How to CLEAN feathers

Report a post

Thank you for taking time to help Etsy! Please note that you will not receive a personal response about this report. We will review this post privately...

Why are you reporting this post?

Any additional comments?

Edit Post

Edit your post below. After editing, the post will be marked as edited and the date & time of the last edit displayed.


What is this?

Admin may choose to highlight awesome community posts that are friendly, answer questions, and offer informative links.

What does it do?

Highlighted posts are placed at the top of each page in a thread for greater visibility.

This thread has been closed and archived.


88kitty says

Cleaning out my craft closet tonight (*gasp* - I need to do a serious destash!)

Came across a bag of feathers that say "Dyed feathers are not colorfast". So if you need to clean some feathers from the craft store be aware that the colors may run if you apply any steam or liquid to them.

On a semi-related note, I had to dye a feather red once - super concentrated Kool-Aid (sans sugar) did the trick (and they smelled fruity too!)

Hope this helps!

Posted at 2:56am Apr 16, 2009 EDT


I use feathers and would not feel happy about using feathers found on the ground. I keep chickens and ducks and would never dream of using them.

If someone bought an item from you and then they fell ill and it was found to be bird related you are in a heap lot of trouble.

I should buy your feathers from a reputable carft shop.

Posted at 3:11am Apr 16, 2009 EDT

Cha7 says

Thanks for all the thoughts.

All feathers are from naturally molted birds.

They are not super dirty. Just was advised to clean them so they are legal to sell. In the U.K. they suggest steam cleaning them, but not sure what that involves. Any one know???

Posted at 8:52am Apr 16, 2009 EDT

sbpoet says

Ha. And here we are, back where we started!

Good morning!

Posted at 11:51am Apr 16, 2009 EDT

Steam cleaning = hold them (carefully) infront of a steaming spout from a kettle or steam cleaner (like the ones of kitchen tiles) or a steam iron stood upright (but you have to pump the steam from that)
Steam is a well known cleanser & deodorizer.
But there can be all sorts of mites and bacteria in feathers.

Posted at 12:26pm Apr 16, 2009 EDT

Just add a few drops of ammonia to the steam to kill the bacteria. I take a spray bottle with boiling hot water.
I do that with my wild grouse feathers and never had any problems.
Fish & Game approved of that also.

Posted at 12:40pm Apr 16, 2009 EDT

mkdesigner says

Cha7 ...

Your profile doesn't give your location. If you're in the US, contact your state's Department of Fish & Game or it could be called Department of Wildlife (depends on the state). They have a whole set of rules for uses of feathers from birds in any crafting venue, especially if you want to sell them (bulk supplies or finished product).

Marge in Reno

Posted at 12:40pm Apr 16, 2009 EDT

Elleellee says

Use a feather duster.

Posted at 8:45pm Apr 19, 2009 EDT

sbpoet says


Thanks for the guidance, people.

Posted at 9:27pm Apr 19, 2009 EDT

feathers are waterproof, so you could try to boil one to see how it reacts. It should boil the dirt out, but leave the clean feathers in tact. It will also kill any of the marrow that is still inside, which could stink if not boiled. HTH

Posted at 9:38pm Apr 19, 2009 EDT

Unfollow username?

Are you sure you want to stop following this person?