Did you know that coats get very dirty over time and lose their quality when improperly stored? Seeing as these items are extremely valuable and often expensive, it’s essential you take adequate care of your coats, no matter the season. As the weather begins to warm nationwide, you must not forget about your weather-protective gear. Take time this season to implement these tips on washing and storing your winter coat properly.
Depending on your lifestyle and daily activities, you might not notice if your coat is dirty. Most brands create coats with durable material that effectively repeals moisture, and you likely do not wear luxury coats when doing messy activities. However, like all the clothing items in your wardrobe, coats get extremely dirty. Rain and snow can cause discolorations, and the fabric can retain various viruses and bacteria. Plus, sweating can cause linings to smell and even change color. These factors are especially true for colorful or white coats, but black jackets are just as vulnerable.
But what about storage? Does your coat get dirty during the spring, summer, and fall? With improper storage techniques, the answer is a resounding “YES!” First and foremost, dust and stains from the past winter season can cause more permanent damage to the coat when stored away in a closet. Dust, most obviously, accumulates at a higher rate when in storage. Moths and other pests can completely damage the fabric of your coat as well.
As you can see, both cleaning andproper storage are necessary when handling winter coats. These articles of clothing are essential for the winter season and often the most expensive layers in your wardrobe. Without attention to detail or care, you could discover your valuable coat has regressed in quality by the time autumn rolls around! So, check out these key procedures you should follow when putting your winter coats away for the spring, summer, and fall.
Washing coats is not always a straightforward task, as many coats are different and require specific procedures. These differences typically relate to the fabric (exterior or lining), brand, and current condition of your jacket. If you use the wrong washing technique, you could actually damage a coat further and leave it ill-prepared for long months of storage!
If your winter coat of choice is a fleece coat, you’re in luck—cleaning these items is simple and quick. First, reverse your coat so that it’s inside out. Then, wash the item normally with cooler water. Avoid hot settings, as this can damage the plastic polymers, especially if the quality is poor.
Use a detergent when you wash, but always run an extra rinse cycle to remove any chemicals and detergent residue completely. Lastly, hang your coat up to air dry for a full day. Once the jacket is entirely free of moisture, it is ready for storage!
While synthetic materials like fleece are simple to wash, wool items tend to require more care and attention to detail. As such, many people simply have professional cleaners carefully wash their wool winter coats to ensure the best results. However, you can clean wool at home and be successful, too.
Wool needs washing at least once a season and once more right before storing the garment. The fabric traps dirt, which requires a stiff brush to remove completely. Do this brushing process a few times to ensure each fiber is debris-free. Use mild soap on a damp cloth to clean specific areas, like the cuffs or the collar. Dry clean your coat to get it fresh and ready for storage.
Leather and suede jackets are pricy, and unfortunately, they’re very difficult to wash properly. Like wool, most individuals choose to have their leather or suede garments professionally cleaned before and after the winter season.
If you plan to DIY clean your jacket, get a quality bottle of leather lotion and apply it liberally, especially over cracks. Chemicals and detergents will degrade the leather’s quality, so avoid messy activities when wearing this material. Like leather, suede requires natural washing techniques. Specifically, suede items require regular brushing—diligently brush any suede coat right before you store it for the season.
Washing down isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s far simpler when compared to leather, suede, and wool. This material only requires one to two cleanings each season, as the process can flatten the feathers. We recommend washing down in cold water with non-detergent cleaners. Additionally, wash your coat with tennis balls to keep feathers fluffy. Use gentle tumble-dry cycles to get all the moisture out of the down, and repeat this step until your garment is completelydry!
Once your specific coat is clean, it’s time to store it away for the year. What is the best way to do this process? First and foremost, you should never keep clothing inside the plastic wrapping. The plastic can warp and melt, causing discolorations and damage.
For heavy coats, use strong hangers that can handle the weight. Fabric hangers are the most durable hanger type, but wood is a good option, too. Cover your coats with a garment bag to prevent mold, mildew, and pest infestations.
You will want to neatly fold lightweight jackets and store them in boxes, specifically plastic bins with sealed tops. You can easily vacuum seal puffer coats, which typically take up plenty of space, for smarter storage. Once removed in the fall, your coats will naturally return to their normal shape and fit comfortably.
Store all these items in dark and dry locations. Basement closets aren’t the best option since groundwater can make these spaces damp and humid. Avoid garages as well since these areas are less insulated. Ideally, your storage location should remain at room temperature (approximately 65 degrees) throughout the summer season.
Understanding how to wash and store your winter coat properly will save you money and stress when winter rolls around. If you require a quality jacket that’ll last for many years, check out our collection of Canada Goose outdoor clothing and other great coats and garments! Escape Outdoors has the products and resources to ensure your clothing stays fresh, functional, and good-looking.
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