Winters are on the way and it’s almost time to retrieve your warm clothes. If you didn’t get the chance to clean or wash your winter staples last time, it is a good time to start now. A soiled parka, greasy sweater, stained jacket, or cardigan covered in lint won’t let you start the season with style and charisma. The best of our winters coats did not come cheap and we aim to keep them around for many years to come. It makes sense to treat them in a way that preserves their freshness and vibrancy. You probably own coats made from a range of different materials, thus you cannot clean them all using the same method. The wrong technique could cause shrinkage, color fade, or damage the garment in worse ways, rendering it unwearable.
Wool is a natural fiber that can be hand washed with lukewarm water and a mild detergent. Machine wash can weaken the fibers; boiling water and chemicals like bleach can also cause irreversible damage. Add a little fabric softer when you hand wash, as it will restore fluffiness. Avoid tumble dry and let your woolen garment dry naturally, hung on a sturdy wooden hanger. If you want a stubborn stain removed, it is best to take it to a professional dry cleaner. Brush your wool coat with a lint brush after every wear to keep it neat and in pristine shape.
Pure cashmere will stay as good as new if you hand wash it with cold water and baby shampoo. Do not tumble dry as it will turn wrinkly and ironing can cause the fabric to stretch. Store your cashmere coats flat or hanging straight, as folding creates conspicuous creases.
Fleece & Down
Jackets and vests made from fleece or down are easiest to work with. You can put them in a washing machine with your regular detergent; toss in a few tennis balls to prevent clumping. Tumble dry is fine but air dry is better to keep your garments wrinkle-free.
Washing faux fur at home is never a problem. However, hand washing with cold water, mild detergent, and hair conditioner is the optimum approach. In addition, do not machine dry or iron, as heat can ruin the texture of synthetic hair. On the contrary, washing natural fur coats is a criminal offense; always take them to the dry cleaner!
If your leather jacket cost a small fortune, stick to a professional laundry service. Cheap or synthetic leather can be rinsed by soaking it inside out in soapy water. Stains can be easily removed with a damp cloth and you can apply leather conditioner to restore suppleness. Let it hang dry to avoid wear and tear.
Suede is a slightly tricky material, which is why dry clean is recommended. It stains and soils very easily, hence regular cleaning might be necessary. A suede brush must be used to remove dust, debris, and scuff marks after every wear. Spots or blotches can be removed at home using a commercial stain remover.
The elegance and allure of velvet cardigans, capes, and shawls is unmatched. If you wish to keep your velvet evergreen, you can either hand wash with a mild detergent or dry clean. Never iron velvet; if you want to get rid of crinkles, turn it inside out and use a steamer. Always store your velvet garments by hanging in an airy space because it flattens when pressed against a surface.