In the cold and wet of winter, our jackets and coats become our most treasured items of clothing. Whether warm and woollen, or lightweight and waterproof, it’s important that we know how to wash a coat properly so that it can continue to protect us from the elements.
Coats and jackets are also one of the most expensive clothing items that we buy for our kids, so preserving their lifespan is key. This doesn’t mean you have to discourage puddle splashing or tree climbing – these tips for washing coats will help keep your family’s outerwear in perfect condition, no matter what they get up to.
How to wash a waterproof jacket
Waterproof jackets can get muddy and usually need washing once or twice a year – just sponge off any muddy marks between washes to keep their appearance looking fresh.
Follow these steps for washing waterproof jackets more thoroughly:
- Check the garment care tag on the jacket to make sure that you choose the right washing method for its material. Check if it can be washed in the machine.
- Check if the jacket features any different materials, like leather trims, as you might need to use a different washing method for these.
- Make sure the pockets are empty and fasten any zips or Velcro.
- Brush off any remnants of dirt or mud.
- If the garment care tag states that the item can be machine washed, wash the item in the washing machine at the advised water temperature. Most waterproofs will need to be washed with a detergent that is specially designed to maintain the waterproof qualities of the fabric.
- Some waterproof jackets can be washed in an alkaline-free detergent (again, make sure you have checked the garment care tag). In this case, a pH-neutral detergent like Persil Silk & Wool should work well.
- Air dry on the washing line, or tumble dry if this is advised on the garment care tag.
Washing waterproof jackets is as easy as that! If you are washing a jacket that is made of Gore- Tex ™, read this article for simple tips on how to wash Gore- Tex ™ waterproofs.
How to Wash a Wool Coat
Wool coats can last for a very long time if they are given the right care. Follow these steps to find out how to wash a wool coat, and keep it in great shape for longer.
First and foremost, check the garment care tag as many wool coats are ‘dry-clean only’. If the garment care tag permits handwashing, take the following steps
- Fill a sink with cold water, or the bath if the coat is too large to fit in the sink.
- Add a liquid detergent designed for washing wool, like Persil Silk & Wool. Read the product label on the bottle for dosage instructions beforehand.
- Place the coat in the soapy water and swish it around gently. Let the coat soak for 5 minutes.
- Empty the soapy water and rinse the coat thoroughly in cool, clean water. The shower head can be useful for this, particularly if the coat is large.
- Drain the water and gently squeeze the coat. Do not wring out the coat as this can stretch or damage the fabric.
- Place the coat onto a large towel, and roll the coat inside the towel. Leave it to absorb excess water for a couple of minutes.
- To dry the coat, lay neatly on a dry towel, smooth out wrinkles and gently arrange the coat into shape. Leave the coat drying flat at room temperature before hanging or wearing.
With special and sometimes expensive fabrics involved, washing coats takes a bit of extra care, but these tips should see you through to spring without any damage!