Kathmandu is a brand revered for its line of puffer jackets, and finally being able to get your hands on one is an accomplishment! The jackets may be a bit of an investment, so it’s important to keep them in tip-top shape from wear to wash!
The important thing to keep in mind about Kathmandu jackets is that they’re down-based and waterproof, making their cleaning process a little more complex than you may be used to.
So it’s only fair to wonder how to wash a Kathmandu jacket.
Washing a Kathmandu jacket is as simple as being gentle. You can machine wash and dry them with the proper precautions and products, or take the milder route by hand washing and drying (also with safeguards in mind!).
In this article, we’ll walk you through the best ways to wash and dry your Kathmandu jacket so you’ll be able to wear it years past the purchase date.
Steps for Washing Your Kathmandu Jacket
Depending on your exact jacket, the best way to get it washed and cleaned is either by washing machine or by hand washing. Both methods are easy enough to do and also do a great job at keeping your gear looking new and clean!
Machine-Washing Your Kathmandu Jacket
It’s a common misconception that high-quality jackets, especially down ones, should never be washed in the machine. Though hand-washing is indeed the gentler option, machine washing is always a viable choice- when done correctly, that is!
Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re using a washing machine to clean your jacket:
Always Use Cold Water
You may be used to washing stained clothing in hot water for a deeper clean when in reality, cold water can clean your jacket just as well as hot, soapy water can! Cold water also doesn’t compromise the integrity of your Kathmandu jacket- lessening the chances of shrinkage or damage to the down.
If you’re using your Kathmandu coat as active gear, it’s also important to use cold water as hot or warm water can set stains caused by bodily fluid: whether that’s blood, sweat, or tears.
It may be tempting to use hot water if your jacket is particularly soiled, but we suggest taking the alternate route. To rid your Kathmandu jacket of hefty stains, simply stop the wash cycle and let your jacket soak in the cold, soapy water for an hour before finishing off the wash.
Use Permanent Press or Gentle Settings
It goes without saying, but a jacket as special as a Kathmandu one needs to be handled with special care. Permanent press and generally gentler settings on your washing machine will be able to clean your jacket while preserving the state of the down filling.
The permanent press setting is especially recommended, as it takes away any chances of potential wrinkling.
Use A Gentle Detergent
Find a specialty detergent that’s specifically formulated for delicate linens or clothes. This will preserve the state of your jacket and won’t strip it of its dyes or colorings. It’s also the prime choice for down jackets and other feather-filled coats as it lessens the chances of clumping.
Throw Tennis Balls In The Wash
Down jackets have a tendency to clump up in the wash, basically ruining the insulation and leaving your jacket feeling uncomfy and unwearable. To avoid this, throw a couple of clean tennis balls in the washing machine with your coat while it cycles.
Throughout the wash, the tennis balls will bump and roll against your coat, working through those clumps and keeping everything neat and knot-free!
Handwashing Your Kathmandu Jacket
If you’re worried about the potential risks that your jacket could be exposed to in the washing machine, you could always go with the handwashing route- which is more laborious, but much more gentle than a machine.
Here are some things to remember when it comes to handwashing your Kathmandu jacket:
Using The Right Receptacle
You want to ensure that you have a basin or bucket large enough to soak the entire jacket at one time. There needs to be an equal amount of soaking throughout the entire jacket to ensure a maximum clean- no sleeves hanging out in the air!
We recommend a bathtub, but you can also use those extra-large Rubbermaid bins instead as an alternative option.
Cold Water Only
This doesn’t change! Always wash with cold water to keep your jacket strong after washing.
You’re handwashing your jacket, but that doesn’t mean that you should compromise what kind of detergent you’re using! Always opt for a gentle, specialty cleaner when it comes to your Kathmandu jacket. It’s an extra labor of love, but it bears the best results for removing dirt and grime from your jacket.
Submerge And Scrub
Once your jacket has had ample time to soak up the detergent + cold water mixture of your tub, go ahead and scrub the coat against itself to work out stains and dirt. Wear gloves to protect yourself from the soap, and for extra help- throw in those tennis balls we mentioned earlier.
Be gentle and patient with this process. It’s not going to be a quick one, but you have the opportunity to place a centralized focus on stains, something that a machine can’t do!
Don’t Walk Away!
Down jackets tend to clump, as we mentioned earlier, so it’s important not to let them sit stagnant in the tub for long periods of time. Though soaking it is okay for an hour, never let it go past that or you will risk doing serious damage to the interior insulation.
Drying Your Kathmandu Jacket
You have two options when it comes to drying your Kathmandu jacket.
This is the preferred method, as it doesn’t place any excess stress or pressure on the garment. Simply wring the coat of excess water, and place it on a hanger near an open window or open-air source. It will dry in the shape you hang it in, so make sure to use the appropriate hanger to avoid misshapen shoulders.
There’s only one way to effectively machine dry your Kathmandu jacket, and that’s slow and steady! Place your dryer on the lowest possible temperature, and throw a couple of (dry) tennis balls in there with your jacket to smooth any clumps.
It may take a couple of cycles to get your jacket completely dry, so this is definitely an act to dedicate your afternoon to, but it’s the only way to ensure the preservation of your jacket!