Easy ways to clean your bulky duvet that won’t fit in the washing machine

Duvets, much like rugs and drapes, are among the most challenging household items to clean, primarily due to their bulky size that often doesn’t fit into a standard washing machine. While we regularly change bed linens such as pillowcases, sheets, and duvet covers, the duvet itself is typically replaced only with the change of seasons, i.e., twice a year. But when it comes to cleaning it, many find themselves at a loss. While most summer duvets can be easily washed in a machine, winter ones, being much bulkier, pose a challenge. So, how can you ensure your duvet is clean, ensuring a healthy sleeping environment?

Washing Machine

1. Intermediate cleaning methods

Before considering a machine wash, there are alternative ways to refresh your duvet:

Use a vacuum cleaner

When changing the duvet cover, you can vacuum the duvet at a low setting. This helps in removing any hair, pet fur, dust mites, and dead skin cells that might have accumulated.

Shake it out

A simple yet highly effective method is to shake your duvet out of the window once a month. This not only helps in getting rid of dirt but also restores its original fluffiness.

Air it out

Every season change, hang your duvet outside on a sunny, dry day. This will air it out, removing any musty smells and refreshing the fabric.

2. Deep cleaning solutions

When your duvet needs a thorough cleaning, you have a couple of options:

Dry cleaning

While this might seem like a convenient option, it’s not recommended for duvets with natural fillings. The chemicals used by professionals can damage the protective layer of down or wool fillings, compromising the duvet’s quality.

Professional laundromats

Consider taking your duvet to a professional laundromat with large-capacity machines. This allows for a deep clean at 60°C and even drying if the facility has big enough dryers.

Hand washing in a bathtub

While not the most efficient method, you can also wash your duvet in a bathtub filled with warm water and detergent. Let it soak for an hour, gently scrubbing occasionally. Rinse with clean water. However, wringing out the water and drying can be quite challenging, making this method less preferable compared to the others mentioned.

3. Tips for maintaining a clean duvet

Use a duvet cover

Always use a duvet cover, which can be easily removed and washed, protecting the duvet from dirt and spills.

Spot clean

For small stains or spills, spot cleaning can be effective. Use a mild detergent and cold water, and gently scrub the affected area.


If you’re storing your duvet, ensure it’s clean and dry. Use a breathable storage bag and keep it in a cool, dry place.


A clean duvet contributes significantly to a healthy sleeping environment. By following these tips and methods, you can ensure that your duvet remains fresh, clean, and comfortable throughout the year.