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How to Wash Your LL Bean Down Coat

Spring is upon us! And that means it's time for the annual wardrobe swap, where we put away our woolens and cold-weather gear until frost is in the forecast. If you’re a fan of LL Bean down coats – and who doesn’t love their style, performance, and extra warmth?–this article is for you. The Heritage Park team explains how to wash your LL Bean down coat, whether you’re getting a few more weeks of wear (looking at you, “Fool’s Spring”) or prepping to store it away for the season.

LL Bean: An American Outerwear and Style Icon

LL Bean is a beacon of timeless quality and expertise in the world of American outdoor gear and apparel. Established in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, this iconic American company has built a reputation for producing durable, functional clothing and gear designed to withstand the rigors of nature. From their legendary Bean Boots crafted with premium leather and waterproof rubber to their cozy flannel shirts and rugged backpacks, LL Bean embodies a genuine spirit of adventure and exploration. With a commitment to sustainability and customer satisfaction, LL Bean continues to be a trusted source for high-quality outdoor apparel and equipment, making it a go-to destination for adventurers, nature enthusiasts, and anyone seeking durable, reliable gear for life's outdoor pursuits. 

The LL Bean legacy extends to fashion, with stylish practical clothes made to last. Warm enough to withstand a Maine winter, LL Bean down coats look every bit as home in Brooklyn as they do in Bangor. LL Bean down coats last season after season and–in the case of kids’ coats–child after child (it’s the most sought-after hand-me-down winter coat in our experience). As with all quality gear, lasting performance comes down to proper care. As it turns out, your LL Bean down coat is machine washable – no need to go to the dry cleaner! The Heritage Park Team is here to show you how to launder your LL Bean down coats, whether they need a late-season refresh or you’re prepping them to store until next winter.

How Often Should You Wash Your LL Bean Down Coat or Parka?

The answer to this is simple: whenever it needs it or before you store your puffer coat away for the season. We find that we don’t need to wash our Women's Ultralight 850 Down Hooded Coat during the winter season unless there’s been a stain or spill. With that in mind, we wind up laundering our children’s coats a lot more frequently; the Kids’ Ultralight 650 Down Jacket is truly a workhorse that sees the inside of our washing machine quite a bit. 

Choose the Right Detergent for Washing Your LL Bean Down Coat

Most LL Bean down coats are made with a nylon ripstop shell with down fill. LL Bean uses DownTek fill, which is down that is treated to be water repellent (an essential quality in a winter jacket). While nylon can be washed in an all-purpose regular detergent, any type of down is different. Similar to silk, wool, and cashmere, down should not be washed in a regular enzyme detergent, and these formulas are made to break down protein (and down itself is made of protein).

Instead, choose Heritage Park Silk and Wool Detergent for laundering your LL Bean Down Coat. This mild detergent is enzyme-free and formulated to clean and protect protein-based fabrics and textiles like down. It is plant-based and contains no harsh chemicals , dyes, bleaches, or brighteners. The fragrance-free formula is hypoallergenic and pediatrician- and dermatologist tested, so we recommend this for washing children’s coats or for anyone who has sensitive skin. If you prefer a light fragrance to your detergent, choose our Lavender Mist or spring Magnolia scents.


Supplies You’ll Need to Wash Your LL Bean Down Coat

Prep to wash your down coat by gathering the following supplies:

  • Heritage Park Silk and Wool Detergent in Fragrance-Free/Hypoallergenic (or one of our lightly scented formulas)
  • A front-loading washing machine with a gentle cycle. 
  • Enzyme stain remover, or a spray bottle for making your own stain treatment with a 1:1 ratio of Heritage Park All-Purpose Detergent and water.
  • A clean towel.
  • A dryer.
  • A set of wool dryer balls.

Steps for Machine Washing Your LL Bean Down Coat

Follow these washing instructions to take the very best care of your LL Bean down jacket

Step 1: Read the Care Instructions

LL Bean down coats can be machine washed and dried. It is always a good idea to read the care guidelines before moving forward. Check out our helpful guide to deciphering laundry symbols

Step 2: Pretreat Stains 

Spot clean any stains as soon as they happen. If you are washing a down jacket that is stained, you can pre-treat the nylon with an enzyme cleaner or with a 1:1 solution of our Heritage Park All Purpose Laundry Detergent and water in a spray bottle. Use sparingly and, if possible, test on an inconspicuous area of the fabric. 


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Step 3: Use a Front-Loading Machine (at the laundromat if need be)

Trust us on this one. You do not want to wash a down coat in a machine with an agitator, as the coat can get twisted and damaged. An exception to this might be a toddler or small child’s down coat. If you don’t have a front-loading machine, it’s best to wash your coat at the laundromat to prevent damage.

Step 4: Wash Your Down Coat By Itself (or with another down coat)

Your LL Bean down coat should be washed in a dedicated load. If you’ve made the trip to the 

Step 5: Use A Delicate Cycle, Cool Water, and a Second Rinse

Hot and cold water is not great for down, so stick to cool or lukewarm warm water unless the care guidelines specify otherwise. Always use a gentle cycle for your down jacket. A second rinse will ensure that all soap residue is washed out from the down.

Step 6: Never Use Bleach, Fabric Softener, and Dryer Sheets

These products are totally unnecessary. Bleach will fade the fabric of your coat, while fabric softener and dryer sheets leave a waxy build-up on fabric and inside your machine.

Step 7: Tumble Dry with Wool Dryer Balls

Shake your jacket out after removing it from the washing machine. To remove excess water, roll your down jacket in a clean towel. Tumble dry on low heat and add a set of natural wool dryer balls . These will speed the drying process and restore the fluff of the down fill. NEVER use high heat to dry your down coat; it may take some time to completely dry the down on low heat. Take your coat out of the dryer mid-cycle and shake it to prevent clumps from forming. 


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How To Store Your Down Coat for the Season

If you’ve just washed your coat and are ready to store it, our first piece of advice is to wait!. Down takes a long time to fully dry, and storing down with any type of moisture will result in mildew. Hang your coat in a spot with good air circulation for several days, and even consider tossing it back in the dryer at the end of that time. To store a clean down coat for the season, use a good coat hanger (wooden, with rounded shoulders) and hang your coat in a climate-controlled closet. Do not compress it, which will reduce the down’s lifespan. If you want to cover it, we recommend using a breathable garment bag (not plastic).

We hope we’ve provided some useful information on how to wash, dry, and care for your LL Bean down coats. If you have any other questions – or any concerns about laundry care or our products – please drop us an email or give us a call. We are here to help!

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