How to Wash a Down Jacket

How to wash a down jacket

I was getting out my cold weather gear a couple of weeks ago and realized that there was a time when I had no idea how to wash a down jacket. I would actually pay through the nose to get my down jackets cleaned at the dry cleaner and once got a jacket back with a broken zipper! So I thought I’d walk you through the process and show you just how effective home laundering in your washing machine can be for down garments.

Now, in an ideal world I would wash my down jackets before putting them away for the season. But in reality I am always so eager to make space in our tiny coat closet for summer wear that I end up sticking everything in the spare room closet, washed or not. But thanks to that I have a great example to work with.

Dirty down jacket

That’s… pretty dirty

I always wondered why anyone would buy a white down jacket – how impractical, right? But then I saw this one on clearance at Land’s End for less than $30 and decided that even if it lasts me one season it would be worth it. And here we are 3 years later. This is a knee length down jacket that I lovingly call the “giant white caterpillar”. I mostly wear this down jacket on super cold weather dog walks, so it tends to get quite dirty (as you can see).

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Holiday Laundry Gift Ideas!

Laundry gift ideas

Need some laundry gift ideas? This is what happens when you start Christmas shopping early!

I don’t know about you guys, but I am very much in the holiday mood already. I usually start buying stocking stuffers and making lists of gift ideas around October – that way I can avoid the “OMG two weeks left till Christmas and I have no idea what to do!!!” craziness that usually makes for some very pricey and not particularly thoughtful gift choices.

While I was making all these lists I thought that it would be really cool to come up with some laundry gift ideas – these are probably most useful around the holidays, but can really be used year round. Unfortunately nobody in my circle shares my passion for all things laundry, but judging by all the great comments and emails I receive from my readers there are definitely plenty of you out there who could use this!

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Laundry Shopping in Europe

The detergent aisle of Mueller in Zagreb

The detergent aisle of Mueller in Zagreb – such splendor!

My husband and I recently took a much needed vacation to Croatia (words can’t explain how much I love that country!), and as a true laundry nerd I couldn’t resist doing some laundry shopping.

Regular grocery stores and supermarkets in Croatia carry mostly Austrian and Polish versions of laundry detergents, but they also have a chain of stores called Mueller that specializes in German-made products – from detergents to candy to socks. There is a giant 4-story Mueller right in the main square of Zagreb, so I spent quite a bit of time there gawking at cleaning supplies.

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How To Get Rid of Smells in Exercise Clothes

Exercise clothes washing

Our exercise clothes drawer

If you’ve ever exercised in moisture wicking-type synthetic gear, I’m sure you’ve experienced that annoying situation: you put on a clean t-shirt, start your workout and five minutes later your exercise clothes smell as though you never wash them. Just great.

The reason why this happens is the nature of moisture wicking fabrics. There are lots of tiny pores (much smaller than with natural fabrics like cotton or wool) where sweat and odor-causing bacteria get trapped, and throwing your exercise gear in with a regular load just doesn’t get all of it out. The more you exercise, the more bacteria gets trapped, leading to a vicious cycle of either being the smelly person at the gym, or throwing away perfectly good exercise gear on a regular basis.

The good news is that there is a way to get rid of most smells in exercise clothes (and to stop them from reappearing), and with a little bit of time and effort you can save your workout wardrobe!

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Perwoll Black Laundry Detergent Review

Have you ever heard of Perwoll Black laundry detergent? I think there’s a little bit of confusion when it comes to the Perwoll brand. What you normally think of when you hear the name is Perwoll for Wool and Delicates, pictured below in the pink bottle. That detergent does not contain enzymes and is meant for delicates such as wool and silk: enzymes “eat away” at the proteins of wool and silk fabrics, so you should never wash those with a regular enzyme laundry detergent! So the pink Perwoll is pretty much the German sibling of the American Woolite detergent for delicates.

However that is not the only Perwoll laundry product available, their lineup also includes enzyme containing detergents for colors, whites and darks. The latter was very much recommended to me by the owner of our local Miele dealership, so I decided to give it a try.

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Cheer Powder Laundry Detergent now HE Compatible!

Cheer Powder Laundry Detergent for HE Machines

Cheer powder laundry detergent has always been known as a highly effective powder detergent for colors – it lacks the OBAs that are present in most detergents sold in the US which can make saturated colors fade. And now it’s finally HE compatible!!

This has been a very exciting laundry week – yesterday I received a package with Caldrea laundry detergent in the Basil Blue Sage scent (if you’ve read my previous post

you know that I was choosing between several great Caldrea scents, and in the end I chose to go with the BBS), and today I was finally able to locate the new and improved, HE-compatible powdered Cheer!

I had heard rumors of Cheer switching to the “dark side” and releasing an updated, HE friendly version about a month ago, but didn’t want to write about it till I could confirm. I’ve heard nothing but great things about Cheer, and its main distinguishing feature is that it does not contain OBAs! Just like the expensive German Persil and Miele Color powders I normally use for my colored loads, but at a fraction of the cost. I had been visiting all of the local stores that sell Cheer several times a week, and finally today I was rewarded for my patience: they had just put out a bunch of new boxes, and all of them were the new HE version.

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