How to Wash Suit Jackets

There are different types of suit jackets. They are primarily used for formal occasions and have come to represent success or at least a business-minded disposition.

Suit jackets, however, are often made with some of the most delicate fabrics known today, with wool being its most familiar component. 

Many people have accidentally ruined their suit jackets by being careless with their laundry methods. This article will explore the best way to wash the different fabrics used to make suit jackets.

Washing the Different Types of Suit Jackets

Suit jacket

Suit jackets come from different materials; some come from wool or a blend of wool with other materials such as cashmere, polyester, silk, or cotton.

Before deciding to wash any suit jacket, the most important thing is to know the fabric used in making the jacket and to check the fabric care label. 

Jackets made from wool and cashmere are best washed by hand, while you can safely wash those with cotton, polyester, and linen with a washing machine.

Fabric care instructions are also crucial. Some jackets come with a “dry clean only” tag. If this is the case, you can still wash your jacket at home, but you will have to do a small test.

Mix a small amount of water with a mild detergent you intend to use. Choose a small inconspicuous area of the jacket and dab the soapy mixture on it. Observe the jacket.

If there is no adverse effect on the testing area, it is okay to wash the jacket at home; if the jacket shows signs of discoloration or fading, then the best move is to send the jacket to a dry cleaner.

How to Wash a Suit Jacket By Hand

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Always wash suit jackets made with the most delicate fabrics by hand; this includes woolen and cashmere jackets.

Use the steps outlined below to wash suit jackets without ruining them:

Step One: Empty All the Suit Jacket’s Pockets

Leaving objects in your jacket’s pockets can damage its fabric during the washing process.

Before you commence laundry, empty every pocket to protect your jacket better.

Step Two: Pre-treat The Jacket Before Washing 

Pre-Treating a jacket involves spot-cleaning specific stains on the jacket. Different stains can be pre-treated in different ways.

Make sure you read the fabric care instructions before using a detergent or any other type of chemical on your jacket.

You should always test products like stain removers and fabric softeners in a hidden area of your jacket before use. Avoid the use of bleach in your pre-treating and washing process.

Step Three: Fill a Sizable Tub, Sink, or Washbasin With Water

Bathtubs or wash basins are helpful when washing suit jackets because they allow you to submerge the jacket completely.

Fill the bowl with cold water because wool tends to shrink in hot water.

Step Four: Soak the Jacket 

Add a unique wool or cashmere shampoo to the water and mix thoroughly. Submerge the jacket entirely in water and allow it to soak for up to 30 minutes.

Agitate the water surrounding the jacket to spread the shampoo evenly across the jacket.

After soaking is complete, rinse the jacket over cool running water until all suds on the jacket are off. Carefully remove the excess water out of the jacket without wringing it.

Step Five: Hang the Jacket to Air Dry

air-dry suit jacket

The heat of a dryer can shrink your jacket, so you are better off air drying your jacket.

Before you do, place the jacket on a clean, dry towel. Roll the jacket in the towel to remove excess water.

After this, you can either place it on a sturdy hanger or a drying rack for it to air dry. Ensure that you keep the jacket away from direct sunlight and other heat sources to avoid shrinking, yellowing, or other damages.

How to Wash Your Suit Jacket With a Washing Machine

wash your suit jacket

Some suit jackets made from fabrics like cotton, linen, and synthetic polyester can be machine washed with little or no issues.

Still, it is better to take great care when using a washing machine to wash suit jackets. Follow the steps below carefully to wash your suit jackets without damaging them:

Step One: Prepare the Jacket For the Washing Machine 

It would be best if you carried specific procedures before putting your jacket in the washer.

Empty all pockets of the suit to prevent stray objects from damaging your jacket. Turn the jacket inside out to protect the fabric.

Since you will be using a gentle setting on your washing machine, you may want to spot clean tough stains.

Finally, put the jacket in a mesh bag to prevent any damage from the agitation made by the washing machine.

Step Two: Choose a Mild Bleach Free Detergent

Suit jackets are very vulnerable to harsh detergents that can cause them to lose color. Liquid detergents are preferable to powdered detergents as they don’t stick to the fabric.

Detergents specially prepared for delicate fabrics will usually give perfect results. Avoid washing products such as fabric softeners and bleach.

Step Three: Choose an Appropriate Setting for Your Washing Machine

Suit jackets prefer a gentle wash cycle; the jacket should not be in the washer for longer than 30 minutes. 

Wash with cold water and no spin. Hot water will cause your jacket to wring while spinning and adversely affect the fabric’s color and strength.

Step Four: Air Dry Your Jacket in The Shade

Dryers are very bad for suit jackets, even those made from cotton and polyester. The best way to dry your jacket remains air drying.

Place the jacket on a sturdy hanger to preserve its shape and hang it in a shady place. Do not hang directly under sunlight, as direct sunlight will cause the jacket to lose color and shape.

Preferably jackets should be washed in the evening and allowed to dry overnight.

Ironing Your Suit Jacket Properly

After you have washed your suit jacket either by hand or with a washing machine, you will likely have a wrinkled jacket that needs a bit of straightening.

Considering that most fabrics used to make suit jackets are averse to heat, you want to proceed with care when you decide to iron your jacket.

To iron your jacket without ruining it:

1. Turn the jacket inside out and spread it on an ironing board.

2. Place a clean cloth (preferably white) over the jacket. Also, ensure that the iron is clean so you don’t stain your jacket.

3. Set the iron to a low setting. If the iron has a steam function, set it to spray the fabric occasionally. 

If your iron doesn’t have a steam function, use a vaporizer or an empty spray bottle to spray water on the suit on occasion.

4. Run the iron all over the jacket until you get a smooth appearance. Make sure you don’t place the iron on the spot for longer than ten seconds at a time.

After ironing, place the jacket on a good suit hanger and store it until the subsequent use.


The type of fabric used to make Suit jackets can determine the washing method you use. 

You can either wash your suit jacket by hand or with a washing machine, but always check the fabric care label to decide the best way to go.

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