people lying in bed eating breakfast wondering how to wash a duvet cover

How to Wash Duvet Covers and Shams

Everyone loves a fresh, clean bed – but how much do you know about the work that goes on behind the scenes? One of the biggest misconceptions people have is not understanding how to wash duvet covers and shams. Yeah, we know. They seem like they stay pretty clean, right? Wrong! Learning how to wash duvet covers and shams is Regular laundering is still important to keep dust mites and allergens low, remove sweat or odors, and otherwise ensure that your bed is fabulously fresh when you slip between the sheets.

For the freshest results, duvet covers and pillow shams need to be washed at least once a week. You can probably stretch that a little longer if you regularly use a top sheet. Also, keep in mind that the comforter inside your duvet, unless something spills on it, can be washed less frequently or as needed. So, let’s check in on how to wash a duvet cover and pillow shams to keep them looking (and smelling!) their best.

How to Wash Duvet Covers

Before we start, be sure always read the care instructions on your bedding before getting started. You‘ll want to make sure your linens are machine washable, if they need to be taken to the dry cleaner, or if the care instructions call for spot cleaning only. You’ll also want to note whether your linens should be washed in cold water or hot water,

Then, remove your comforter from the duvet. Duvet covers usually have a zipper or a series of buttons or snaps that you need to unfasten to remove the cover for washing. Some also have interior ties that you’ll need to untie from the duvet to slip the cover off. Read the label to ensure popping your duvet into a machine washing is OK. If yes, move forward. If not, it’s best to follow recommendations for hand washing or dry cleaning.

Refasten the zipper, buttons or snaps before putting the cover in your machine to avoid unwanted tangling or snagging with other items. It’s totally fine to wash your cover with other items as long as there’s still room for your duvet to move around freely in the machine. Use a cold water setting and, unless your cover is particularly delicate, wash on the normal setting with the normal spin cycle.

Opt for a gentle detergent that’s safe for all fabric types, like Charlie’s Soap All-Natural Laundry Liquid. You can also pre-treat any stains with Charlie’s Laundry Pre-Spray if your cover has any tough stains like chocolate, coffee, or blueberries from your last breakfast in bed.

Can I Wash a Duvet with the Comforter?

We would not recommend washing a duvet cover with the comforter inside of it. This will lead to more drying time, and more opportunities for your comforter and duvet cover to rip or tear in your washing machine. However, you should also check the care instructions on your comforter before tossing it in the washer. Some down comforters and down alternatives are machine washable, but many are dry clean only. Always check the label before washing!

How Often Should I Wash a Duvet Cover?

Recommendations for how often to wash a duvet cover vary. Martha Stewart and many other sources recommend once a week, while other sources take the use of a top sheet into consideration. With the use of a top sheet, you can extend washing your duvet cover to once a month.

How to Wash Pillow Shams

Pillow shams can follow the same steps as your duvet cover unless they’re beaded, embroidered, feature ornamental details, or are particularly delicate. In those cases, you’ll want to hand-wash instead of machine-washing them to ensure they don’t get tangled, mangled, or shredded in the machine.

Hand-wash them in a large bowl or tub, using cold water and Charlie’s Soap or another gentle detergent. Swish them gently around in the water, rinse thoroughly, and then hang them up to dry.

How to Dry Duvet Covers

Most duvet covers do fine in the dryer on medium or low heat, although you can always line dry it if you’d prefer. Depending on the capacity dryer you own, you might find your duvet covers are clumping, stay damp through multiple dryer cycles, and end up smelling like mildew. Using dryer balls, or even clean tennis balls can help fluff up your duvet cover throughout the drying process and get your fabrics dryer, faster.

Hint: hanging your duvet on a clothesline can help to reduce wrinkles. Once dry, you can run an iron across any wrinkles or creases, turning it inside out beforehand for best results. If you’re unsure of whether you can iron your duvet, check the label.

Charlie’s Natural Laundry Detergent for Your Duvet Covers and Shams

Now that you know how to wash duvet covers and pillow shams, you can keep your bed fabulously fresh on a regular basis. But don’t stop there, keep the rest of your laundry fabulously fresh as well by choosing Charlie’s Soap natural laundry detergent for all your bedding – including bed sheets and pillowcases, for all your laundry loads. Charlie’s Soap is one of the best possible detergents on the market for people with sensitive skin, or skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Unlike most detergents, Charlie’s Soap is designed to penetrate fabrics, remove dirt and grime, and wash them away in the rinse cycle.


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