How to Wash a North Face Jacket

North Face fleece jacket folded up in a clothes hamper

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 10 - 15 mins
  • Total Time: 1 - 3 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $5-10

The North Face sells some of the most popular jackets out there, and they're a staple when the weather gets colder. But, these jackets require proper care and cleaning to ensure they last for a long time.

Learn how to wash a North Face jacket so it will look good for years to come.


The soft, napped finish that contributes to the fabric's insulating qualities can trap lint and become knotted. However, you can help prevent fuzzing and pilling by avoiding excessive heat and friction when washing the fleece.

 Detergent  Mild or gentle laundry detergent
 Water Temperature  Cold or warm
 Cycle Type  Gentle or Permanent Press
 Drying Cycle Type  Line dry only
 Special Treatments Treat stains with an enzyme-based cleaner
 Iron Settings  Do not iron
 How Often to Wash  If worn daily, wash weekly or as needed

How Often to Wash North Face Jackets

Fleece jackets worn daily should be washed at least once a week. Other fleece garments worn next to the skin should be washed bi-weekly to remove body oil and soil. If you notice odors or surface stains, it's time to wash the garment.

All jackets should be cleaned well at the end of the season before storing them. While polyester cannot be damaged by most insects, some stains can become permanent if left on the fabric for too long.

Fleece jackets should be laundered, carefully folded, and stored in sealed plastic bins or cloth bags to deter dust. Hanging fleece for an extended time can result in permanent darts in the shoulders or a misshapen jacket. Store your fleece in a cool, dry space.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 washing machine or large sink
  • 1 sturdy hanger
  • 1 clothesline or drying rack
  • 1 microfiber cloth


  • 1 container gentle liquid laundry detergent
  • 1 container enzyme-based stain remover
  • 1 box baking soda


Materials needed for washing a North Face fleece jacket

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

How to Wash a North Face Fleece Jacket

You can successfully machine wash or handwash a North Face fleece jacket. Use lower water temperatures and gentle agitation to help prevent pilling.


For a more gentle wash, choose a front-loading or top-loading washer without a center agitator.

  1. Read Labels and Sort the Laundry

    Always check the care label for specific instructions.

    It is important to sort your laundry and avoid washing your fleece jacket with lint-producing clothes, like cotton flannel or towels, because fleece is a magnet for shedding fibers. Fleece also attracts pet hair, so reduce and remove lint before laundering. It is often best to wash your North Face jacket alone or with other similar jackets.

    Make sure to check the pockets for tissues or paper that may disintegrate in water and stick to the fleece. Close all zippers, buttons, and fasteners, and then turn the jacket inside out to prevent excessive rubbing to the soft side of the fleece.

    Reading the care label on a North Face fleece jacket

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

  2. Choose the Water Temperature, Washer Cycle, and Detergent

    Always select the cold or warm water setting—never hot—when washing fleece jackets. High temperatures can damage fleece fibers.

    Choose the gentle cycle for fleece jackets that are lightly soiled. For heavily soiled pieces, use the permanent press cycle, which has a cold rinse and a lower spin speed.

    Use a mild liquid detergent and do not use chlorine bleach or add fabric softeners to the wash or the rinse cycle. If your jacket has strong odors from perspiration or campfires, add one cup of baking soda to the wash water to help absorb odors.

    If you are handwashing your North Face jacket, fill the sink or tub with warm water and add approximately one-half teaspoon of detergent for every gallon of water. Add the jacket to the soapy water and allow it to soak for about 20 minutes. Gently squeeze the jacket to loosen the soil, but do not aggressively scrub the fabric. Rinse well and squeeze out the water, no wringing. Hang to air-dry.

    Submerging the North Face fleece jacket into a wash basin

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

  3. Shake and Line Dry

    When you remove your jacket from the washer, turn it right side out and give it a good shake to help remove wrinkles. Hang it on a sturdy hanger, or fold it over a drying rack to air-dry. Do not use a clothes dryer to dry fleece. The high temperature and the friction will cause pilling.

    Laying a North Fleece jacket on a drying rack

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Treating Stains on a North Face Fleece Jacket

Place a dab of enzyme-based stain remover or laundry detergent on a microfiber cloth. Rub the stained areas with the cloth to help lift the stains. Wait at least 10 minutes before washing the jacket to allow the cleaner to begin lifting the stains and then, wash as usual.

Oil-based stains can be difficult to remove from polyester fibers. Allow more time for the enzyme-based stain remover to work - up to 30 minutes before washing.

Repairs and Care of a North Face Fleece Jacket

Zipper replacement or rips in fleece jackets can be repaired with a sewing machine or by hand-sewing. The North Face company accepts damaged or used garments that they will refurbish and recycle.

The more you wash a fleece jacket, the more the fibers will degrade and eventually mat. Fleece fabric rarely shows wrinkles, so ironing should be avoided at all costs, as it could melt the jacket.

Tips for Washing a North Face Fleece Jacket

  • Use a sticky lint roller to remove lint before washing.
  • Use cool water and the gentle or delicate cycle on your washing machine.
  • Turn your jacket inside out before washing.
  • Wash fleece jackets separately; never with lint-producing cotton towels or sheets.