How to Take Care of Your Winter Coats

Man wearing winter jacket

A warm winter coat is a necessity in the northeast, and it can see a lot of wear and tear through the cold months. To keep your winter coat looking its best while keeping you warm, you need to clean, care and store for it properly until it’s finally time to welcome spring.

General winter coat care

Always follow the care label on your coat when you are cleaning and treat any stains promptly by blotting, not rubbing. Allowing dirt or salt stains to remain on the fabric for too long makes it more challenging to remove them. If you wear hair spray, perfume or cologne, apply it before you don your coat to avoid harming or staining the coat material. Wearing a scarf not only keeps your neck warm, but it can also prevent makeup and oil stains on the collar of your coat. Carrying heavy shoulder bags can wear down a coat and dyed shoulder bags may rub off on the coat material and stain. Hang your coat on a sturdy wooden hanger with sufficient padding to help maintain the shape of your coat. When you go to an event and check your coat, turn it inside out so that any unforeseen spills happen to the lining and not the outside of the coat. Hang a wet winter coat in a well-ventilated area so it can air day. Point out stains and dirt on your coat to the dry cleaner when you take it in for professional cleaning.

Cleaning a down coat

Although it’s possible to clean a down coat at home, it takes special care so if you have any doubts take it to a professional cleaner. A top load washing machine can damage a down jacket so only launder the coat at home if you have a front load machine. For home laundering of a down coat with a label that indicates machine washing is safe, you need to do the following:

  • Remove loose dirt and mud, zip coat up, close pockets and turn inside out
  • Ensure washing machine doesn’t have residual clothes detergent or fabric softener that can damage down feathers or strip waterproofing from fabric
  • Use only cleaner designed specifically for down outerwear
  • Use correct amount of cleaning detergent and set wash cycle to cold/delicate
  • Use rinse cycle 2-3 times if possible to remove all detergent
  • Tumble dry on low heat to avoid melting fabric, add 2-3 tennis balls to dryer to avoid feather clumping
  • Do not air dry as feathers can clumps and smell if left damp too long
  • Ensure jacket is completely dry before wearing

Cleaning a wool-blend winter coat

A majority wool blend coats can’t be washed safely at home in a machine and need to be taken to a professional cleaner. However, there are some ways you can help keep your wool or wool-blend winter coat looking its best between professional cleanings.

  • Use lint roller to remove human hair, pet hair and lint
  • Remove loose threads and reduce pilling with a “sweater shaver”
  • Hang on cedar hanger to keep moths away
  • Place coat in garment bag before storage and stuff sleeves with acid-free paper to prevent permanent creases

You need your winter coat to last all season and look its best so trust its care to the professional cleaning services of Embassy Cleaners. We offer convenient dry cleaning pickup and delivery to suit your busy life.

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