How to Wash a Duvet Without a Washing Machine

We sometimes use affiliate links, so we may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Check our disclosure for more info.

Four ways you can learn how to wash a duvet without a washing machine. Washing a duvet is so much more important than we all think. Yet so many of us don’t know  how to tackle it, especially without a washing machine.

How to Wash a Duvet Without a Washing Machine

How to Wash a Duvet Without a Washing Machine

If we all get that crucial 8 hours of sleep each night (let’s face it, it’ll never happen), then we’re  essentially spending a third of our lives tucked up under our quilts and duvets. 

This means all the sweat, skin, make-up and everything else that gets naturally rubbed off us  in the night is caught in the duvet to muster.

Unfortunately, this makes the perfect home for  dust mites which often cause itchy skin and other allergic responses.  

So, it’s very important we all hop on the bandwagon and get to cleaning our duvets.

If you’ve  got the one, it’s recommended for it to get a thorough clean every 6 months. However, if  you’re one of the lucky ones with a Summer and a Winter duvet they each only need washing  once per year. 

That said, we know it’s not always as easy as opening up the washing machine, bunging up  the duvet, squishing it in, popping a laundry pod in and pressing start.

A lot of us will find our  duvet is too big for the washing machine and some of us don’t even have a washing machine  at all.  

With that, here at Laundry Life, we wanted to share 4 options for how to wash a duvet without  a washing machine at home.  

Washing a Duvet Without a Washing Machine

More Laundry Posts

Check the Label for Special Instructions

It’s vital that your first step after reading this article is to check the care label on the  inside of your duvet.

Usually this can be found on the base seam and will be quite  large. It’ll have instructions that state what you can and can’t do when it comes to  cleaning. For example, machine washing or using a tumble dryer. 

There are two main types of duvet filling out there with very different care instructions  you should know: 

Down and Feather 

You’ll see labels saying that a duvet has a natural filling of “goose down and  feather” or “duck down and feather” with different weights of each.  

This is just the soft and structured feathers of our winged friends that occupy  our ponds. It makes for the comfiest of nights sleep but can be a bit of a pain  when it comes to cleaning.

Often, you may find care instructions that read “dry clean only” or “wash on  low at 30 degrees” and “do not tumble dry”. 


Microfibre filling is a 100% synthetic material made of polyester. Outside of  the duvet, it’ll look like clouds and is incredibly soft. That said, it does tend to compact and stay in matted positions.  

As for the cleaning specifications, you’ll find how to wash a duvet without a  washing machine is much easier. Many of the care label instructions will be  very flexible and much like other general clothes.  

For example, you’ll often be able to machine was at 40 degrees, tumble dry or  dry clean if you want that option. 

Head to the Laundrette

One of the most common reasons for needing to find ways to wash a duvet without a  machine is because the duvet is too big for the washing machine at home.

That doesn’t  mean to say you can’t simply head to your local laundrette to use their industrial sized  washing machines.  

And, no, they won’t destroy your duvet. You just have to make sure the machine is on  the right setting, and you’ve got a good book to get stuck into while you wait.  

Bath Soak

The bath soak isn’t just great for you, it’s great for your duvet, too. It might seem a  little strange at first, but it is a gentle way to allow the porous fibres soak in soapy  water and clean itself without the hassle of a washing machine tearing up the filling  or ruining the quilting.  

Here are the steps you should follow if you want to try the bath soak method: 

  • Fill the bathtub (or large storage container) with warm water 
  • Add a few caps of a mild non-bio detergent 
  • Throw some bi-carbonate crystals in if you have them 
  • Submerge the duvet into the bath, soaking all fibres 
  • With clean feet, hop in and start to walk over your duvet 
  • Using your hands, gently rub the sides of the duvet together 
  • Drain out the dirty water from the tub 
  • Rinse the duvet with cold water until it runs clear 
  • Fold the duvet in half and lay it out flat 
  • From one short side, begin to tightly roll the duvet up to strain
  • Hang the duvet to dry (outside or inside!)

Dry Cleaners

Another method of how to wash a duvet without a washing machine is calling up your  local dry cleaners and seeing whether they have any availability to take your duvet in  the next week.  

Don’t forget to check the duvet care label to see if this is an option and don’t miss out  on checking the price as well as how long you’ll be without a duvet.

General cleaning  times for a dry cleaner can range from 1 to 2 weeks depending on how busy they are  and how big/dirty your duvet is. 

Ps, they can be quite the expense. So, if you’d rather spend the cash on a nice new  pillow set, we’d suggest trying one of the other three options for cleaning when the  duvet is too big for the washing machine! 

Handwash Spot Clean

Sometimes, it’s a small spill and there’s simply no need to fully wash your duvet again  because it’s already been done in the last six months.  

So, to bypass the whole “duvet is too big for the washing machine” thing without also  needing to head out to a laundrette, do the bath soak shenanigans or pay a fortune  for a dry cleaner, it’s best to do a spot clean.  

Plus, when you’ve done it once, the next time will be a breeze. With that, try following  these steps for a good handwash spot clean: 

  • Catch a spill quick to prevent as much from seeping through as possible b. Remove the bed sheet from the duvet 
  • Carefully carry your duvet to the sink so it doesn’t pick up dust 
  • Place the dirty area in the basin of the sink 
  • Find a gentle handwash detergent that is kind to skin 
  • Be sure to check the label of your duvet and the handwash 
  • Turn on the cold water tap and allow the dirty area to soak for 5 minutes h. With a capful of your handwash, gently rub the area (duvet to duvet) i. Rinse the spot with cold water until it runs clear 
  • Carefully squeeze the wet segment of the duvet to strain the water k. Lay your duvet flat onto the bed 
  • Use a hairdryer to dry the spot cleaned area ready for the night 

And that just about tucks-in our article on how to wash a duvet without a washing machine (or, at least, your own washing machine). 

If you have any questions about washing any other large items whether it’s soft furnishings  or large clothes such as coats, reach out.

Here at Laundry Life, we’ve probably got the cleaning  answers for everything you can think of. And, if we don’t, you can be sure we’ll get in touch  with the right people who do; so, all the elbow grease is taken care of.  

Plus, we’re not just filled-to-the-brim of the laundry basket with tips and tricks for cleaning;  we also review the latest products on the market. So, you have a tried and tested point of  view before you hit “add-to-cart”!

Scroll to Top