How to Get a Funny Smell Out of Your Down Jacket

Down is soft, fluffy material made from duck or goose feathers. It's commonly used in jackets because of its ability to maintain heat and keep the body warm. If you notice your down jacket smells funny, it may be that the down got wet and has created a musty smell. You can wash your down coat at home if you have a front-loader washing machine. If you do not, take it to a professional cleaner or use the dryer to freshen it up and remove the smell.

Get your down jacket smelling fresh again. (Image: Catalin` Grigoriu/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Place the down jacket in the washing machine, as long as it is a front-loader style. Top loaders have agitators that can destroy the down.

Step 2

Set the machine to the gentle cycle and use warm water. Add a mild enzyme-free detergent to the machine. Use the appropriate amount of detergent as indicated on the detergent label. Run the jacket through a complete wash cycle.

Step 3

Place the jacket in the dryer with a dryer sheet. Put a couple of towels in the dryer with the jacket, as well as two tennis balls. The towels help to absorb moisture, and the tennis balls keep the down from becoming matted during the drying process.

Step 4

Dry the jacket on low-heat. Run the jacket through at least two complete dry cycles. Down may take several hours to completely dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild enzyme-free laundry detergent

  • Dryer sheet

  • Clean towels

  • 2 tennis balls


If you don’t have a front-loader washing machine, try removing the odor by placing the jacket in the dryer on low heat with clean towels and a couple of tennis balls. Run it through at least two dry cycles. If the odor is still there, take the jacket to a coin laundry to wash it thoroughly in a front-loader.

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