Too Big for the Washer? A Complete Guide to Cleaning Oversized Comforters

Woman making her bed

Cleaning a comforter that’s too big for your washer can seem impossible. But don’t worry, your oversized bedding doesn’t need to be a source of stress. This guide will walk you through how to clean comforters too big for washers effectively and efficiently without a hitch, keeping them fresh and inviting. So, if you’ve been wondering how to navigate this household dilemma, read on for practical tips and tricks. Your oversized comforters will thank you!

How To Clean Comforter Too Big For Washer

Cleaning an oversized comforter requires a unique approach, especially if it’s too big for your washing machine. One of the most common ways to clean these large bedding items is by taking them to a professional cleaning service. These experts have specialized equipment that can handle the size and fabric of the comforter, ensuring it’s cleaned without being damaged.

However, if you prefer to clean your comforter at home, there are a few methods to consider. If your comforter is slightly larger than your washing machine, you can wash it at home by compressing it. Be sure to use a delicate cycle and mild detergent to avoid damaging the fabric.

Hand washing is an option for comforters far too large for your machine. Fill your bathtub with warm water and a gentle detergent, fully submerge your comforter and agitate it by hand. After thoroughly rinsing and draining the water, you can remove the excess water by rolling the comforter and squeezing gently.

Drying large comforters can also be a challenge. For best results, air dry your comforter on a clean surface or hang it where it can freely drip dry. If you’re using a dryer, opt for a low-heat setting and remove it periodically to fluff.

Always check the care label on your comforter before attempting any cleaning method. Some materials may require specific cleaning techniques or are dry-clean only. Following these instructions will help maintain the longevity of your comforter.

How to Select The Right Detergent

Choosing the correct detergent plays a critical role in preserving the quality and boosting the lifespan of your oversized comforter. There are several factors to consider when determining the right cleaning agent for your bedding:

Consider the Fabric Type

Your comforter’s fabric type dramatically influences the detergent you should use. Most comforters are made from cotton, down, synthetic fibers, or a blend of these materials. Cotton comforters often stand up well to strong detergents, while down and synthetic materials require a more gentle touch. Down comforters, in particular, benefit from down-specific detergents that preserve the fluffy texture and insulation properties.

Opt for gentle, dye-free, and fragrance-free detergents for synthetic materials to prevent damage or discoloration. Remember to read the detergent labels and your comforter’s care instructions to ensure compatibility. Making an informed choice in detergent selection will ensure a thorough cleaning and significantly extend your comforter’s life.

Take Into Account Any Allergies

If anyone in your household suffers from allergies, this will play a crucial role in your choice of detergent. Allergies can be triggered by the chemicals, fragrances, or dyes found in many detergents. Opt for hypoallergenic, dye-free, and fragrance-free options whenever possible. These detergents are formulated to be gentle on the skin and less likely to cause allergic reactions.

Also, consider detergents that neutralize allergens in bedding such as dust mites, pet dander, and pollen. Consider using a comforter cover that can be easily removed and washed frequently for extra allergy protection. Remember, the goal is to clean your comforter in a way that keeps it looking and smelling fresh and supports the well-being of everyone in your home.

Factor in the Comforter’s Color

The color of your comforter significantly influences the detergent choice as well. Bright or dark-colored comforters need detergents to maintain their vibrancy without causing fading or discoloration. Some detergents are specifically designed for dark fabrics, which can help keep your dark comforter looking new for longer.

For white or light-colored comforters, a bleach alternative detergent can be beneficial to remove stains and keep the comforter looking fresh and bright. However, avoid using chlorine bleach as it can be too harsh on the fabric and cause yellowing over time. Be aware that repeated washing might fade the colors, no matter what detergent you use.

To maintain color integrity, consider spot cleaning stains where possible, and wash the comforter as infrequently as the care label allows. Ultimately, the appropriate detergent will preserve the comforter’s color, ensuring it continues to be an appealing feature in your bedroom.

Reflect on Environmental Impact

In today’s environmentally-conscious world, considering the impact of your detergent on the environment is crucial. Choose biodegradable detergents and free from harmful chemicals, as they are kinder to our water systems and wildlife. Some detergents also come in recyclable packaging, which further reduces environmental impact.

Additionally, consider the manufacturing process and company values; many environmentally friendly companies prioritize sustainable practices and ethical sourcing. By choosing these products, you’re ensuring a clean comforter and contributing to a cleaner, greener planet. Remember, every small step towards sustainability makes a difference.

Look at Cost and Quantity

While reaching for the most affordable detergent on the shelf can be tempting, it’s vital to consider cost versus quantity and effectiveness when cleaning your oversized comforter. A higher-priced detergent may be more cost-effective if it’s concentrated and requires less product per wash. Conversely, a lower-priced, non-concentrated detergent may cost you more in the long run as you’ll need more product for each wash.

Also, consider the effectiveness of the detergent. If it’s highly effective at removing stains and odors, you’ll likely wash your comforter less frequently, extending its lifespan and reducing overall cleaning costs. In essence, don’t just consider the upfront cost of the detergent; think about the long-term value it offers. A well-chosen detergent can contribute greatly to maintaining your oversized comforter’s freshness, cleanliness, and life.

Think About Scent Preferences

While your comforter’s cleanliness is crucial, its scent can also contribute significantly to your sleep experience. A fresh and pleasant aroma can induce relaxation and enhance your sleep quality. Therefore, if you prefer your bedding to carry a certain fragrance, choose a detergent with a scent you enjoy. Some people prefer clean, crisp scents like linen, while others prefer calming scents like lavender.

However, it’s best to opt for fragrance-free detergents if you are sensitive to strong fragrances or prone to allergies. Remember, your comforter is not only a functional piece of bedding but also part of your sleep sanctuary, and the scent it carries can contribute to creating a soothing and inviting sleep environment.

Assess the Cleaning Power

When evaluating detergents for your oversized comforter, assessing cleaning power is a crucial factor. The primary purpose of the detergent is to thoroughly clean your comforter, removing any dirt, stains, and odors. Detergents with strong cleaning abilities will effectively eliminate these elements, leaving your comforter fresh, clean, and inviting.

Notably, some detergents offer added enzymes that break down specific stains, such as proteins or oils, making them particularly effective. Others may have built-in fabric softeners, which can add an extra layer of softness to your comforter.

Always look for a detergent that suits your specific cleaning needs and can tackle the type of stains and dirt your comforter often encounters. A detergent with superior cleaning power will ensure that you can maintain the cleanliness and comfort of your bedding, contributing to a healthier and more enjoyable sleep experience.

Check for Fabric Safety Approvals

It’s essential to check if the detergent you’re considering is approved for use on your comforter’s specific fabric type. Look for seals of approval from fabric safety organizations or endorsements from textile and fabric experts. These approvals indicate that the detergent has been tested and found safe for use on certain materials, including delicate ones in some comforters.

Using an approved detergent assures that your bedding will be cleaned effectively without the risk of damage. This way, you can keep your comforter in its best condition, prolonging its lifespan and ensuring it remains a comfortable and inviting part of your bed for years.

Keep an Eye Out for Special Additives

Modern detergents come packed with special additives such as fabric softeners, optical brighteners, and stain-fighting enzymes. These additives provide extra benefits beyond basic cleaning. Fabric softeners, for instance, leave your comforter feeling softer and cozier, enhancing your comfort.

Optical brighteners can make whites appear whiter and colors more vibrant, preserving the appearance of your comforter. Enzymes are excellent at tackling tough stains like sweat, food, and oil, ensuring a thorough clean.

However, sensitive skin types may react to these additives, so always opt for a hypoallergenic or free-from additive detergent if allergies are a concern. Remember, the right detergent can significantly enhance your oversized comforter’s longevity, appearance, and comfort, making cleaning it less daunting.

Pay Attention to Brand Reputation

A brand’s reputation can significantly determine which detergent to choose for your oversized comforter. Brands that have consistently proven their commitment to quality, effectiveness, and customer satisfaction tend to produce reliable and efficient products. Look at user reviews and ratings, and consider recommendations from trusted sources.

Brands prioritizing eco-friendly practices and cruelty-free testing are responsible and trustworthy choices. The brand’s reliability can add assurance that you are investing in a product that will effectively clean your comforter without causing damage. Thus, putting some time into researching and considering the brand’s reputation can lead homeowners to a detergent that will serve their needs while aligning with their values.

Tips for Stain Removal

Dealing with stains on your oversized comforter can be quite daunting. However, knowing the right techniques and cleaning agents can make the process less chore. Treating the stain promptly is essential, as it’s much harder to remove once it dries and sets in.

Firstly, identify the type of stain you’re dealing with. Different stains require different treatment methods. For example, protein-based stains (such as blood or sweat) are best treated with cold water and enzymatic cleaners, while tannin stains (like wine or coffee) can be removed using hot water and a dab of dish soap.

You should also consider the fabric of your comforter. Some materials, like silk or wool, are delicate and require gentle handling. Use a mild detergent and avoid rubbing the stain, which can cause damage. Instead, blot the stain gently with a cloth soaked in the cleaning solution.

You can use a stain remover for tough stains that refuse to budge. These products are formulated to break down stubborn stains and are typically safe for all fabric types. However, as with all cleaning products, it’s recommended to do a spot test on a small, inconspicuous area before proceeding with the treatment.

Lastly, remember to rinse thoroughly. Any residual detergent or stain remover can attract dirt and cause the stain to reappear. Once the stain is removed, wash your comforter as usual, following the care instructions on the label.

How to Dry and Care After Cleaning

Properly drying your oversized comforter after cleaning is crucial in preserving its quality and extending its lifespan. It’s equally important to follow specific care practices to maintain your comforter’s comfort, warmth, and aesthetic appeal.

One popular option for drying comforters is air drying. This method is gentle and prevents the wear and tear that can occur in a dryer. If you’re air drying, lay the comforter flat on a clean surface, flipping it occasionally to ensure even drying. However, air drying may take longer, particularly for larger or thicker comforters.

If you’re using a dryer to dry your comforter, select a low-heat or air-fluff setting to prevent damaging the fabric or filling. Consider adding clean tennis balls to the dryer. They help fluff the comforter and prevent the filling from clumping together. Remove the comforter periodically and shake it out to ensure even drying.

After your comforter is dried, shake it out to restore its loft and evenly distribute the filling. If possible, store your comforter in a breathable bag when not in use to protect it from dust and dirt. Avoid storing it in plastic bags as this can trap moisture and lead to mildew.

Regular care and maintenance can also extend the life of your comforter. This can include airing it out periodically to refresh it and remove dust, avoiding heavy items on top that can compress the filling, and using a duvet cover to protect it from dirt and spills.

Understanding how to dry and care for your comforter after cleaning is essential. It not only ensures that you’re keeping your bedding clean and hygienic but also that you’re taking steps to keep your comforter in its best condition for years to come.

Professional Cleaning Services

When cleaning an oversized comforter seems too daunting or you simply don’t have the time, turning to professional cleaning services can be an excellent alternative. Professional cleaners can access industrial-sized washers and dryers that accommodate even the bulkiest comforters. Moreover, they possess the expertise to handle a variety of fabrics, from delicate silks to sturdy cotton, ensuring your bedding is treated with the utmost care.

One significant advantage of a professional cleaning service is their understanding of specific fabric care requirements. Different fabrics demand different cleaning techniques, and professionals are trained to identify and apply the most appropriate methods, preserving the quality and longevity of your comforter.

Another benefit is the thoroughness of professional cleaning. These services employ sophisticated techniques and high-grade cleaning agents to remove stubborn stains, dirt, and allergens that home washing might not eradicate. This results in a deep clean that enhances the comfort and appearance of your bedding and can contribute to a healthier sleep environment.

While professional cleaning services may come with a higher cost than home washing, the investment can pay off in the long run. Regular professional cleaning can extend the life of your comforter, saving you the cost of frequent replacements.


In conclusion, cleaning an oversized comforter that’s too big for your washing machine doesn’t have to be daunting. With some knowledge and techniques, you can keep your comforter clean, fresh, and inviting. Whether you opt for hand washing, machine washing, or professional cleaning services, the key is to understand the specific needs of your comforter and treat it accordingly. Regular care, proper drying, and correct storage will also go a long way in extending the lifespan of your comforter. Don’t let the size of your comforter overwhelm you. Embrace the process and enjoy a clean, cozy, comfortable sleep environment.


Where can I wash my oversized comforter?

You can wash your oversized comforter at home if it fits in your washer, or hand-wash it in a bathtub. Alternatively, consider a laundromat with large-capacity machines, or professional cleaning services for best results.

What washing machine can handle a king-size comforter?

A washing machine with a capacity of at least 4.5 cubic feet can generally handle a king-size comforter. Front-loading washers or high-efficiency top-loaders without agitators are often best suited for accommodating oversized bedding.

Can you put a thick comforter in the washing machine?

Yes, you can wash a thick comforter in the machine if it fits without filling more than two-thirds of the machine. Overstuffing can lead to inadequate cleaning and potential machine damage.

How often should you wash a large comforter?

Large comforters should ideally be washed at least two to three times yearly. However, if you’re using a duvet cover, you may only need to wash it annually. Always follow the care label instructions.

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