how to clean winter coats

How To Clean Winter Coats

If you’re wondering how to clean winter coats, then we’re here to help: down alternative puffer winter coats can go in the washing machine for basic cleaning, provided you follow the directions that are included on the garment tag. Just be sure to wash them on the delicate cycle in cold water, and don’t put them in the dryer unless the tag says it’s okay. For puffy coats that can go in the dryer, throw in a clean tennis ball or dryer balls along with the coat to help keep the shape of the garment during drying.

Proper coat care is important for extending the longevity of your winter wear. If you live in a city like New York, where cold weather is standard for a large portion of the year, then you know just how often your winter coat gets worn. During this time it’s exposed to a lot of elements, including snow and heavy winds. If you don’t take the time to care for it right, you’re not going to get many years out of it. And that’s not ideal, considering how expensive a good winter coat can be.

Of course, cleaning a winter coat isn’t always as easy as just tossing it in the washing machine. Below, we’ll go into more detail, plus advice on how to store winter coats so they’re cared for correctly in the off-season, too.

How to Clean Different Types of Winter Coats

There are lots of types of winter coats, from puffy parkas to carefully tailored wool pea coats. And how you care for your winter coat depends largely on what type it is.

  • Puffy coats. Puffy coats are made from down, and it’s important to keep those soft feathers protected while washing. Use a garment bag, and wash the coat on delicate with cold water. Then tumble dry on low heat using dryer balls. For best results, use a detergent specially formulated for down. Obtaining all these necessities might be difficult or costly, your nearest professional cleaner should be able to provide all of these for you.
  • Down alternative coats. The directions for washing down alternative coats are the same as what you would do for a down coat. And even though there are no actual feathers inside, it’s still a good idea to use a down-specific detergent. However, as before, it may be time consuming to find all the required components to wash these coats correctly. It will actually save you time to simply outsource it to established professionals like Cameo.
  • Wool coats. Most wool coats require dry cleaning, though some can be hand washed at home. If hand washing, use cold water and a mild detergent, and soak the coat for at least five minutes before rinsing. Hang to dry. Wool is extremely sensitive though, and our recommendation would be to seek out help from a cleaner. 
  • Fur coats. Faux fur can be washed on delicate in the washing machine, but cleaning real fur requires the help of a professional dry cleaner. You can spot clean at home however using a brush and a gentle solution specifically made for cleaning fur.
  • Flight jackets. How you clean your flight jacket depends on what material it’s made out of. Leather and shearling can be spot cleaned using a mild detergent, cool water, and a clean, damp cloth. Bomber flight jackets meanwhile can be submerged in cool water with mild detergent, then rinsed and hung to dry. However, much like wool, leather is also very sensitive to damage and should be trusted to professionals.

Storing Winter Coats

Storage is key for maintaining the condition of your winter coats. Always clean coats before storing them, then either place them in a garment bag or fold them and place them in a plastic bin (this will help keep out moisture). This goes a long way toward preserving your coats and will ensure they’re ready to go when the next cold front hits.

Trust Us With Your Winter Coats!

At Cameo Cleaners, we’re here for all of your dry cleaning needs. We specialize in caring for our client’s most delicate garments. Our experts clean, preserve, and store all varieties of winter coats to ensure they stay looking their best—and we’re always accepting new clients. Get in touch today with any questions, or schedule a pick-up