How to Wash and Care for Faux Fur Clothing
Machine- and Hand-Washing Instructions for Coats and Jacket Trim
It takes a bit of extra care to keep faux—or fake—fur coats, jacket trim, and other items looking their best, but in a few simple steps, you can refresh and revive your favorite pieces. Some garments may have care tags that recommend dry cleaning only, while others can be cleaned at home using a gentle laundry detergent like baby detergent. 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 clothing with chemicals and high heat.
Beyond the issue of animal rights, faux fur offers some advantages over real fur: It's more resistant to insect damage and withstands humidity and temperature changes when in storage. Faux fur clothing should be cleaned once per season or when it becomes dirty, soiled, or unkempt. Never dry faux fur in a hot dryer—air drying is recommended, but you can use the air fluff setting on your dryer if necessary.
Here, learn how to clean faux fur to keep your favorite items in their best shape.
Can You Wash Faux Fur?
You can hand-wash or machine-wash faux fur clothing and accessories. If you decide to use your washing machine, choose a high-efficiency washer on the gentle cycle with cold water to prevent shrinkage or other damage.
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 cleaning a faux fur coat or jacket can be used for faux fur blankets, throws, and removable pillow covers.
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)
- Mild laundry detergent
- Hair conditioner (optional)
|How to Wash Faux Fur Coats and Trim|
|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 Often to Wash||Once per season or as-needed when soiled|
How to Hand-Wash Faux Fur
Mix Water and Gentle Detergent
Hand-washing is the best choice for cleaning any type of faux fur item. For large coats and blankets, use a large plastic storage container or bathtub. Fill the sink, tub, or container with cool water and 1 to 2 teaspoons of a mild detergent, such as Woolite or Studio by Tide.
Submerge the Faux Fur
Fully submerge the faux fur in the detergent solution. Swish the fur through the water for 10 to 15 minutes. Avoid excessive agitation and wringing.
Drain and Rinse
Lift the fur out of the water. Gently squeeze out as much soapy water as possible. Drain the container, then refill it with clean water. Rinse until no suds remain.
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.
Allow to Drip-Dry
Use a drying rack to dry the faux fur flat, or place it on a sturdy padded hanger and hang it 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 it out of direct sunlight and heat. It may take 24 to 48 hours to dry. Don't wear, use, or store it until the faux fur is completely dry.
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.
Brush, Detangle, and Air Dry
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.
Next, smooth the fibers by mixing 1 teaspoon of hair conditioner with 2 cups of warm water. Place the mixture in a spray bottle and spritz the fur in a small area. Use a soft-bristled brush or wide-toothed 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 it to air-dry.
How to Machine-Wash Faux Fur
Fill the Washer
Fill the washer to a medium level with cold water. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of mild, color-safe detergent like Woolite.
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 it any longer, or you may damage the backing fabric of the faux fur.
Drain, Rinse, and Spin
After 15 minutes, set the washer to drain and spin on low speed. Switch to the rinse cycle, then 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 an agitator.
Fluff and Air-Dry 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-dry setting to fluff it. Do not use heat.
After fluffing, hang the garment and allow it to air dry completely. Your dryer's air-dry setting may be enough to dry it fully, but it's best to gently brush it out and let it dry completely on its own.
Treating Stains on Faux Fur
Put a small amount of mild laundry detergent—such as one drop—directly on the stain. Gently rub the detergent into the stain with your fingers or a clean, soft cloth. Once the stain is removed, use a clean cloth dampened with cold water to rinse away the detergent. Blot up excess water with a clean, dry towel. Shake the item to fluff the fibers and air-dry.
Faux Fur Care and Repairs
How to Repair Rips or Tears
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.
How to Reduce Shrinkage
When washing faux fur garments, never use hot water. Cold water and air-drying the item are key: This helps prevent both shrinkage and the fibers of faux fur melting together.
How to Keep Faux Fur Soft
If your faux fur doesn't need to be washed but isn't as soft as it used to be, you can spritz it with a mixture of 1 teaspoon hair conditioner and 2 cups warm water. Gently brush the fur and allow it to air dry completely before wearing it again.
Storing Faux Fur Clothing
Faux fur clothing should be completely dry before storing short-term or for the next season. To prevent crushing the fibers, hang your garments with plenty of space for air circulation. Cover with a cotton garment bag to prevent dust from settling in the fur.
Avoid folding faux fur garments and placing them in any drawers. This can cause the fur to tangle on one side or lose its volume; hanging these items is always best.
How Often to Wash Faux Fur Coats and Trim
Clean your faux fur coat and trim once per season or when it becomes soiled, dirty, or unkempt. Spot-clean dirt and stains whenever necessary.
Tips for Washing Faux Fur
- 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.
Can faux fur be washed with other clothing items?
It's best to wash faux fur without other clothing items to prevent tangling and other damage to all garments. If you absolutely must wash faux fur with other garments, place the faux fur item in a mesh laundry bag or turn it inside out for minimal protection.
How do you clean faux fur without ruining it?
If you are concerned about your item, the safest way to clean it is to hand wash it or take it to a professional dry cleaner that specializes in cleaning fur and faux fur. Never put a faux fur item in the dryer or you run the risk of ruining it.
How do I make faux fur look new again?
If necessary, use a pet brush to lightly brush the faux fur. A dog brush, called a slicker brush, is used on all types of canine coats. It has rows of thin wire pins that detangle and remove loose fur. You can always buy a special fur brush more commonly used on real fur coats.
How do you clean white faux fur?
Keep white faux fur looking pristine by spot-cleaning it with a clean cloth dipped in an approximate 50/50 mix of water and rubbing alcohol, then dab to spot clean. For a yellow stain on white faux fur, try gently rubbing it with a paste of baking soda, water, and a few drops of rubbing alcohol, then rinse by dabbing it with a moistened cloth. If the entire item needs cleaning, it may be best to take it to a professional cleaner with expertise in cleaning faux fur.