Safe to wash new queen comforter in a stackable GE washer/dryer?
October 10, 2018 6:58 PM   Subscribe

I'm getting conflicting advice online on the safety/possibility of washing a new queen-sized comforter. I have a top-loading (with agitator) stackable washer/dryer, but it's large capacity up to extra heavy/super capacity, so I'm not sure.

I recently purchased a new queen comforter set - about time after ten years. New, fresh energy and all that. However, I'm not sure if it's safe/practical to wash it in my GE stackable washer/dryer in my apartment, which is top-loading and has an agitator 'pole' in the middle. I'm not sure what the cu feet of my washer is, but it has options for extra heavy and super capacity. The label is unfortunately worn out so I can't look the serial # up on GE for the specific cu feet/load, but it's definitely large and had no problem fitting my (thin and worn out) twin comforter. The new comforter is definitely bigger and heavier, though.

I tried stuffing the comforter inside, and it fits under the 'line', but does feel very tight, so I'm not sure if it'll work? Picture here. Also, a picture of my washer/dryer here.

I read online some advice saying to take it to a laundromat, but there's none that's convenient to where I live, and it would be too much hassle for a comforter. The cost of transportation would be too much, and dry cleaning at the corner said it'd be $36, which is near to what I paid for the comforter set. I really want to make this as easy as possible for myself, but I don't want to risk anything happening to either the comforter or washer here.

So, hive mind... safe to wash in my washer? If so, should I use the "extra heavy" option, or is just "heavy" fine? Thanks!
posted by dubious_dude to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
If you have to stuff the comforter into the tub, it's unlikely that the water and soap will penetrate the entire surface area. Which kind of defeats the purpose. If you have access to a front-loader, though, you could wash a queen-sized comforter pretty easily on whatever is the heaviest-duty setting.

A bit off-topic, but when you put the comforter in the dryer, take it out and rearrange it every 15-20 minutes so it will dry more evenly.
posted by DrGail at 7:18 PM on October 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

does the cleaner also have a wash and fold service? if so, ask how much that will be.
posted by brujita at 9:14 PM on October 10, 2018

I wouldn't risk it. For DrGail's reasons, but also because it could get hung up on the agitator and leave the filling all lumpy and uneven. Also, a soaking wet queen-size comforter is so heavy and bulky that it might damage a home washer with an agitator, and then you'd be out a washer.

I'd stuff it in a huge duffel and head to the laundromat.

Although I really like the pattern on the comforter, I'd also consider stuffing the comforter into an inexpensive cotton duvet cover, like the super basic ones from IKEA for $30 or so. Those are super easy to wash and maintain, and you could wash that every couple of weeks in your home washer.
posted by mochapickle at 10:03 PM on October 10, 2018

My concern would also be about the agitator post messing with the filling.

Do you use a top sheet in your bed? If so I think you could be OK not washing the comforter much since it’s not touching your skin. If there’s no stains or spills on it you could also probably run it through just the dryer to freshen it/remove any dust or pet hair or dander (if those are a concern.) I do that with feather pillows.
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:20 PM on October 10, 2018

what is the fill count equivalent of the comforter? i just washed my queen sized one in a much smaller machine with total success, but it's not a hugely fluffy blanket.

actually i looked at your photo and it looks a lot less full than my machine looked so my prediction is that it will be fine.

but also yes, just get a duvet cover, put that on the comforter, and wash it instead every other week or whatever feels appropriate to you.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:06 PM on October 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oh! And if you do make it to the laundromat to use one of those nice front-loaders (should be $5-8 for a wash, or around that depending on where you are), use MUCH LESS detergent than you think you ought to use. Like 1/4 of the usual wash amount. Otherwise it might take two washes to get all the soap out.

Good luck!
posted by mochapickle at 11:15 PM on October 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Good morning! Looks like using my washer is out. Hmm. Unfortunately, other than the inconvenient laundromat, I don't have access to a front-loader. The fill count is: 100% polyester.

I like the duvet cover idea. My thought process is that, as I purchased this at Bed, Bath, and Beyond (BBB), I could simply return the entire set, then buy a basic, maybe even "ugly" comforter, then buy a duvet cover that has a nice pattern and use that instead.

My question is - would a duvet cover mean something that zips over the comforter? If so, BBB seems to sell that too, but for almost the same price... it also says nothing about the zipper on the few searches I've tried. Would Target have similar nice-patterned duvet covers? Target, I've found, is generally cheaper.

Thanks for the help!
posted by dubious_dude at 5:35 AM on October 11, 2018

Usually they either button or slip (like a pillowcase) over the comforter, though I'm sure some zip too. You're right that they can be surprisingly pricey; IKEA has some pretty reasonable ones if that's an option. My favorite duvet cover is actually from Target, so they definitely carry them. It's a huge help for washability, I concur.
posted by mosst at 5:54 AM on October 11, 2018

I recently bought a duvet cover from Amazon. I paid around $35-$40 for it, but I read a lot of reviews and opted for a pricier product for a nicer quality. The last time I bought a duvet cover was at TJMaxx or Home Goods or some such; that was 10 years ago and I believe the prices were $25-$40 even back then. I just prefer to shop from home rather than run all about town now.
posted by vignettist at 8:16 AM on October 11, 2018

I have some really, really cheap comforters that I use duvet covers on. The comforters were on Woot for $19, and they look really cheap. I switch them out seasonally, flannel covers in the colder months and brighter cotton florals in the summer. I got them dirt cheap on either Overstock or Wayfair, both sites have a ton of selections and will have discounts at the end of season. It took some time to find the ones I wanted but it was worth it. I never wash the comforters, just the covers.
posted by chocolatetiara at 9:22 AM on October 11, 2018

Update for anyone who may still be reading this:

As I couldn't find any duvet covers I liked online that closely matched the comforter set I purchased (I like the "diamond" pattern side), I caved in and went to the laundromat and washed the queen comforter, along with the sheet and pillowcase set. It was surprisingly less inconvenient than I thought, and it's done now. As for future and subsequent washing, I'll put a blanket or something on top of the comforter, and figure it out, or do soft spot cleanings. Also, as the comforter is softer now after the first wash, it might fit better in my current washer/dryer.

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!
posted by dubious_dude at 10:04 AM on October 13, 2018

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