As a health journalist, I write a lot about germs in the home (lucky me) and how we’re all ‘sleeping with the enemy. ‘ By that, I mean that an average bed contains over 2 million bed bugs and that (brace yourself….) your pillow could double in weight over six months with their faeces! Pillows and sheets can also contain MRSA, antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus aureus, C. diff, E. coli and viruses, including influenza, hepatitis and chickenpox. It’s enough to give you nightmares.
We all know we should be washing our sheets at high temperatures weekly, but your duvet should also be deep-cleaned periodically. Experts argue over this one – some saying it should be cleaned every three months; others just once a year or even less. I guess you should just use your discretion (and your nose?!) as to how often you choose to do it.
But if you’ve tried washing a duvet that wasn’t meant to go into the machine, you’ll know what a mess you can make of it. Bumpy, lumpy and smelly spring to mind. And washing anything containing feathers at home is a definite no-no, right?
Well, I thought so until Snuggledown sent me their Wash & Dry Me Duck Down pillow and duvet to try. Both have a 230 thread-count pure cotton cover with a washable finish and are filled with soft duck down clusters. The 10.5 tog duvet I tried was light (but lovely and warm) – a quick shake out before use puffs air into the duvet which plumps it up a treat. It’s like being covered with a warm cloud (she said, poetically). And a shake out daily, with an airing once a week, has kept it like new over the past month.
As for washing it, the duvet folds up easily enough to fit into a large capacity home washing machine. One thing you have to be sure to do us to dry it out thoroughly after washing, or you’ll definitely end up with that bumpy, lumpy and smelly scenario I warned you about. Damp down feathers can go mouldy, so you can guess the rest….
Now, in an attempt to be environmentally conscious I don’t own a tumble dryer, but I’m not angelic enough to say no to borrowing a friend’s if it means avoiding sleeping anywhere smelly! So I did borrow hers. And here’s a couple of top tips: add a couple of tennis balls in a pillow case to the dryer – these help ‘beat’ the duvet so that those lumps and bumps don’t form. And take the duvet out to shake it a couple of times during the cycle to ensure even drying.
The result was a clean, fresh-smelling duvet which was still soft and comfy. A result I can sleep easy with, thank you.
Find out more about the Snuggledown Naturals Collections and where to buy here: www.snuggledown.co.uk