Does Hungarian Goose Down Smell?

Posted by Cuddledown ‍ on

Known for its incredible thermal properties, quality, and lightness, Hungarian goose down is one of the most popular down for pillows, duvets, and winter clothing. Hungarian goose down duvets, pillows and bedding is highly sought after due to its desirable properties. 

But, does it carry unpleasant odours and what do you need to know about the potential smells of goose down? This blog explains all you need to know about down, both goose and duck, whether such bedding smells and if so, how to get rid of it. 

What Is Goose Down?

Before we begin, it is important to learn to differentiate between goose feathers and down. Feathers are the classic feathers we are all familiar with, a thin, elongated structure or ‘shank’ with fine filaments on the sides.

Down, on the other hand, be it goose down, duck down or otherwise, is more like a star or a sponge, as it is a series of filaments grouped together to form a kind of "fluffy." Because it is located on the chest, neck, and abdomen, the down should be more thermal, waterproof, resistant, and fluffy.

Does Goose Down Have an Odour?

The nature of goose down means that it retains both heat and air and potentially even some odours and when it comes to owning and looking after a goose down duvet or bedding item. Due to its tangled and fluffy form, down can also trap some particles of organic matter. These particles are responsible for some smells you may encounter with goose down.

So, does goose down (or even duck down) smell? In short, yes, Hungarian goose down can have farm or poultry aromas if it is not treated properly. On most farms, an extensive washing process is undertaken to remove residual organic matter. Naturally, goose down can smell of ‘a farm or poultry,’ however, if properly washed, this does not happen and your down duvet or other item of down bedding will not smell.

Likewise, you may be panicking: “my new duck down duvet smells!”. Don’t fear, this can be combated through some simple washing techniques. Similarly, opting for quality down products will also ensure that the fabrication process prevents this happening. 

Can Goose Down Smell Like a Farm?

By its nature, goose down has the extraordinary ability to retain heat and air unlike most other forms of filling for any bedding to make it warmer and softer. This is due to goose down’s fluffy, star-like shape with many filaments criss-crossing each other.

This shape and the function of down means that it not only serves to retain temperature, but also has the ability to trap certain odours. This is why down pillows can have a farmyard smell because it is trapped in the down. When organic matter is trapped inside, these odours are carried away with the down, making your Hungarian goose down pillow or duvet smell.

Is the Smell of Goose Down Bad?

While it's not at all dangerous, the bad smells in goose down can be unpleasant if you don’t look after your bedding properly. Imagine sleeping every day on a pillow that smells like a farmhouse… it wouldn’t be pleasant.

That's why making sure your down pillows, and duvets, are odour-free or buying high-quality down bedding products is very important.  

3 Ways to Eliminate Unpleasant Odours in Your Down Pillow

Alas, you have new bedding! But, does your new down duvet or pillow smell? There are a few tips and tricks to ensure that your goose down pillow or duvet is not only clean, but also stays ultra soft and fluffy after being washed. Here are 3 key ways in which to get rid of unpleasant odours, or smells, from goose down (and also a duvet that may have a duck feather smell):

1. Use a Textile Deodorant

Although this is not a definitive solution, it is an effective way in which you can mask bad smells and it can work for all types of goose down bedding. In supermarkets, there are several brands of fragrances specially designed for textiles.

Their main advantage is that they adhere to the fibres found within your bedding, thus working on and eliminating bad smells. If the smell of goose down is very light, you can use a little deodorant to remove it. Remember to air the pillow after applying it.

2. Wash the Pillow

Of course, one of the first solutions when it comes to goose down pillows or indeed any item of bedding, filled with anything, is to wash the pillow. For this you have two options: the first is to do it yourself, and the second is to take it to the dry cleaners. If you do it yourself, you should have a suitable washing machine with a gentle or pillow wash cycle.

Make sure you follow the steps for washing a goose down pillow and use a biodegradable detergent that will not damage the goose down contained inside. Be sure to use a good amount of wool or feather detergent, as conventional detergents can cause the feathers to stick together. 

To dry it, it is best to use a hairdryer to arrange the down as it dries. Airing it out is also very useful. Washing a down duvet or pillow is really not as complicated as you might think! So, another added bonus for buying down bedding. 

3. Take Out the Down and Wash it

Another slightly more aggressive, but effective option to remove the farm smell from your Hungarian goose down, is to remove the down and wash it separately. To do this, first, open the pillow and remove the filling.

Soaking the down filling for a couple of minutes in biodegradable, down-friendly detergent and subjecting it to a thorough rinsing and drying process will help to remove the organic matter inside. 

Remember to wash it carefully and dry it properly so that it does not lose its fluffy shape. In any case, it is always helpful to take a look at the manufacturer's washing label before washing, cleaning or treating your goose down.

Generally, cleaning or getting rid of any possible goose or duck down, or even feather, smells is relatively easy.

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