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  1. #11
    Crawldaddy's Avatar
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    Could it be that I actually have an inferior type of down. Like maybe duck or pig down??

  2. #12
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post


    <snip>

    Could something be wrong with the "down" soap? Could the rinse not be adequate?
    Claims for particular soap are frequently made. There's more faith than science in those claims. What every down garment maker does agree on, and its free, is thorough rinsing after washing. Maybe multiple rinses. Perfumes in soaps and detergents left behind are a dead give away that the rinsing has not been complete.

    But, if you think the down is defective: Sure it is possible that some bad down was sold to a maker. It arrives a heavily processed material, washed and dried. Makers here are not "Company Store",with its own QC lab to test materials. They might get stuck with a bad batch of down, whether OP is the first or the fifth to report it.

    But OP mentioned, too, using a commercial drier. Can down be damaged by over-cooking, even if the (presumably) nylon shell was not visibly scorched by heat? Might that have happened in an effort to be sure the quilt was dry?

  3. #13

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    As I recall one of the problems with down is that it can be over cleaned. When it was cleaned with a solvent like perchloroethylene. This resulted in very high fluff when coming back from the cleaners but stripped the natural oil out of the down so it started breaking down in use. I think one of the main sources of down is China. I would think they would know better than doing this to increase fill power. I would also think they would know better than to put melamine powder in milk to increase it's tested protein content....
    I'd contact the manufacturer as they also need to understand what is going on.

  4. #14
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    There are certainly a few reputable folks who claim to observe this breakdown of down over time. Ray Jardine comes to mind. But, seems like there are many others who've had no issues, so I don't really know what to make of it.

    BUT:
    I know it's quite common to use too much detergent, such that the rinse cycle is unable to remove it all. DRIED detergents 'like' to collect moisture, which would certainly flatten your down, even if it was dry and fluffy when it came out of the drier. I hear the test for proper rinse is to run the (clean) load minus detergent. This should produce no bubbles or gray-water. If it does, then you know you've used too much detergent. The nature of the water used, temperature, hardness, etc., is said to have a profound effect on the amount of detergent that'll safely rinse away. Probably better to err on the too little side than too much, especially when you consider that the down itself probably isn't very dirty.

    I'd suggest running a rinse cycle on it a couple times, then dry. Look for signs of remaining detergent while you're at it. If this fixes the issue, you'll know you were not getting a good rinse.
    Last edited by Kerry; 09-21-2011 at 10:33.

  5. #15
    MAD777's Avatar
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    I've been following this thread, and now that I think about it - What do we actually want to clean when washing a down quilt? I think it's probably the shell only. (unless it got dropped in a pig pen).

    So it that's true (and it may not be) wouldn't we be better off just taking a sponge with a solution of down soap & water and wiping it across the shell. Then wash it well in clear water only. J

    Just a theory
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  6. #16
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAD777 View Post
    I've been following this thread, and now that I think about it - What do we actually want to clean when washing a down quilt? I think it's probably the shell only. (unless it got dropped in a pig pen).

    So it that's true (and it may not be) wouldn't we be better off just taking a sponge with a solution of down soap & water and wiping it across the shell. Then wash it well in clear water only. J

    Just a theory
    I think, you need some form of detergent to get the body oils to release from the down. Water just rinses, it takes detergent to get the stuff to separate from the material so it can be rinsed away.
    Trust nobody!

  7. #17
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry View Post
    <snip>
    BUT:
    I know it's quite common to use too much detergent, such that the rinse cycle is unable to remove it all. DRIED detergents 'like' to collect moisture, which would certainly flatten your down, even if it was dry and fluffy when it came out of the drier.. <snip>
    That's an important point about detergent quantity. All that is required is the amount to loosen the bonds of dirt and oils in the < 1/2 kg garment we're talking about. Rarely are these muddy. The quilt starts out with large volume, mostly air, so we're inclined to wash it in more water than is actually required, and to use enough detergent to make the water feel soapy, if we are doing it by hand. That, as well as desire to be thorough, the whole process being so long.

    Consumer Union included an interesting sentence in a report on laundry detergents last year, and then moved right on. They said that reduced quantity of detergent didn't harm cleaning effectiveness much. There were large differences between makes and brands in ratings, and CU's business was not to over-rule mfg recommended dose for their testing. But, that sentence on solution strength and cleaning effectiveness supports Kerry's suggestion that there may have been more detergent used in washing than needed; and maybe some was left behind.

    On the detergent used: Most of us most of the time only want what will remove human body oils and funk. Stains of ketchup, mustard, coffee, and grass don't matter much.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Law Dawg (ret)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crawldaddy View Post
    The quilt actually came from one of the reputable Cottage Industries here on the forum. hmm.. maybe i will try and contact them.. thanx all
    So here is another question; I have Hammock Gear and know their customer service to be second to none...not that I think HG is the cottage industry mentioned here mind. Do our cottage industry types offer a recharge or add an ounce or three service for older quilts? Maybe even newer ones that could use a bit more insulation just because I was too dumb to order it that way in the first place?
    Mark is the name and If there is more than one way to understand what I just said....I meant the good one.

    Earth First! We'll dirt bike ride the other planets later.

  9. #19
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Another bit on rinsing.
    Feathered Friends, a relatively old line down garment and bag maker includes this sentence on their instructions for washing in a front loader.

    Plan on running through two complete cycles, the second time without soap to thoroughly rinse all suds out of the bag.

    If one cycle includes one for wash and two for rinse, then two full cycles implies

    Five rinses

    which may be three more than many of us are doing.

  10. #20
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    Rinses rinses and more rinses... I usually use the second cycle without soap method. Easier on me and more rinses

    Also don't wash it so darn much... It really doesn't need it.

    If its losing its fluff with regular (daily) use, hang it to air. Odds are its mainly transpired moisture in the down, weighing it down rather than dirt.

    I use the clothesline to air my down unless its actively raining or snowing... Even in winter it will dry and benefit from the airing.

    If its wet, hang it in a dry place indoors for the day. Preferably with some air movement like a fan. Bets its almost like its back from the dryer, without the washing part....
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