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How to Clean Feathers

June 16, 2011 by  
Filed under People

Feathers are beautiful especially when they come from select birds such as the Sebastopol geese, flamingo, or a peacock. Even some that from some turkeys or chickens are quite attractive. If you want to cherish the feathers you have you can, and you can use them for crafts of all kinds.

Introduction:The dried feces, dirt, and debris often found in bird feathers can be cleaned using a variety of methods. You can try whatever suits you or you can try what you would feel is best for the texture of a particular feather fabric.

The Cleaning Methods:

One of three methods are often used to clean bird feathers. Further descriptions are given below:

  1. The soap and water method-Note that you cannot use any soap and not all types of feathers can tolerate certain kinds of cleaning solutions. Usually Woolite and water is recommended. You need this and a bucket, blow dry, and basin (or tub).To start, just fill the washing basin or tub with warm water. Then, ad about a capful or two of Woolite to it. After that, swish the water around with your hand to help agitate it but do so carefully so you do not damage the feathers.The next step then would be to drain the water basin or tub and rinse it out before filling it with clean, soapless water. Then, reshape the feathers to the way they originally are supposed to look. You can let them air dry while sitting on a towel for best results, or you can blow dry them on a very low (lukewarm or cool) setting.
  2. Gasoline method-First, gather together gasoline, white flour, and a bucket. Fill the bucket with a small amount of the gasoline and then dip the feathers into it. Rub the feathers in the direction of the tip and not against the natural flow of the hairs, then shake off excess gasoline and let dry.For white feathers you can make a past out of gas and flour. This can be rubbed over this strands of “bird fur” from the bottom to the tip. You should keep doing this until each feather is clean, then rinse in the same way you would using the soap and water method, but do NOT use a hair dryer on gasoline!
  3. Dry cleaning method-For this you need corn meal, white flour, powdered Borax, and a bag. Fill the bag with ½ cup flour, 1 cup corn meal, and 3 tbsp Borax. Put the feathers in the bag and close it. Then, shake the feathers around in the powder and once each one is clean remove them and shake away the excess cleaning powder.

Final Words:These may not be the only way that you can clean feathers. However, these are some of the more popular ways they can be washed. You could also just try plain cold or warm water as it could rinse off most of the “gunk.” But if they smell you may need the Borax for deodorizing.

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