Desktop version
Bushwalking gear and paraphernalia. Electronic gadget topics (inc. GPS, PLB, chargers) belong in the 'Techno Babble' sub-forum.

Forum rules

TIP: The online Bushwalk Inventory System can help bushwalkers with a variety of bushwalk planning tasks, including: Manage which items they take bushwalking so that they do not forget anything they might need, plan meals for their walks, and automatically compile food/fuel shopping lists (lists of consumables) required to make and cook the meals for each walk. It is particularly useful for planning for groups who share food or other items, but is also useful for individual walkers.
Post a reply

Smelly Down Jacket

Mon 26 Jul, 2021 10:16 am

Hi much trusted community :)

I have a lightweight down jacket that's a bit smelly - it's not bad, and I've only had it a couple of months and it's only come on one hike with me (thanks COVID!)

I don't want to wash it just yet, as it's not really dirty, just a mild sweat smell. It gets worn on alot of "fast walks" around home in Melbourne and I think that's how it's got a little bit of sweat into it. But being a girl with a good sense of smell, it is bothering me.

Any non-wash suggestions to help alleviate the smell?



Re: Smelly Down Jacket

Mon 26 Jul, 2021 10:30 am

Take it to a dry cleaner.
My North Face jacket has been "Spring cleaned" at the end of each winter then packed away ready for the next, $25 and comes back looking new (it is about 7-8 years old).
There are detergent solutions available but the risk of washing is the weight gain and agitation tearing the baffles and of course extended drying times.

Re: Smelly Down Jacket

Mon 26 Jul, 2021 10:37 am

Turn it inside out and hang it in the sun [ OK just hang it outside] and leave it for a few days.
An alternative is tumble drying with those lavender scented dryer sheets but I have not ever used scented dryer sheets myself.
As a dirtbag skier and walker I have got used to the smell and only wash my down about every three years

Re: Smelly Down Jacket

Mon 26 Jul, 2021 1:53 pm

Be careful if you dry clean. I have seen several down items ruined through the use of inappropriate dry cleaning fluids. For down I would always suggest handwashing in either the specialist down washing liquids or wool wash (much cheaper), not detergent based.

Re: Smelly Down Jacket

Tue 27 Jul, 2021 8:58 am

If down smells you can stick it on low heat in the tumble dryer for an hour or so. But really you shouldnt wait till it gets filthy to wash.
It's just like any other bit of clothing. If it smells from BO. Wash it. It's dirty.
If you have a front loader and dryer. It's dead easy. Just get yourself some down wash, a few tennis balls and use the gentle cycle.
You'd be amazed at how much cleaner it will look once done. Look after the down by cleaning them.

Re: Smelly Down Jacket

Tue 27 Jul, 2021 11:31 am

Staceykate wrote:I have a lightweight down jacket that's a bit smelly - it's not bad.....

I don't want to wash it just yet, as it's not really dirty, just a mild sweat smell.....

Any non-wash suggestions to help alleviate the smell?

Just a bit smelly? Easily fixed as MD said, the smell is likely just in the fabric.
Last edited by Lamont on Sat 31 Jul, 2021 5:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Re: Smelly Down Jacket

Wed 28 Jul, 2021 10:44 am

Biggles wrote:Take it to a dry cleaner.

Never. That would shorten its life. They will last a lifetime if cared for appropriately.

How to wash a down jacket: ... r-jackets/

To the OP,

Just hang your jacket outside overnight. If it's windy, even better. It should get rid of the funky smell.

Re: Smelly Down Jacket

Thu 29 Jul, 2021 9:40 am

I can't vouch for this one, but I did use one of their other suggested methods (involved washing) for a particularly smelly down jacket, and it worked a treat.

The suggestion (without washing/getting it wet) is to use baking powder. Sprinkle it over the smelly area and let it sit for 30 mins. After that, shake the powder off/vacuum and let it hang outside to air it out for a while. I'll be trying this method next time, but let me know how you go if you give it a crack.

The suggestion I used was to add a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of the wash. I ended up pausing the wash, bc I was having issues with the machine, so I let it soak in the vinegar/water mix for half an hour or so, before continuing with the rinse cycle. I was pleasantly surprised at the result - didn't think anything was going to work to be honest, and it came out perfect. I'd previously tried just a regular wash with down-specific detergent but it failed to remove the smell.

This was my reference (just need to scroll down a bit): ... er-jacket/

I only had access to a top-loader and didn't see the warnings against using a top-loader (on both website and washing detergent bottle) until too late. Jacket was fine. Tumble dried with the balls, no/very low heat - took ages to de-clump and dry, but got there eventually.
Post a reply