I have a jacket that has got down on it from a coat. I can't get the down off.

I've washed it in the washing machine, I've tried a sticky lint roller and I've tried the upholstery attachment for my vacuum cleaner.

Short of carefully picking every one off by hand how can I clean this garment?enter image description here

  • Does the jacket itself have down padding inside it?
    – Bamboo
    Jan 20, 2020 at 17:37
  • No, it's from a coat I was wearing over it.
    – aaa
    Jan 21, 2020 at 19:56
  • The jacket fabric appears to be a weave, a twill. A weave is loose with a lot of flex and it appears that down chaff has worked its way into the weave itself. Down has many microscopic fibres perpendicular to the "spine" of the quill. These appear to be holding the down within the jacket fabric. Looks like tweezer time as Bamboo suggests.
    – Stan
    Jan 23, 2020 at 4:51

5 Answers 5


I'm sorry to say I don't think there's a hack solution for this. Unfortunately, you washed it without removing the down debris first, because it's likely a sticky roller would have got most of it off prior to washing. Now, though, it looks as though the bits of down have worked their way into the weave of the fabric during the wash - were this mine, and assuming I was fond of the jacket, I'd be spending some time with a pair of tweezers extracting the down fibres, because I don't think anything else is going to do the job.


Lay the jacket flat.

Unreel a length of sticky tape (standard clear tape, not any kind of heavy duty or overly sticky tape that will leave glue on the jacket).

Holding one end in each hand, dab the sticky side of tape across the jacket. It will pick up the lint.

Repeat with a fresh length of sticky tape as necessary.

  • 1
    I tried this just now but it doesn't work. As I said I already tried a sticky roller which is similar to sticky tape.
    – aaa
    Jan 19, 2020 at 21:52

Seems to me like most any fabric wont let go of things like this if you wash it. I can't comment, so I'll ask here instead. Does you vacuum have a rug or preferably curtain setting? It will help suction and not create a vacuum.

A nail brush or similar brushes might do the trick.

I haven't tried this on down, but my next suggestion works on animal hair and various dust particles. If you live in an area with snow, that is. I press the fabric firmly down (tried on rugs and blankets) with the dusty side down and let it rest there for a couple of hours. The reason it often works, I believe, is because the warm fabric melts the snow a bit and freezes over. The dust gets stuck in the snow. If there's some left, I can usually brush it off easily with my nail brush.

  • Unfortunately it doesn't snow much here but if it does I'll try.
    – aaa
    Jan 20, 2020 at 14:20

I'd suggest a fabric shaver (aka: clothes defuzzer). It's designed to remove lint and fuzz from clothes without damaging the fabric. It'll likely remove the slightly larger fibers as well.

Doing a quick online search, there seems to be a wide variety of them as well as a wide variety of retailers having them available.

Random image from the internet for example:
Fabric shaver

There's also a different type of lint remover that isn't electric or adhesive, which might work.

Alternate lint remover

As I was looking for the defuzzer, I stumbled across another type of lint remover.

I'm not affiliate with this product, retailer, or site in any way, but it is a more specific suggestion, so I'm including the link along with the pic.

Manual lint remover


  1. Use a normal comb. They might want to go off.
  2. Carefully use a safety razor. It works for other clothes problems, you might get lucky.
  3. Use a depilator (if you have one).
  4. The fluff might actually come from inside the jacket. In this case, you might have to actually deal with it one-by-one.
  5. Use some (strong?) adhesive tape. Works similar with the sticky lint roller, but might be... stronger. Just sticky might not be sticky enough.

Please be aware that if the fluff comes from the inside of the jacket, the jacket might be close to the end of its current life. No matter how much you clean it, it will get fluff again. In this case, you should either buy a new jacket, or get this jacket fixed by a professional (remove / replace the fluff generator inside).

If the fluff comes from the coat, you might want to get the coat fixed too. It will keep generating problems for you.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.