Faux or fake fur coats and trim on garments take a bit of extra care to keep them looking their best. Beyond the issue of animal rights, fake fur offers some advantages over real fur by being more resistant to insect damage and easier to care for during moisture and temperature changes. While many faux fur coats or trimmed garments may have a tag that recommends dry cleaning only, faux fur can be cleaned at home. If you do decide to take it to a dry cleaner, make sure that the cleaner is well-trained to help insure they won't damage your coat.
The same cleaning techniques recommended for faux fur coats can be used for faux fur blankets, throws and removable pillow covers that have become a decorating staple.
You will have the best results when washing if the faux fur is short in length or looped. Long-haired and shaggy fake fur accessories are very prone to knotting and matting. If you plan to wash long and shaggy faux furs at home, always opt for hand washing instead of using a washing machine. When cleaning any type of faux fur, avoid as much agitation (spinning or wringing) and high heat as possible.
How to Wash Faux Fur Coats and Accessories
The best choice for washing faux fur items is hand washing. For large coats and blankets, the cleaning can be done in a large plastic storage container or bathtub. Use cool water and a very small amount of gentle detergent. Swish the fur through the water for no more than 10 or 15 minutes and avoid excessive agitation and wringing. Rinse well with clear water and allow to drip dry.
If you decide to wash faux fur in a washer, use a high efficiency washer on the gentle cycle for best results. A high efficiency washer (front loading or top loading) is much less harmful to faux fur because the agitation is more gentle. If you have a standard top load washer, seriously consider hand washing the faux fur-especially larger coats and blankets-by hand.
With any type of washer, the least agitation possible is the best choice. Fill the washer to a medium level with cold water. Add a tiny amount of mild, color safe detergent like a wool wash (Woolite). Place the fake fur garment in the washer. Allow the faux fur to soak in the water and detergent solution for 15 minutes. Do not soak longer or you may damage the faux fur's backing fabric.
After 15 minutes, set the washer to drain and spin. Switch to the rinse cycle and allow the washer to fill with cool water. Do not allow the machine to agitate. Drain and spin again. If you feel the garment needs an additional rinse, do so at this time. Again, no agitation!
How to Dry Faux Fur Coats and Accessories
DO NOT put the garment in a clothes dryer. Use an indoor drying rack to dry the item flat or place on a sturdy, padded hanger and hang from the shower rod to dry. Reposition the coat often so there are no crush marks on the faux fur. Use your hand to smooth any areas that don't appear smooth. Keep out of direct sunlight and heat. It may take 24 to 48 hours to dry. Do not wear or use until the faux fur is completely dry.
Remember high heat can melt the faux fur fibers and cause the fibers to fuse and become matted. Once this has happened, there is little to be done that can reverse the damage.
How to Smooth and Untangle Faux Fur
After washing, the fur may appear to be slightly matted. You can fluff it up again by brushing gently with a soft bristled brush. You can also toss the coat into a tumble dryer and use the AIR ONLY setting. NO HEAT!
In addition to brushing the coat, you may be able to smooth the fibers by mixing a teaspoon of hair conditioner with 2 cups of water. Place the mixture in a spray bottle and spritz the fur in a small area. Use a soft bristle brush to gently brush the fur. Work in a small area and brush slowly. If fibers come out, then you are brushing too hard. When you are finished, wipe down the area with a clean, damp white cloth and allow to air dry.