How To Wash Your Winter Jackets Easily and Properly

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Winter slush, sleet and salt can make any coat look dingy in no time. Whether it’s because your coat simply needs to be cleaned or you want to store it for the summer (minus the dirt), here are some hints for how to wash your winter jacket to keep it looking like new.

Improperly cleaning a winter jacket will cause damage to the fibers of the coat and may even leave a musty odor. The thickness of the jacket and its filling create the cleaning problems. If it is soiled with something wet, the dirty particles can seep all the way through the layers of the jacket. Washing a winter jacket takes longer than washing a light jacket for the same reason, the water and detergent require extra time to soak through the jacket’s layers.

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During this period of frost, ice and snow, there’s nothing more practical or more comfortable than a warm jacket. But to make it last longer, you need to properly take care of it.

We found some great tips for washing your winter jacket at home, so you don’t have to waste time taking it to the dry-cleaners. Take a look.

  1. Fasten the zipper and buttons before washing. If your coat has any inner faux fur lining in it, remove it if at all possible. Then turn the jacket inside out.
  2. Wash the jacket separately from all other pieces of clothing.
  3. Only use liquid detergent for washing delicate fabrics. No powder should be used: it doesn’t rinse out very well and can make parts of the lining stick together inside the coat. Also, do not add any fabric softeners as they can leave stains.
  4. Choose the most gentle mode for washing, and wash at a low temperature. In fact, it’s best to wash your jacket in cold water. You should also rinse it three to four times.
  5. When washing your winter jacket, the main thing you need to be careful about is preventing the internal lining (often made of down) from crumpling up. To avoid this happening, put special washing balls or a couple of regular tennis balls in the drum of the washing machine.
  6. Drying your jacket off properly after it’s been in the wash is an important stage of the overall cleaning process. Once you’ve taken it out of the washing machine, unzip it and turn it in again. It’s better to dry your jacket outdoors, or in a well-ventilated area. Don’t dry it near any heating appliances.
  7. Your jacket may take more than one day to get completely dry. You can speed the process up a little if you periodically shake it down from time to time.

Remove the jacket from the washer and hang in a place where air is circulating until it is completely dry, or place the jacket in the dryer on the cool setting and run the dryer. The dryer will probably have to run at least two times for the jacket to dry completely. Avoid excessive heat while drying to protect the fabric and the filling from damage.

Check the jacket’s label for special directions before washing because not all fabrics have the same cleaning requirements.