How to Clean and Care for Faux Fur Coats and Trim

Faux fur trim on a coat

The Spruce / Michelle Becker

Overview
  • Working Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 day
  • Skill Level: Beginner

It takes a bit of extra care to keep faux, or fake, fur coats and trim on hoods and collars looking their best. Beyond the issue of animal rights, fake fur offers some advantages over real fur: It's more resistant to insect damage and withstands humidity and temperature changes when in storage. While many faux fur garments may have a care tag that recommends dry cleaning only, faux fur items can be cleaned at home. If you decide to take your garment to a dry cleaner, make sure that the cleaner is well-trained to ensure they won't damage your coat with chemicals and high heat.

You can hand-wash or machine-wash faux fur. However, if you decide to wash faux fur in a washer, use a high-efficiency washer on the gentle cycle for the best results. A high-efficiency washer (whether it's front-load or top-load) is much less harmful to faux fur because the agitation is gentler. The same cleaning techniques recommended for faux fur coats can be used for faux fur blankets, throws, and removable pillow covers.

How Often to Clean Faux Fur Coats and Trim

Clean your faux fur coat and trim once a season. Spot-clean dirt and stains whenever necessary.

washing faux fur

 Illustration: © The Spruce, 2018

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Sink or large basin for washing
  • High-efficiency washer (optional)
  • Drying rack or sturdy padded hanger
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Wide-toothed comb (optional)
  • Spray bottle (optional)
  • Thick bath towel (optional)
  • Vacuum with upholstery or brush tool (optional)

Materials

  • Mild laundry detergent
  • Cool water
  • Hair conditioner (optional)

Instructions

How to Wash Faux Fur Coats and Trim
Detergent Mild
Water Temperature Cold/cool
Cycle Type Gentle and low-speed spin, if machine is used at all
Drying Cycle Type Air-only setting, if dryer is used at all
Special Treatments Hand-washing is preferable
Iron Settings Do not iron

How to Hand-Wash Faux Fur Coats and Trim

  1. Mix Water and Gentle Detergent

    Hand-washing is the best choice for washing any type of faux fur item. For large coats and blankets, the cleaning can be done in a large plastic storage container or bathtub. Fill the sink or basin with cool water and 1–2 teaspoons mild detergent, such as Woolite or Studio by Tide.

    Someone mixing water and detergent

    The Spruce / Michelle Becker

  2. Submerge the Faux Fur

    Fully submerge the faux fur in the detergent solution. Swish the fur through the water for 10–15 minutes. Avoid excessive agitation and wringing.

    Someone submerging faux fur trim

    The Spruce / Michelle Becker

  3. Drain and Rinse

    Lift the fur out of the water. Gently squeeze out as much soapy water as possible. Drain the basin, and refill with clean water. Rinse until no suds remain.

    Someone ringing out faux fur trim

    The Spruce / Michelle Becker

  4. Remove Excess Water

    Gently squeeze out as much excess water as possible. You can also roll the fur in a thick bath towel to help remove the water.

    Someone rolling faux fur in a towel to dry

    The Spruce / Michelle Becker

  5. Allow to Drip-Dry

    Use a drying rack to dry the faux fur flat, or place it on a sturdy padded hanger, and hang from a shower rod to dry. Place the drying rack or hanger in the bathtub or shower to catch the drips and avoid a wet floor.

    Reposition the faux fur item often so there are no crush marks. Use your hand to smooth any areas that don't appear smooth. Keep out of direct sunlight and heat. It may take 24–48 hours to dry. Don't wear or use until the faux fur is completely dry.

    Warning

    Don't put faux fur in a clothes dryer on a heated setting. Heat can melt the faux fur fibers and cause them to fuse and become matted. Once this has happened, the damage can't be reversed.

    Faux fur trim on a drying rack

    The Spruce / Michelle Becker

  6. Brush and Untangle Knotted Faux Fur

    After the fur is dry, use a soft-bristled brush to gently brush any matted fur and lift the fibers. A wide-toothed comb can be used to loosen up stubborn fur.

    Then, smooth the fibers by mixing 1 teaspoon hair conditioner with 2 cups warm water. Place the mixture in a spray bottle, and spritz the fur in a small area. Use a soft-bristled brush or wide-tooth comb to gently untangle the fur. Work in a small area, and brush slowly. If fibers come out, you're brushing too hard. When you're finished, wipe down the area with a clean, damp white cloth, and allow to air-dry.

    Someone brushing out faux fur trim

    The Spruce / Michelle Becker

How to Machine-Wash Faux Fur

  1. Fill the Washer

    Fill the washer to a medium level with cold water. Add 1–2 teaspoons mild, color-safe detergent, such as Woolite.

  2. Add the Faux Fur and Soak

    Place the faux fur item in the washer. Allow it to soak in the water and detergent solution for 15 minutes. Don't soak longer, or you may damage the backing fabric of the faux fur.

  3. Drain, Rinse, and Spin

    After 15 minutes, set the washer to drain and to a low-speed spin. Switch to the rinse cycle, and allow the washer to fill with cool water. Don't allow the machine to agitate. Drain and low-speed spin again. If you feel the fur needs an additional rinse because it feels soapy, do so at this time. Prevent knotting of the fur by avoiding the use of agitation.

  4. Fluff the Fur

    After washing in a machine, the fur may appear to be slightly matted. Fluff it up again by brushing it gently with a soft-bristled brush. You can also toss the coat into a tumble dryer and use the air-only setting. Do not use heat.

Storing Faux Fur Coats and Trim

Faux fur clothing should be completely dry before storing short-term or for the next season. To prevent crushing the fibers, hang garments with plenty of space for air circulation. Cover with a cotton garment bag to prevent dust from settling in the fur.

Repairs

Small rips in the backing of faux fur can be repaired by hand-stitching the tear with a matching thread. If the fur has fallen out or melted, it cannot be repaired.

Tips for Washing Faux Fur Coats and Trim

  • You'll have the best results when washing faux fur if the fibers are short in length or looped. Long-haired and shaggy fake fur accessories are 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.
  • If you have a standard top-load washing machine with an agitator, seriously consider washing faux fur by hand.
  • Lightly vacuuming a faux fur item before washing can help reduce shedding and eliminate some dirt. Be sure to use the upholstery or brush tool as you gently go over the fur.