Hand Washing Bison/Wool Comforters
Fill bathtub (or laundry tub) with warm water & detergent. Gently place your comforter in, let it soak a little bit and work the comforter up and down through the water by hand. Do not rub, twist, agitate or wring. Any of these actions will cause wool to felt unevenly, Felting is an irreversible process. Squeeze out the water by hand, can press the water out with a towel. Allow the comforter to drain in the tub or put it in a top-loading washing machine only, and run it through a spin cycle. Do not machine dry your wool comforter! Hang it up or lay flat to dry in a warm place or outside in the sun.
Laundering Tip: You will get the best results if you wash your comforter in a large tub. Put warm water in the tub FIRST along with a reasonable amount of mild detergent. Then ADD the comforter. Soak. Rinse with warm water. If possible, line dry on a windy day. Additional airing on windy days will help keep your woolen comforter and pads fresh and fluffy.
After the comforter is completely dry, you can use a dryer to fluff it up. Remember, a comforter is heavy item and appears to be dry even though the inner layers can be wet. For this reason, allow extended drying time.
Machine Washing Bison/Wool Comforters Before turning on your machine check if it allows you to manually stop and start various cycles so you can skip agitation during wash and rinse. If you can not move from the soak cycle directly to the spin cycle, then consider hand washing or dry cleaning. Avoid agitation! Agitation is defined as any motion (besides high-speed spinning) that flips or rotates the product. For top loading machines this movement is a vigorous back and forth motion, while front loaders slowly flip the product. Avoid the machines that slowly flip the product. It is best to use a top loader. Basic principles using a top loader. Use the soak and spin cycles only and skip the wash cycle. No agitation, no machine drying. Agitation or tumble drying will make the wool inside your product felt unevenly. The comforter will shrink, will become hard and lumpy. Manually set cycles to soak and to high-speed spin. Do not walk away while on the soak and rinse settings as they proceed right into agitation cycles. Fill machine with warm water. Place the comforter in the machine, gently push it down to absorb the water and let it soak. Skip all agitation cycles – Manually set it to high-speed spin, letting the centrifuge spin the water out. Soak & spin – Leave item in machine, fill it with warm water again. Then spin it out again. Repeat as needed. Do not machine dry. Hang up or lay flat to dry in a warm place or outside in the sun. Using a front loader. Use only a small amount of detergent or wool wash. The main problem with front loaders is they spend a lot of time slowly rotating (sometimes even on “Gentle” and “Handwash” cycles) which results in too much agitation which may felt and ruin your product. Cycles vary greatly between machine brands so know your machine by following the front loading instructions below to determine if your machine is safe to use on wool products. Here is what you will need to do in order to use a front loader. If your machine won’t allow you to do exactly as described below then find a friend with a top loader or spot clean or dry clean! It is important to use the right settings. Use the most delicate cycle. This may say “handwash” or “gentle” depending on the machine. You want the shortest cycle with the least amount of run time. You want the lowest soil Level, to ensure you are selecting the cycle with the shortest run time. You want the highest level of SPIN you can choose for such a delicate cycle. The best is high speed spin, but you can’t usually choose this setting for a delicate cycle. The next best is a Medium Spin. Do not machine dry – tumble drying will cause the wool to felt. Hang up or lay flat to dry in a warm place or outside in the sun. Getting Rid of Small Spots: If the reason you are washing your comforter is because you accidentally stained a spot, use hydrogen peroxide. Apply hydrogen peroxide to the stain area – let it dry in between application, you will notice the stain will slowly start to lift and disappear as it gets dry. If the stain is not coming off keep applying more hydrogen peroxide until the affected area starts to disappear. If the stain is too big use your sink and just soak the affected area with your wool wash or detergent. Either hand-dry or press the water out with a towel.
Regular use of a duvet cover will eliminate the need to frequent cleaning of your wool comforter.