for several minutes. Alternate letting it soak and moving it around for 15 to 30 minutes, rinse it, then hang it to dry. If you prefer, take the comforter to a local laundromat with large-capacity machines.

With proper care, your comforter can last 10 to 20 years. It’s more likely for you to replace your comforter because of design preferences rather than wear-and-tear.

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Stacy Randall
Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

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