Dark Stains on Down Comforters

Dark stains on down comforters is most often attributed to excess oil coming from the down. Drycleaning may cause the oils found in down to migrate and stain the shell fabric.

In some cases, this oil can be removed by re-cleaning the comforter in clear, distilled solvent and using an extended cleaning, extraction, and drying cycle. However, this process may take several cleanings and a lot of luck. If this doesn’t work, wetcleaning may. The comforter should be washed on a gentle cycle in a front-loading washing machine using only a neutral or very alkaline detergent. Because it will require a lot of room and long drying time, use an oversized dryer and add a clean tennis shoe to the tumbler to help fluff up the down.

Suggested Reading
DLI's Encyclopedia of Drycleaning Online features thousands of garments about all things drycleaning and is included as part of Standard, Gold, Premier or International memberships. Here are some bulletins to help further your understanding of this issue:

  • Fabrics & Fashions No. 490: Problems with Down and Down Garments
  • Technical Analysis Bulletin Service (TABS) No. 506: Discoloration of Down Items
  • Technical Analysis Bulletin Service (TABS) No. 387: Lumpy Comforters
  • Technical Analysis Bulletin Service (TABS) No. 510: Puckering of Household Items