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How to Clean Feathers

How to Clean Feathers

Feathers are fragile, and cleaning them requires extra care. Contour and down feathers are two different kinds of feathers. Contour feathers are the lovely wing feathers that are gathered for crafts and art projects. They have a sturdy structure, but they are sensitive since water and incorrect care may quickly cause them to lose their lovely appearance.

The down feathers are flimsy and lack the tensile strength of contour feathers. Pillows, comforters, and other items often contain them. Cleaning feathers properly is essential for maintaining their appearance and shape. For different sorts and colours of feathers, here are a few options.

Only use the “Cleaning down Feathers” section for down feathers. For ornamental or craft feathers, any of the previous ways will suffice. Feathers that have been soiled must be cleaned.

Cleaning Procedures

1. Because down feathers are generally little and easily lost down a drain, it is advisable to avoid washing them in a sink (for the sake of both the feathers and the drain). Instead, while dumping out the water, use a bucket with a piece of screen to cover the top.

2. Fill the bucket with feathers.

3. Add enough water to the bucket to completely submerge the feathers.

4. Pour in the amount of down detergent required for the bucket size. Measurements should be taken according to the directions on the product’s label.

5. Remove the water from the tank and discard it.

6. Pour fresh water into the bucket.

7. Rinse the feathers by swishing your hand around in the bucket for a few minutes.

Allow for air drying of the feathers. If at all feasible, spread the cookies out on a baking pan. If you have a screen large enough to cover the tray, you may place it in the sun to help with cleaning and drying.

Dry Cleaning the Feathers

1. Mix 12 cup flour, 1 cup corn meal, and 3 teaspoons borax together in a bag.

2. Fill the sack halfway with feathers.

3. Seal the bag and shake the feathers in the powdered mixture to properly coat them.

4. Allow an hour for the powder to dry on the feathers. Dirt and oils from the feathers will be absorbed by the powder.

Gas Cleaning the Feathers

1. Pour some gasoline into a small dish or bucket.

2. Using the gasoline, dip the feathers.

3. Rub the feathers in a downward motion.

4. Shake off and dry any excess gasoline.

5. From the bottom to the tip, rub the paste all over the feather.

6. Rub the feather in a circular motion until it is clean.

7. Rinse with regular gasoline to remove any remaining residue.

8. Give it a good shake to get rid of any leftover gasoline.

9. Allow to fully dry before using.

Soap and Water Method

Although washing feathers with soap and water is not suggested, some people have succeeded. If the feathers would accept it, this is a way that may be employed.

1. Pour warm water into the bucket or tub.

2. Stir in a little bit of Woolite to blend it in.

3. In a bowl of water, swish the feathers around. Scrubbing the feathers will cause them to deteriorate.

4. Using clean water, swirl to rinse.

5. Re-shape the feathers if necessary.

6. Use a low-speed blow dryer to dry.

General Cleaning of feathers

1. Cleaning bird feathers that have been removed for any period of time is a difficult task.

2. Instead of cleaning the feathers on a regular basis, it is preferable to gently remove the dust and debris

3. With a soft brush, remove the dust that has gathered while resting the feather on your palm for support.

4. Keep the rear of the feather supported and avoid putting too much pressure on the quill, which might cause it to break.

Additional Tips and Advice

It advises using lighter fluid or alcohol for gasoline since they perform similarly but have a lower odour.

  • Birds release oils that preserve their feathers from becoming wet. These oils rapidly degrade once removed from the bird, making the feather more susceptible to water and cleaning procedures.
  • Insects, which prefer to eat through feathers, are an issue. Check your ornamental feathers on a regular basis to make sure no undesirable visitors have eaten them.
  • To keep your feathers safe, place them in a pH neutral box.
  • Shake your feathers in with Sevin dust if insects do get into them

In this experiment for elementary school children, you’ll investigate how oil damages bird feathers and test out several cleansing procedures to see which one is the most effective.


  • Feathers, clean and dry (pet shops, poultry farms, and craft stores are among locations where you may lawfully purchase feathers)
  • Four bowls
  • Oil from plants
  • Detergent for the dishwasher


1. Examine your feathers and attempt to answer the following questions:

2. Get some vegetable oil and a bowl. To make the vegetable oil show up better and seem more like crude oil, add a little chocolate powder to it.

3. Pour some oil into the water and stir it around. Oil will splatter over the water’s surface.

4. Dip a few of your feathers into the water’s oil. You’re attempting to replicate what occurs when a bird lands on an oil slick in the water. Now examine the feathers and attempt to answer the following questions. Now try one of the following three feather cleaning methods:

  • Washing with cold water Fill a basin halfway with cold water and try washing some oiled feathers in it. Keep an eye on things.
  • Laundry in hot water Fill a basin halfway with hot water and try washing some oiled feathers in it. Keep an eye on things.
  • Detergent-based washing Try washing some of the oily feathers in a dish with hot water and soap. Keep an eye on things.

Can you sanitize feathers?

Use an alcohol and hydrogen peroxide solution to sanitize the feathers. Swish the feathers lightly into a mild soap solution to clean them of dirt and grit. To thoroughly dry them, use a blow dryer on the lowest setting or air dry them.