How to Clean 9 Types of Winter Coats

  • 01 of 10

    How to Clean 9 Types of Winter Coats from Faux Fur to Suede

    how to clean winter coats
    Illustration: Wenjia Tang. © The Spruce, 2018

    Winter coats are sold in a wide variety of fabrics and styles. They can be designed to be fashion-forward or simply styled to keep us warm and are usually one of the most costly items in a closet.

    Learn how to care for nine winter coat fabrics to protect your investment and keep your coat looking its best.

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  • 02 of 10

    How to Clean Wool Coats

    How to Clean Wool Coats
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    Wool is a natural fiber spun from the hair of sheep or goats. It is washable using cool water and a gentle wool wash. However, almost all wool coats are labeled dry clean only. Why?

    To achieve the structured shape of tailored wool coats, the manufacturer must use interfacings and padding to give the wool extra body and to prevent stretching. These inner fabrics are not washable. In fact, many of them will dissolve or become misshapen in water. Wool coats may also be lined with fabrics that are not washable.

    If your coat just needs to be freshened or spot cleaned, you can use a home dry cleaning kit. Wool coats can also be pressed carefully at home to remove excessive wrinkles. Always read the care label and follow the instructions.

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  • 03 of 10

    How to Clean Down Coats and Vests

    How to Clean Down Vests and Coats
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    Down coats and vests are lightweight and incredibly warm. The secret to their success is keeping the down clean, dry, and fluffy. Even though you've probably heard disaster stories about wet down clumping, down garments can be successfully washed and dried at home. They will actually look and perform even better.

    Again, read the care label to be sure that the outer fabric, which can be a natural or synthetic like olefin, is washable. Then using down wash, a front load washer, and a dryer on low heat, you can have a clean coat or jacket.

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  • 04 of 10

    How to Wash Fleece Coats and Garments

    How to Care for Fleece Coats and Jackets

    Fleece is a high-tech fabric that is lightweight, provides incredible warmth, and some types can even wick away perspiration to keep you dry during strenuous activities.

    Since fleece is a synthetic fiber fabric (most often polyester), it should be washed in cold or warm water on the permanent press cycle, which has a cold rinse and does not spin excessively fast that can set in wrinkles.

    Air drying is best for fleece but you can tumble on low heat to get started but remove it while it is still slightly damp. NEVER dry on high heat.

    Fleece can be a magnet for pet hair and lint, so be sure to wash it with non-lint producing clothes and follow all tips for reducing and removing lint from laundry.

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  • 05 of 10

    How to Wash Faux Fur Coats and Trim

    How to Wash Faux Fur
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    The key to taking care of faux fur coats, is to read the care label. The "fur" is almost always a synthetic fiber that is washable but the inner linings and structural components of the coat may not be washable.

    One of the worst enemies of faux fur is excessive heat. Keep your coat away from direct heat sources and never use high heat on the dryer if you wash the coat.

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  • 06 of 10

    How to Care for Natural Fur Coats

    How to Care for Natural Fur Coats
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    Natural fur coats come from the pelts of animals and the fur is a protein fiber like our hair. However, specialized care must be used when cleaning a fur coat to keep the hide that holds the hair supple. If the hide becomes too dry or isn't maintained properly, the fur will shed.

    A professional should be used to clean a natural fur coat

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  • 07 of 10

    How to Wash Waterproof Coats

    How to Wash a Waterproof Coat
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    After following the care label directions, the key to keeping a waterproof coat in good shape is to always wash in cool water using a gentle detergent that will not harm the waterproof finish. Never place the coat in a dryer, always air dry, and keep it away from high heat.

    If you have heavy stains, follow these tips for stain removal.

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  • 08 of 10

    How to Wash Vinyl Coats

    How to Care for Vinyl Coat
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    Vinyl and faux leather coats are man-made fabrics that are quite easy care. Stains can usually be removed by just wiping down the surface with a damp cloth. Read the care label, but most vinyl coats can be machine washed on the gentle cycle in cool or warm water. Never put the coat in the dryer because high heat can cause it to melt.

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  • 09 of 10

    How to Clean Leather Coats and Jackets

    How to Clean a Leather Coat or Jacket
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    Keeping a leather coat soft and supple takes a bit of care but it can last for many, many years. Many stains can be removed by simply wiping them away with a clean, damp cloth. However, removing stains like mildew or ink from leather require a bit more effort.

    The key to keeping the coat looking its best is conditioning the leather using the proper products.

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  • 10 of 10

    How to Clean Suede Coats and Jackets

    How to Care for Suede Coats and Jackets
    Glasshouse Images/ Getty Images

    Natural suede is created from the soft underside of a split grain animal hide. It has a nappy finish that is easily stained. There are specific care steps for cleaning suede that will help remove stains and protect the finish.

    Be sure to read the fiber content on the care label because some "suede" is actually a man-made fabric.