Alligator, you must have missed that memo. The CDC works because of the little air pockets trapped in the feather barbules. Fly floatant just mattes everything altogether so the CDC feathers don't trap air
Yup, that white fuzzy stuff is them. They can also be dyed. They're super effective, It’s also easy to work with for tying. Especially on small flies like Tricos, and they tend to float right in the film like the naturals. If you tie, Hans is the man, and has alot of very effective patterns like the CDC Elk caddis imitation. If you tie, try and get a handle on the four different types of CDC feathers and the best ways to use them from the article that Fyshstkr linked. I use them for wings on really small stuff in place of hackle or deer hair on patterns like SparkleDuns size 20, and some emergers which are basically just nymphs with a short tuft of CDC.
I usually just try to air dry by false casting, unless they really get slimed, then they go into a dessicant like Frogs Fanny.
The only other option for CDC is using a mushroomy thing that you may come across in the woods, in which case you can make your own little blotter. Its common name here in the US is “Hoof Fungus”, if you want to poke around and see if you can find some in the wild (on the hoof?),
But you can’t charge big bucks for something with a name like that, so it goes by a more upscale name of Amadou in fly shops, where you can also buy it. It's sliced into a pad like a sandwich. Put the fly in, squeeze, and it blots it dry:
Amadou, the real thing- about 35 bucks
Synthetic amadou (Samadou) about 6 bucks (but it would even be cheaper if they called it "Shoof fungus")