Doonas are probably the most comfortable and convenient bed covering but when they get dirty, they can be difficult to get clean. Fortunately, most doonas are machine washable making this task a little easier. Read the label carefully to determine if your doona should be hand-washed, machine-washed or sent for dry cleaning.

Also ensure whether a cold, warm or hot water wash is the most suitable. Check if you should turn the spin cycle off and which function is most suitable for your specific type of doona.

Unfortunately, most home washers are simply too small or do not have the required load capacity to wash a doona effectively. In other words, if the doona is shoved too tightly into the machine, it will not come clean. It is also important to note that machine washing, especially in front loading machines, can damage your doonas or your machine.

The solution? Washing your doonas at laundromats is a great way to ensure that they get cleaned regularly without much hassle or fuss.

1. Choosing Your Laundromat

You can choose between a self-operated or a full-service laundromat to clean doonas. In some cases it is preferable to choose a full-service option as they will have the experience and the knowledge to ensure that your doona is properly cleaned while minimizing the risk of damage.

For self-service laundromats, make sure that the machines have large capacity drums to accommodate the doona or doonas that need to be cleaned. Remember to take along your own laundry detergent.

2. Doona Size

A couple of single doonas can be placed into a machine at the same time or a double and a single. However, when it comes to queen or king size doonas, it is best to place them alone in the machine. Not only will overloading the machine prevent the laundry from coming clean, the weight of the doona when wet could damage the machine, especially during the spin cycle.

3. Hot, Warm Or Cold Wash

This is important to prevent colors from running and damage to the material which could shrink or stretch if washed in the wrong temperature water. Always read the label for the ideal washing temperature. If in doubt, always wash on a cold cycle as this is the least likely to do any damage.

4. Detergent

It is best to use a liquid laundry detergent as this is less likely to leave a residue on your doona. Always use about half the amount of detergent that you would for a normal load. While the doona may fill as much space as a load of laundry, it has a smaller surface area. Using too much detergent will make rinsing difficult. A fabric softener is advisable, also in a reduced amount,placed directly into the final rinse water.

5. Stain Removal

It is preferable to treat any stains or marks on the material at home before washing your doonas at laundromats. Bio-enzyme cleaners are the most effective as they break down biological matter which is what most stains consist of. Alternatively, you can place a peroxide based stain remover in the washer along with your detergent. Be aware that peroxide detergents are more effective in hot water rather than cold.

6. To Spin Or Not To Spin

Of course you want as much excess water extracted from the doona for drying purposes, especially if you want to use the dryer at the laundromat. It may be difficult to transport a dripping item home for hanging and air drying. However, spinning can cause the material to crease permanently and result in it moving around, becoming damaged or compacted. Read the label carefully as to whether a spin function is recommended.

A gentle spin is often best. If the machine at the laundromat does not provide this function, select a gentle or delicate wash cycle which will only spin for a short period at a lower speed, minimizing the risk of damage.

3. Drying

It is best to shake out the doona after removing it from the machine to remove as many of the creases as possible. Hanging the doona out to dry, preferably on a sunny day, is fine but not ideal. Remember that you will have to hang it out at home and turn it a few times in order to ensure that it dries right through. It can take an extended period of time to ensure proper drying, perhaps even a couple of days.

Machine dryers are much better as they dry the doona faster preventing that musty odor that results from slow drying and water standing in the doona. It will also remove some additional creasing as well as puff up the internal fibres correcting compacting that could have resulted in your doona looking old and used. It is advisable to dry the doona on a medium or low heat setting rather than a hot setting that could shrink or burn the fibres.

Washing your doonas at laundromats is definitely the preferred method as is using their larger, industrial dryers. Not only do you run less of a risk of causing damage to your machine but you will be assured that your doona is cleaned properly.

Proper cleaning is important as a dirty doona can cause some health risks. Dirt and the fibres in the doona make it the ideal breeding ground for dust mites, bacteria and other microorganisms that could cause or exacerbate certain health conditions, especially those of a respiratory nature.

Washing your doonas at laundromats is recommended on a weekly basis but at least twice a month to prevent the associated health risks. Hot water is more effective at eliminating dust mites and microorganisms. However, if your doona is not suitable for a hot wash, a bio-enzyme detergent should do the job.

If you are in any doubt about the correct washing or drying method to use to prevent damage, it is recommended to take your doonas to a full-service laundromat for professional advice and/or cleaning.