How to: Clean your Winter Coat
Fur, wool, fleece, and leather, winter coats are sold in a variety of different styles and fabrics, and knowing exactly how to care for them is, often times a challenge. Check out these tips on how to care for your winter coats to help keep them looking great for many seasons to come!
Down Feather Coats
Down feather coats and vests are light-weight and very popular during the cold weather months. To clean a down feather coat, start by treating any heavily soiled areas with a stain treatment. Next, toss the coat in the washing machine on a cold, delicate wash cycle, then proceed to dry it on a low-heat, low-tumble cycle. Toss a set of tennis balls into the dryer to help make your coat fluffy again.
Although wool coats tend to be more delicate than other jackets, they are almost as easy to clean provided you follow the correct steps. Start by treating any soiled areas with a pre-treatment stain remover. Using a wool-friendly detergent, such as Woolite, wash the coat on a gentle cycle using cold or warm water. Do not dry your wool coat in the dryer as it could cause it to shrink. Hang it to dry and use a steamer to eliminate any wrinkles.
Sometimes, especially with high-end wool coats, the liners used on the interior of the coat and the interfacing padding are not able to be washed in a normal washing machine, but rather they should be taken to the dry cleaners. Always read the care label on the garment to ensure proper cleaning.
Fleece coats are warm and cozy, but there is no denying that they tend to attract and collect dirt and grime more so than other jackets. Before washing your fleece coat it’s important to remember to turn the jacket inside out. Since fleece is a synthetic fiber it is also important to remember to only wash it in cold water using a liquid detergent, and avoid washing your fleece items with other clothing that might create lint. When it’s time to dry your fleece items the best way to do it is to let them air-dry by laying them on a flat or drying them on a low heat temperature setting.
Faux Fur Coats
Faux fur coats are also made from synthetic fibers, so hand washing is simply the best way to get them clean. Coats can be cleaned in a large plastic storage container or in your bathtub. Start by filling the tub with cold water and add a small amount of gentle laundry detergent. Swish the coat through the water for 5-10 minutes and avoid over agitating and wrinkling the fabric. Rinse completely and allow the coat to air dry (may take 24-48 hours) completely before wearing.
Some faux fur coats can be washed in a washing machine, however the more agitation the machine causes, the higher the chance is that the faux fur will become matted. If a faux fur coat is dried, the high heat from the dryer can melt the faux fur fibers and cause them to become fused.
Natural Fur Coats
Natural fur coats are made from the pelts of animals and require specialized care and cleaning to prevent the hide from drying out and cracking. For this reason, it’s best to have your natural fur coats dry-cleaned.
It takes only a few steps to keep a leather coat feeling soft and supple, but if taken care of the right way, it can last for many years. Most stains can be removed from your leather coat by wiping them away with a clean, damp cloth. However, the key to keeping your leather coat looking its best is consistent conditioning of the leather.