Washing your Canada Goose (or down) Coat

One of my earliest memories, although I have no idea how old I was, is of me standing in the front hall of the house I grew up in getting bundled up to go outside on a cold winter day.

Standing there in my coat, boots, snow pants, mittens, and hat, so protected against the weather I was more like a stuffed animal than a human.  Arms and legs locked into place by stuffed mounds of nylon, dacron and scratchy wool.  The final step before going out into the kind of cold that makes your nostril hairs freeze in place, was the doing up of the coat.

This step normally went well, but if Betty was in a hurry to get me out of the house she’d grab onto the zipper and tug it up fast and hard.  If I looked down at the wrong moment the zipper teeth would chew into my chin leaving me screaming and my chin angry .  That’s how you could tell all the mother’s on the street that had a job, soap opera or drink to get back to.  Their kid had the tribal scarring of a tiny red welt on their chin all winter.

As a kid my coats were never down filled.  They had some kind of revolutionary 70’s era pillow filling in them that mainly kept you from getting wet as opposed to cold.

Now my two main winter coats are down filled.  The first one, is a white, down filled, waist length Lacoste coat.  Very cute, very fashiony, very white.

The second one is a Canada Goose “Resolute”.  This has been my go to Canadian winter coat for the past 10 years.  The Canada Goose coats are the warmest coats known to mankind.  They were “the” coat to own if you worked outside in television, and for a time you could spot someone who was in television based on if they were wearing a Canada Goose.  Not so anymore.  This coat has now become one of the most popular winter coats in Canada and the U.S. despite their shocking price tag.

The only problem is … you have to dry clean it.

I have a thing about dry cleaning.  I hate it.  It isn’t the price, it’s the pain.

I realize it doesn’t take that much time and it’s really no harder than filling up your car with gas, but I hate that too, so I guess it all makes sense.

I’ve been washing my down Lacoste coat in my washing machine and dryer for years.  It’s a white coat. It gets filthy after about 5 wears.  It says you can machine wash it, so I do that and it always comes out perfectly.

For some reason, the Canada Goose coat says dry clean only.  So for 10 years I’ve watched my beautiful red Canada Goose coat get dirtier and grungier and filthier.  I looked online to see if anyone had washed their coat in their home washing machine but couldn’t find anyone who had.  I guess the $800 price tag on the coat  is enough to stop anyone from taking the risk.

Until now.

Unable to stop myself any longer, and unable to wear the coat because of the bizarre black/grey/red colour it had become, over the Christmas holidays I said a little prayer, removed the fur collar (it just unzips), and stuffed my $800 Canada Goose coat into my washing machine.

This is how it turned out.




My Canada Goose coat washed perfectly in the washing machine.  Perfectly.

Here however, are my disclaimers.

1.  If you wash your Canada Goose coat in your washing machine you void the warranty.

2.  If you let your coat get as dirty as mine was it might take several washes as well as working in a bit of stain remover. (I had to wash my coat a total of 4 times, using various stain removers in between to get it clean. I started off with the “delicate/hand wash” cycle to be safe then gave up and went full force.)

3.  To dry it, you need to add a few tennis balls into your dryer to help smash the down and let it fluff up.

4.  It will take around 7 hours to fully dry.  That’s your dryer running for 7 hours straight.  Just so you know.

5.  I’m  not responsible if your Canada Goose coat happens to fall apart if you wash it and you’re forced to wear leg warmers, a snood and oatmeal mittens to keep warm.  Not. Responsible.


Having said that, I can tell you I will never dry clean my Canada Goose coat.  I’ll be washing it  in my own washing machine at the end of every season while I fondly finger the tiny scar in the middle of my chin.

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  1. Tigersmom says:

    Countless frugal minions of yours are saying thank you for going where no one has been brave enough to go before.

    But not me! I loooooooove dry cleaning, especially since mine has a drive up window and I don’t even have to get out of my car!
    Plus, I hate hate hate ironing and my husband’s shirts are all extra long because he is so tall, it’s like ironing bed sheets.

  2. Tigersmom says:

    I got all excited over being the first comment and then I realized it’s probably because I didn’t get an email notification of a new post which means that probably nobody else did. You may want to look into that.

    I came on over to your site to check on you because when you don’t post, I worry.

    • Karen says:

      I know you do, lol. Everything’s fine with me. My site however was hijacked. The fine folks at ServInt worked on it until 2:30 in the morning and it’s back as good as new. The email will go out, just later than normal.l ~ karen!

      • Elen G says:

        Haha. I did the same thing. Talk about loyal followers. Okay. I was looking for my laugh for the day, too. That is a fabu jacket. Black and red. They are my colours. So this coat speaks to me. I have that chin zipper scar thingy. Ouch. That hurt. LOL

      • My site was GONE for an hour and half too Karen! Not gonna lie, I went and had a stiff drink of some nasty stuff hiding at the back of my liquor cabinet. Now I know why I don’t drink hard liquor. Straight from the bottle.


        Soooo on that note ~ I SCREAM ~ thanks!!!! I am going to wash my Canada Goose stat. I just need to find the box with the tennis balls in it. Grrrrr.

        Thanks a million. I O U.

      • Ronnie says:

        Hi Karen
        Thanks for sharing your experiment with others. I having been washing all my children’s down fill coats and jackets for the past 25 yrs. My daughter is now 21 and got her 1st Canada Goose jacket for Christmas 2 yrs ago because she will be working in the outdoors doing drilling and blasting. Her black coat is very dirty and I refused to take it to the dry cleaner. I am also allergic to the chemical and they are not good for your cloths. Yet I was scared to give her jacket a try because I didn’t want to void the warranty but since I have come across your blog I will give it a try, I now have the courage and will let you know. Thanks for sharing

        • Karen says:

          Let me know how it goes Ronnie! ~ karen

          • Ronnie says:

            Dear Karen
            This has been long over due. Sorry I had a very busy summer. I just come across your site which I had bookmarked when I remember about the coat Canada Goose Coat.
            In July I decided to washed my daughter’s Canada Goose coat since the weather was very warm. I have a front load washer. I put the coat in by it self into the washer and put it on quick wash, which is 35 mins. along with a small amount of tide cold washing detergent. I also used cold water since it is a black coat. I wasn’t a bit surprise as to how dirty the coat was. After the cycle was finished I removed it from the washer and give it a good shake. To put the down back in placed. Then I hang it out outside to dry. Within a few hrs it was dry. I then toss it into the dry for about 5 mins to air fluff. My daughter couldn’t believe it was her coat. I now have a following of friends who want me to clean their coat which I do gladly. Since it make me feel very special and cost them nothing. I do trust that it was of some help to others.

            • InspektrGadgt says:

              You should not hang/air dry down jackets as it takes to long to fully dry and thus will be prone to mildew and mold.

              The outside may feel dry but the down inside may still have wet spot.

  3. Darlene Cox says:

    I did the same…..what no Karen with my morning coffee?????? What could be wrong????

    • Karen says:

      Just a small site issue Darlene. 🙂 Everything’s fine now and the email will go out in a few minutes. 🙂 ~ karen!

  4. Jack Ledger says:

    It is that 7 hours in the dryer that would scare me off…….$$$$$$ emptying out into the cold. What about just hanging it up over a heating vent (for those is the cold north) and then shaking it out when it is dry??

    • ktr says:

      I would probably give it one cycle in the dryer before hanging it up or else it will take forever to dry (if you have a second coat then you could go right to hanging it up – I just know that the day after I wash my coat the temp will drop to -30F and my coat will still be wet). Then if it needs a little fluffing up at the end, toss it in the dryer again for a second cycle.

    • Karen says:

      No, lol. A down coat needs to be dried in a dryer to fluff the feathers up and provide insulation. So you can’t unfortunately dry it for a little bit and then just hang it. It must be dried in the dryer. Just shove it in. Since it only costs $4 to run an electric dryer for an entire week you can rest assured the drying doesn’t cost as much as you think it does and you can continue to save your money for more important things. Like clown paintings. ~ karen!

      • Ron says:

        Long time reader of your column who looks forward to your posts but would like to clarify your statement about the cost of running a dryer for a week as $4.

        I monitor my electricity usage every month and based on that the average hourly cost of my electricity from Toronto Hydro is about $0.20/kwh when HST, delivery, regulatory and debt charges are included. On this basis my average cost of running my dryer for an hour is about $0.88/hr (ref: http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/dryers.html). I suspect that your figure of $4/week for using your dryer would apply to typical weekly usage for a couple with no children. I should also note that we have time of use billing here in Ontario whereby the cost of electricity varies depending on the time of day. As a result I only do laundry on the weekend and try whenever possible to dry my clothes on the clothesline.

        Having said that, the cost of drying your coat for 7 hours would be about $6, which is still a lot less than the cost of dry cleaning.

        I don’t want to be a nitpicker, I just don’t want your readers to think that they could run their electric dryer 24/7 for a week at a cost of $4. The more aware people are of the actual costs of doing things the more informed decisions they can make.

        • Karen says:

          THanks Ron, I should have been more clear. (I’m in Ontario as well by the way). To run the dryer for around 4 hours a week would cost around 4 dollars. (very approximate here). So yes, the cost of the coat drying is about $7 approximately, or $6 a little more precisely. ~ karen!

  5. Heather says:

    Snood! What a great word! Haven’t heard that in decades (or at least since last century). 🙂

  6. Danica says:

    It would be interesting to know why they say Dry Clean only? I have a North Face Jacket which you can wash thankfully in the washer and put in the dryer. I suppose if you wash it at the end of the season it should be fairly warm out. I would put in the dryer for maybe an hour and half and then let it hang outside for the day.

    The only concern I would have with washing your jacket regularly(once a year) is your color might start to fade because it’s red. That might be one of the reasons for dry clean only.

    This is a good article from Martha Stewart http://www.marthastewart.com/270246/dry-cleaning-solutions

    AND here http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/laundry/do-i-have-to-dry-clean-this

    • Karen says:

      I couldn’t figure it out Danica. My Lacoste jacket made of the same materials (pretty much) said it was fine to machine wash. ~ karen!

  7. Jody says:

    I too was attacked by zipper teeth in my childhood. I probably did the same thing to my son but I don’t remember as I was trying to get to work. I’ll have to check his chin for the telltale scar. Don’t you love being way ahead of a trend before it was trendy when the reason was imply to keep warm?

  8. Rebecca says:

    Danica, I have a red Canada goose coat that was fading from a few dry cleanings. Karen, I feel I should’ve posted online somewhere, as I searched and found nothing online about machine washing, but I bit the bullet and did it anyway. Absolutely fine. Need to do it again soon as mine is disgusting!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rebecca. That’s why I did this post! Because I figured if I searched and searched and found nothing that there were other people in the same situation. 🙂 Turns out I was I guess, lol. ~ karen!

  9. Maria says:

    Remember the movie a Christmas story where the little brother is bundled up in a snowsuit and three scarves? I always thought it was an exaggeration. But if Karen says it happens it must be true. You’ll put your eye out

  10. Karin says:

    How would they _know_ if you machine washed it and something happened? Maybe you just got caught in a sleet storm or something? Just saying….

  11. Deb J. says:

    I think the dry clean only thing is a butt covering move. I wash all sorts of things that say not to. My mother washed EVERYTHING! Even red suede (real leather) sneakers. Those were a last resort sort of thing but they survived amazingly well. Not everything can go in the washer and dryer but lots of things can. The biggest issue I have found with this is if the item has not been made well enough to survive the agitation – unfinished seams, poor construction, embellishments that get ruined. It would be really disappointing if a Canada Goose couldn’t survive. As to the dryer, it is often worth the time to dry well – it avoids that lovely wet dog smell:)
    Well done Karen! And I love your coat. Too cheap to buy one myself.

  12. Jan in Waterdown says:

    A down coat must be put in the dryer ’til dry for the down to “loft” completely. Otherwise it will dry in a clump somewhere near the bottom of your coat and not do its warming job. What I want to know is how the heck did you stand the tennis ball racket (haha) in your dryer for 7 hours?!

  13. christine says:

    You have had your Canada Goose long enough for it to be cool.My goal is to be the only woman in the Golden Horseshoe without one.No coach purse either.

  14. brenda says:

    what a weird coincidence…..I put my down coat on yesterday and realized it was pretty dirty. In to the washer it goes. Thank you!!

  15. If only I had known you were going to be doing this experiment, I would have sent you some of my wool dryer balls (http://www.CleanSypria.Etsy.com) to do the job (in most certainly less time than 7 hours!)

    They’re much quieter than tennis balls and they help dry things faster. 🙂

  16. janpartist says:

    More and more in life I’ve realized that “rules” or “instructions” are just to cover someones’ ass and completely arbitrary. Resolution-break more rules! The occasional rule is good-don’t cross the center line into oncoming traffic and such but really, who said that earrings need to match? Think about it.

  17. catey says:

    Memories of my wintertime childhood just came flooding back. The panic of lost mittens and broken zippers, frozen nose hairs, frost bitten toes, and plenty of psychological scars from zipping too fast. It’s no wonder why I fled to Southern California! Loved
    Your post,
    Karen! Thanks!

  18. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Sorry to hear about the hijack…I wondered where you were this morning. Glad to hear everything is now in order. Just wondering if you really have to dry your coat in the dryer until it’s completely dry? I’ve never had a Canadian Goose or down coat before so for what it’s worth, can’t you air dry after a few hours of dryer time? Just trying to save your investment! I had a flood of memories come back when you shared the comment of the kind of cold that makes your nostril hairs freeze. I grew up in Michigan, on a lake, so we had lots of cold and lots of snow. I remember that well. I also have that same scar on my chin, lol.

  19. Carolyn Boyd says:

    I wash my down coats all the time; not Canada Goose but the slightly more budget friendly Eddie Bauer. I usually let them air dry and then fluff in the dryer. Works great. I also wash my down bed pillows and my duvet about once a year or so. Pillows are thick and the duvet is king-sized, so I pick a nice sunny day and lay them outside in the sun, then finish in the dryer. I read somewhere that home washing is way better for the down as opposed to dry cleaning with chemicals.

  20. kelli says:

    I love your frugal-ness! I feel the same way about dry cleaning…I have a bag o’ stuff that requires dry cleaning, and it’s been sitting in my closet now for….a year. 🙁 Ah, someday…

    I got brave with my white cotton down filled comforter awhile back, and decided to do it myself. While shoving the entire thing into my washer takes some doing (queen size, and very poofy!) once it’s wet, it shrinks down immensely (there’s a naughty joke in there somewhere). And yes, drying takes For. Ev. Er. Two hours with dryer balls (heh…balls), two more hours without, and she’s sparkling white and fluffy again.

    Of course if you have a sheddy gray cat, you’ll probably be doing this more often than you think. 😛

  21. Valerie says:

    Money saving post Karen.
    All of the above applies to goose down duvets. I did not like the odour of dry cleaning fluid that seemed to remain whenever I had them done at the cleaners.
    Re: the tennis or dryer balls: I have read that crumbled balls of foil wrap will work in the dryer as well. I have not tried them but they would be quieter.
    Reminder: in the winter, never place your tongue on a frozen zipper.

    • Kim from Milwaukee says:

      I believe the foil balls are for static….I’ve used washed tennis shoes instead of tennis balls, they work to fluff the down comforters, pillows and coats as well.

  22. Teddee Grace says:

    I washed a down comforter recently and put it in the bathtub after it was washed, rolled it and squeezed as much water out of it as I could, then let it hang above the tub all night and the next day before drying it. I think that cut the drying time in half.

  23. Mary Werner says:

    I washed my daughters down filled comforter and obviously didn’t let it dry enough to fluff. It seemed dry BUT she saw it and through it out saying I ruined it. Boy, have I felt bad for years but knowing it wasn’t fluffed properly in the drier has taken away that guilt – however, plenty more remains since I am a Mom. I had previously washed down filled small things that dried fine and now I’m off to tell my daughter – which is the best part of your post today.

  24. Rondina says:

    I put down pillows and comforters in the washer and dryer all the time. They turn out fine, but I want to know more about this tennis ball thing. That’s a new one for me.

  25. Luanne says:

    Same re: thinking that going to the dry cleaner place is just entirely too much effort. I don’t know how babysitting a dryer for 7 hours seems like less effort…. but it does.

  26. Jay says:

    Coincidentally, I washed my daughter’s down duvet last night. I wash all the duvets every spring plus “as needed” washes as a result of peeing/vomitting/milk-spilling/other accidents thanks to a house filled with kids and pets. (Last night was a cat’s fault)
    Over the years it does lose some feathers but mostly the duvet lasts pretty well despite Dry Clean Only instructions

  27. Jennifer Ramirez says:

    Wow, the zipper scar! That brought me back to my 8 year old self. My mom had 4 daughters and a job and we all had that little “hickey” either on our chin or neck (ouch) throughout the bitterly cold winters in Upstate NY. When I was about 14 I begged my mom for a peacoat. It was a beautiful baby pink, wool and it buttoned up, no zipper here! I washed AND dried it once! Who knew you couldn’t throw wool in the laundry? (not 14 year old me, thats who). I never wore my beloved peacoat again. My mother made me give it to my much younger and much smaller sister. I begrudgingly handed it over, but I secretly planned her demise every.single.time she put it on.

  28. magali says:

    My coat is so filthy too and I also have been scared to put it in the washing machine. My mom put her white one in and it turned out great except for one big problem. She has the bomber model and the fur doesn’t unzip so it came out with all this fur missing. I hot glued the tuffs she was able to save for her and it’s ok looking for now. She ordered a coyote fur online and will make her own detachable collar. So ya, very important step to remove the collar!
    I feel more brave now that I know two people who have done it!

  29. Liz says:

    aaaaaaahhh!! the zipper chin. Hurts so bad. I have to say that maybe worse yet is accidentally doing the zipper chin to a child! It’s possibly the worst feeling in the world…next to accidentally clipping some of their neck skin into a helmut clip 🙁

  30. Darla says:

    The weight of the tennis balls is what fluffs it. Wool balls may help it dry faster, but won’t help fulff

  31. Mel says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one with a scar. Mine is on my neck right in the sweet spot of my collarbone. I have gotten asked multiple times if it is a hickey and I must have had fun last night… um nope, 1. what a weird spot for a hickey. And 2. really a hickey? Scarred for life. Literally and figuratively. I am so so so careful zipping up my son’s coat so that he doesn’t suffer the same fate.

  32. Trish says:

    Did you know that a lot of fur on hoods is wolverine fur because it will not freeze from your breath!! Just your trivia tidbit for the day.

  33. Sabrina says:

    Congrats on your beautiful clean coat! I’ve not yet had to wash one (living in El Paso, Texas) but I have always washed our down duvets and throws. I’m always paranoid of moldy feathers, so I dry – on low for a 5-6 cycles. I don’t go any higher because I am afraid to burn the tender down. That’s probably not even a thing, but I feel like slow and low is better. I believe, too, that the tennis balls help to fluff and massage the clumps apart during drying to break up the globs and mats of wet feathers, as opposed to pulling the stuff out of the dryer and doing it manually every cycle or so. I have not yet gotten around to buying any tennis balls yet, so my dryer looks like a mini rave or disco. I collect all my son’s bouncy balls, hackey sacks, – anything small with a little heft – and toss them in. That includes the ones with the flashing lights 🙂 I don’t mind the noise either. When I no longer hear it, I know its time to turn it back on.

  34. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Love that red parka!

  35. Jane says:

    My mother had killer nails and her thumb got to my chin before the zipper….

  36. Kim from Milwaukee says:

    I just adopted your bath towel theory (buying black) and only buy black winter coats…so I never have to wash it!! j/k but still….

  37. Debbie says:

    I don’t have time to read all of the comments as it is that kind of day. However, you know what a snood is!!!! Very few people I know are familiar with the word snood. I feel so connected to you. I have been washing down coats for years, no matter what the label says. However, I could never put as much fun into the telling about it as you. Thanks for today’s smile. Now it is back to work for me.

  38. Connie S. says:

    I have a Land’s End Down jacket in Pink. Deliberately bought that colour thinking it wouldn’t show the dirt so easily. Heck – it gets so dirty especially around the wrist cuffs that i’m washing it every few weeks! It too said dry clean only but i hate the cost and the smell of the dry cleaning fluids too . So i said a little prayer, crossed my fingers and threw it in the machine one day (gentle cycle) – it survived beautifully! And definitely looked alot better clean. But it is very Important to dry thoroughly so it doesn’t go mouldy . Makes sense when you think of it – ducks and geese spend most of their time in the water getting wet, then preening and “fluffing”. A little more water isn’t going to hurt it.

  39. leslie says:

    I apologize for getting off the topic but you brought up an excellent point about putting gas in the car in the winter. I swear gas stations are surrounded by air that is about 15 degrees colder than , say, across the street (unless across the street is another gas station). Someone might be missing a great money-making opportunity by contracting with people to come to their houses in the late evening or early morning and fill their gas tank for about 4-5 months during the winter so they never have to go to a gas station ALL winter long. Of course who’s crazy enough to do that?

  40. Amy in StL says:

    I always wash my down coats but when it came to washing my dad’s Korean War era sleeping bag (that had huge rips that had been patched) I was terrified. I decided it had to be done and bit the bullet. It washed and dried fine and is so much more pleasant to sleep in. I also bought an old down coat at goodwill and used down from the sleeves to refill some areas that seemed to have lost down over the years. (The body part of the coat became a vest)

  41. Grammy says:

    20 years ago when my daughter was getting married I got a book that had handy tips for a great wedding without busting the bank. One of the things was about preserving the wedding gown after the nuptials. It told horror stories of many companies who claimed to preserve the gown charging many hundreds of dollars and just tossing it uncleaned in a box, sealing the box up, saying it would void the warranty if the box was opened, then going out of business before the bride had a daughter who wanted to wear it. Everything ruined.

    So, this tip was to just wash the gown in the washing machine and dry flat. The book said go in the back room of any bridal shop and you’ll see a big-ass washing machine. What do you think they use it for? People trying on bridal and bridesmaid gowns require that the gowns be cleaned before someone else wants them. Duh.

    I didn’t check out the back of bridal shops, but since the 30,000 seed pearls (not real pearls) would have been ruined with dry-cleaning chemicals, and the gown was satin and lace (both synthetic), I decided to try handwashing. It took a couple of days of delicately swishing and then rinsing rinsing rinsing in the large bathtub, and several more days drying on huge thick towels laid out on the floor, but it worked. Even a small red-wine stain and whatever black stuff that was smeared at the hem after a lot of dancing and partying in it came out. It cost some bucks for the acid-free tissue and bags and box to store it in, but otherwise it was free and the gown is in beautiful shape. No reason to think a jacket made for outdoor wear shouldn’t hold up to washing.

    I don’t live where it’s cold enough for down, but it seems obvious it needs balls in the dryer for fluffing. I’d take Karen’s word for that, in addition to how long to leave it in the dryer. I never thought of tennis balls, but that’s kind of a cool thing, I think. I use felted wool dryer balls I got from a sheep farm in Wyoming and I can attest to them cutting down on drying time for regular laundry, in addition to eliminating static and making everything come out unwrinkled. They might not be heavy enough for fluffing down in a heavy jacket, but I don’t know that for sure.

  42. Cynthia says:

    Apart from the cost and effort involved in dry cleaning, there is the potential health problem of all of those vapours from the dry cleaning fluid (which is something like embalming fluid) being breathed in.

    I read years ago that foam rubber mattresses let off a vapour that is full of toxic elements when they are new. The author suggested to never sleep on a new foam rubber mattress or pillow until it had been put out in the sun for 24 hours.

    I think it’s time dry cleaning was boycotted. Imagine the health risks of the people who work there?”

    The coat is very cute.

    I’ll get myself some tennis balls today and make sure the dryer stays on longer. I have two feather cushions n my couch and they smell like wet dog, even though I dried them for an hour and a half. Any level of moisture must set up a gamey smell in the feather shaft.

  43. auntiepatch says:

    I grew up in So. Calif. but we did live in Boston and Western Ill. for a few years. Burrr. Back in So. Calif. now where it’s in the 70 & 80’s this month!

  44. Carole says:

    I have always washed my CG coat, duvets, pillows etc. and there has never been a problem. I add large bath towels to the dryer cycle to absorb moisture and therefore items do not take as long to dry.

  45. jainegayer says:

    I always wash my down barn jacket in the washer. It says dry clean only. I throw my sneakers (they were washed too) in there to fluff the feathers. I even wash my cashmere sweaters in the washer with cold water then air dry them. I feel like such a rebel when I disobey the dry clean only labels.

  46. Christin K says:

    Just look carefully for any small tears or worn spots in the fabric. I washed some down pillows this summer and one of the cases tore – I had feathers everywhere. It looked like a goose exploded in my washer. Took me forever to wipe them all out. Of course the laughing slowed me down some…

  47. Natika says:

    The Canadian Goose jackets are catching on in northern Japan too. I went skiing in Yamagata over the winter break and spent a few hours in Sendai on the way home. They were everywhere!

    There’s also a girl I see every morning during my commute sporting one (hardly necessary in my area) and I just found one in a used store on the weekend (used yet still going for over $400!!!!)

    I’m afraid I’d have to dry clean one here if I had one though – no dryers in most Japanese homes and I’m not prepared to spend 7 hours at a laundry mat!

    Got any tips for making wool coats black again? Japanese coats suck, but my Canadian one is looking a bit sad…

    • LISA says:

      Pumice stone is what I use to remove fuzz and make wool coats look good when they are covered in lint. I recently took a very long time to de-fuzz a much loved double breasted pea coat. Very glad I did, it looks great and did not have to dry clean at all.

  48. RosieW says:

    May have missed, but saw no mention of treating with stain repellant. The one I use now is – (The following from the front label): “Force Field Upholstery, Rug and Fabric Protector Repels Stains, Spills & Water/ Creates an Invisible Barrier.”

    This stuff works! I used it after having sofa reupholstered 9 years ago. Sofa is off white. There are no stains. I’ve used it on new wool rugs. I spray it on my hats and caps. 22 oz. container . Contents will cover +/- 125 sq. ft. (Roughly one full size sofa or one 6×9 rug.)

    Just found a link to the first product of this type I had, couldn’t recall the name, which is Vectra.


    I’d love to think I’m helping a bunch of y’all. Eons ago Scotch brand was the only thing I knew about and certainly didn’t hold up for me.

    CAUTION: Read the label precautions about where and how to spray. Not inside. I usually do it in my garage to avoid drifting.

    I’m done, finally.

    Rosie, Sugar Hill, Georgia

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Rosie! I wouldn’t have even though of using a stain protector. I think for now all my bravery on this coat is used up, but maybe in a year or two I’ll consider it. 😉 ~ karen!

  49. Elizabeth says:

    I have an Eddie Bauer arctic-rated down coat ( half the price as yours and warmer than warm) that I have always washed, along with anything else down, including my duvets. Adding a towel absorbs the moisture in the dryer. I never dry clean anything. Dry cleaning chemicals are bad stuff.

    • Karen says:

      Yes, I’ve washed all my duvets, pillows and other down coats as well, but not the Canada Goose. It was a much greater investment than the other things and therefore much scarier to do. And I had read over and over and over again on the Internet NOT to wash it at home. Though no reason was ever given. Like I said, my white down coat made of similar materials even says you can machine wash it. Clearly it all worked out, it just took few years of walking around in a filthy coat to get me to do it. 😉 ~ karen

  50. Dea says:

    I wish I had washed a “dry-clean-only” duvet. The cleaners didn’t dry-clean it. They laundered it — in HOT water! It did fine. Except. It shrank from a Queen size to an oversized twin. It’s even too small for a Full size bed. If I’d washed it myself, it would have been in cold water, and I could still use it on my bed. I should have listened to my mother — she said, “If it’s something that people wore or had before about 1880, they washed it. You can too. Dry cleaning didn’t come along for everyone till after that.” You can even wash wool fabric if you do it by hand in cold water and use a very mild soap such as Ivory liquid. About the only thing you really can’t always wash successfully is rayon and some treated silks. Silk is washable — how do you think those ancient Chinese kept their clothes clean? You just have to iron it while it’s still wet, with a not-too-hot iron. I can actually remember my grandmother (back in the 50’s) washing her featherbed. She used a big soapstone tub and a stick to get the darned thing clean. Like most everyone else, I hate dry cleaners. Since they all went to franchises and/or big chains, and the little mom-and-pop cleaners went out of business, stuff comes back still dirty and smelling of naphtha. Ugh!

    • chris says:

      After reading about this I decided to take a chance on one of my pieces to test.
      So I came home took the CG vest put it in the washer and hoped for the best.
      At first I was worried when it came out from the washer feathers were not in place and was flat.
      20mins in the dryer and I was so happy it all went back in place put it for another 20mins. came out wonderful.
      Next is my parker.
      Thanks to you all.

  51. roxy says:

    I have a Kanuk washable down coat that is sadly coming to the end of it’s wearable life. Great coat. *sniff* Before the Kanuk I had this fancy schmany washable white down 3/4 length coat. Washed up great…finally fell apart one day. *sad* I went looking at a Canada Goose, and the dry cleaning (chemical/price) thing was the deal breaker. (I am a slob who has a dog who is a slob…well you get it.) I may now reconsider. Maybe an end of season sale…

  52. colleen says:

    Great post – I also took the risk to wash down comforters years ago and they turn out great. Since aluminum dryer balls were mentioned above, I thought I could contribute my experience with them. I make aluminum dryer balls from my used (washed) aluminum foil – you have to compact the layers and get them as smooth as you can, otherwise I think they would just be torn apart. As a result, the aluminum balls get tumbled in the dryer and form into beautiful, shiny, spheres. Not sure if they do provide much static relief, but I live in a very dry area and don’t use dryer sheets, and my husband prefers wool socks, so there’s always some static clinging. Since the balls get extremely hard, they are extremely loud. However, my dryer is in a separate room at the back of the house, so the faint banging I hear when I walk by is handy to let me know whether or not it’s still running. They do crack after a year or so, and they tend to hide inside clothing, so I always have two or three around. I don’t use fabric softener, either, and my clothes are always nice and soft. My husband sneaks dryer sheets in once and a while, but I honestly prefer the texture (and lack of synthetic scent) with just the aluminum. Hmmm. Didn’t realize quite how passionate I am on the subject. I feel I could go on, but I’ll spare you all.

  53. Charray says:

    Thanks for sharing this – too bad I didn’t see it earlier. Just picked up my red Canada Goose from the dry cleaner. Paid $32 for the cleaning and the arms and side are still dirty. I’ve had to send it back a couple of times in past to get it clean, but the chemicals are really hard on the fabric.

    I will say a little prayer and throw it into the washing machine. Out of curiosity, is your washing machine a drum or front loading. I have the latter, but wondering if I should take it to a commercial laundry washer.

  54. Charray says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Just picked up my red Canada Goose from the dry cleaner. Paid $32 for the cleaning and the arms and side are still dirty. I’ve had to send it back a couple of times in past to get it clean, but the chemicals are really hard on the fabric.

    I will say a little prayer and throw it into the washing machine. Out of curiosity, is your washing machine a drum or front loading machine? I have the latter, but wondering if I should take it to a commercial laundry washer.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charray – Let me guess. You brought the dirty coat home and thought .. pfttt … forget this. I’m gonna see if I can wash it myself, right? I had the same struggle when I was deciding whether to wash mine. I couldn’t find anyone who had done it so I sucked it up and gave it a shot. I can’t guarantee anything of course, but I’m sure you’ll have good luck with yours. Scrub the arms and side a bit with a stain remover then wash. And yes, my machine is a front loading washing machine. A small one at that! ~ karen

  55. Smiley says:

    Searched if I can wash my Dauhters Canada Goose and found your blog. Thanks for the experiment on everyone’s behalf. Glad to hear u can wash in machine- only concern I have is my daughters fur trim on her hood is not removable. Can I still wash it? Does anyone know. Thanks

  56. Lisa says:

    I have Expedition, red, cannot remove the furry hood. Should I assume I will ruin my coat hood if I wash it?

    • LISA says:

      So glad I just got the PBI Expedition, the fur is detachable. I really had to think about it, because I wanted a dark color so I could wear it in the city without feeling silly, but the deal-breaker is that I do not want to dry clean. I only want the Expedition, it is so warm and I finally feel like I can brave outdoor winter. I will have to get used to the bright blue jacket and people thinking I work in the Artic, but I will be warm and my coat will be washed and dried.

  57. Zoe says:

    Yes I would like to know this as well. I have a Canada Goose Chilliwack Bomber with a coyote fur hood that is not removable. Would it be ok to machine wash the jacket with a garment bag covering the hood, on delicate? Would it also be machine dryable with a garment bag covering the fur?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Zoe! I really don’t know I’m afraid. The one thing I can suggest is trying to find a vintage coyote fur collar and washing it in the washing machine on delicate and seeing what happens! In fact if I go to a second hand store in the next little while I’ll see if I can buy one and wash it so we know what happens. 🙂 ~ karen!

    • Karen says:

      No problem. 1. I know what a horror show it is, not knowing whether to clean the coat or not and 2. It’s my job to help people figure things out. 🙂 ~ karen!

  58. Susan says:

    Hi Karen,I wash everything but was apprehensive with my Canada Goose Coat.I have an agitator in my washer is that ok.I saw another post and it said to use a washer without an agitator only.Thanks,Susan

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susan! I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to your question. 🙁 I can only guarantee the results from a front load washer. I’m not sure the agitator would make a big difference but you never know. If you’re worried about it you could just take your coat to a laundromat and wash it there. They have large front load washers and it’s a lot more convenient and less expensive than taking it to a dry cleaner. Or … you could take a chance and try the agitator route. ~ karen!

      • Susan says:

        Hi Karen,my friend happened to have a top load machine without an agitator so we crossed our fingers and washed it.My black Canada Goose Trillium jacket is now restored to it original condition.Thanks so much for your post I wouldn’t have taken the risk on my own.

  59. Luci says:

    On mine, the fur on the hood cannot be unzipped, its attached. So I guess, I cannot put it in the washing machine ;-( right?

    • Karen says:

      I probably wouldn’t Luci, but I’ll tell you that I know a lot of people that do wash fur. The premise being that animals get wet outside all the time. I think the real issue would be the chemicals in the detergent you use ruining the oils in the fur (but that’s just a guess). The fur they use on these coats is coyote so you could do what I suggested to another reader which was to find a cheap coat from a thrift store that has some coyote on it and wash that to see how it reacts to the washing machine. It seems like a lot of work but it might be worth the test. ~ karen!

  60. LISA says:

    I just bought a CG Expedition. When I got it home I put it right on. Now I am sneezing like crazy, so I smelled the fur. It smells like mildew. Anybody know what I can do? I really like the color, you can’t get it anymore, it is pre-Bain and I am worried that the fur is not the only thing that is mildewed (could also be the down.) Any suggestions?

  61. brittany says:

    Thank you, you inspired the courage to wash my chilliwack bomber…. with the hood. It turned out amazing the fur is just as nice if not nicer than before! My jacket no longer smells like a tanning bed 🙂

    • Karen says:

      You’re kidding? That’s GREAT! So glad you tried washing the fur. I was pretty sure it would work, but you never know. I have no idea why your jacket smelled like a tanning bed, but I’m glad you’ve wiped it out, lol. ~ karen!

  62. brittany says:

    Incase anyone is going to wash their fur based on my comment, I used downwash by nikwash from sportchek it was only 13 dollars and lasts 3 washes. I used warm cycle on delicates and extra low heat to dry with wool balls.

  63. lucinda kempe says:

    Hey, this was great. Well written, smart and, my favorite thing, sassy. However, I don’t own a CG, but have been debating it and the idea of dry cleaning was a no-no. but you go, girl. Love your moxy. And style and the balls to put the sucker in the washer!

    So glad you got it clean and thanks for reporting back.


    • Karen says:

      Thanks Lucinda. Yeah, I was terrified beyond belief, but it had to be done. Yup, I’ve got balls. Boobs, balls, the whole shebang. ~ karen!

  64. lucinda kempe says:


    Quick ?. I’m 5’3″ tall, 140 lbs, 34DD, slim hips, long waist. What size CG should I get? Hope you don’t mind.


  65. Lexi says:

    I am not sure if this has been asked, but how much soap, and what kind of soap did you use? what were your settings on your washing machine? (i have a front loader washing machine). I am interested in washing my rudsack down coat and my danier down coat in the washing machine and dryer it off (low setting? what setting did you use here too?)

    quite nervous about it, but with a family of 6, dry cleaning all those coats is a $$$$$$$ guzzler

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lexi! I think all that information is in the post, but I don’t have time to go and check through it right this second. I can tell you I used a gentle soap (like you’d use for natural fibres, started on delicate in the washing machine then washed again in regular cycle because my coat was so dirty the gentle didn’t do it. Just regular hot setting for the dryer. ~ karen!

  66. mid says:

    looking into washing a coat and appreciate your sharing your experience! would just comment that a powder detergent should be used to not clog up “breathable” coatings, and that after a few washes, the dwr coatings should be replenished (there are spray on and wash-in products available for that). otherwise, water soaks into the material and gets the down wet.

  67. bobbie harrington says:

    I was tired of my dirty Canada goose parka, use it for ice fishing mostly. hate the dry cleaner smell, so wouldn’t do that. today I thought I’m going to wash this coat…then thought someone online must have tried it YES, thank you so much! subscribed, too. my kind of woman…just figure it out and do it.

  68. Jason says:

    what setting are you supposed to dry it on?

  69. Ann says:

    Hi there – I read your post and finally washed my canada goose. It has totally lost its loft and I am very regretful that I didn’t dry clean. I’m hoping I can somehow revive it. Did you use down detergent? Did you rinse a few extra times to get the detergent out? The first time I used regular laundry soap (Natureclean) and some stain remover, and dried for a long time (maybe not quite 7 hours, but my jacket is not a thick as yours) with balls and the loft of the jacket is significantly reduced and not nearly as warm as it was. I rinsed it and washed it again in down detergent, and then dried it even longer and it is the same if not worse than it was. I don’t know if I permanently destroyed the loft by using non-down specific detergent the first time or what. Wondering exactly what your methods were?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ann! I’m so sorry to hear about your coat. The method I used is exactly how I describe it in my post. I washed it on a regular cycle several times to get it clean. I then put it in the dryer for 7 or so hours. It basically took a day to dry. If your down is all mashed down at the bottom my guess is, it isn’t dry. I did not use a down specific detergent. I used regular mild detergent. The kind you’d use to wash linen for example. I believe it was Method detergent. I have a neighbour who asked me a few weeks ago if my coat was as warm as it was the day I bought it and I said yes. I bought my coat many, MANY years ago before Canada Goose became the go-to coat. She asked because she said her coat isn’t as warm as it used to be. She has it dry cleaned once a year. My only guess is that Canada Goose has somehow changed the down they use to an inferior down as the coat has become more popular and production has amped up. However, having said that I really do think the most likely scenario for you is that the down just hasn’t dried. I’d keep it in the dryer until the loft comes back OR if you want to hurry it up, take your coat and dry it at a laundromat where they have larger, more powerful dryers. Hope that helps. ~ karen!

      • Ann says:

        Thank you so much! I will try keeping it in the dryer, though it does not feel wet or damp at all, and I’m sure I kept it in there for 5-6 hours and it is probably 1/2 the weight of yours (it is a modern CG probably rated to -20 not -40). I’m hoping that maybe there’s a residue left on it from the stain remover, and either I have to rinse it a bunch of times and then re-wash, or like you say try drying some more. I’ll post what I find!

  70. Chaudhry says:

    I have Chilliwack CG. Fur cannot be remove. Can i machine wash it at home? ( I wish not to chemically treated with it which dry cleaners do in market)
    It’s been 2 year I did not wash it.


    • Karen says:

      Hi Chaundry! I’m afraid I can’t vouch for whether or not the fur will wash well because I haven’t done it myself. Some furs wash fine (when they have no skins attached to them usually) others do not. The only thing you can do if you’re adamant about not taking it to a dry cleaners is to hand wash one corner of the fur and see how it turns out. Good luck! ~ karen

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