How to Wash Winter Jackets

Winter jackets are essential for the season; they are comfortable, cozy, protective, and fashionable. Some people also reach for their favorite winter jackets in other seasons.

It is vital to wash your winter jacket once or twice a season for good hygiene and to maintain the structure.

The thought of washing this bulky clothing item can send people straight to the costly hands of professional dry cleaners. But, it is not as arduous as you may assume; it can be easy to wash your winter jacket yourself in your home.

3 Ways to Wash your Winter Jacket

Wash Winter Jacket

Once you follow the proper washing procedure, you should have a clean winter jacket to enjoy. Washing your winter jacket is crucial because the structure can start disintegrating after constant exposure to debris and bad weather conditions.

Be gentle when washing a winter jacket to avoid unintentional damage like shrinking, piling, etc.

At the end of the season, wash your winter jacket before storing it for a long time.

Method 1: Wash your Winter Jacket in a Washing Machine

Washing Machine

Yes, you can put your winter jacket in the washer; with the condition that you select the correct settings.


  • Read the Care Label of the Winter Jacket
Winter Jacket Care Label

Check the care label to confirm its wash procedure before you think of washing your winter jacket. The care label should inform you whether your winter jacket is machine washable, hand wash only, or dry clean only.

Checking the care label when you are purchasing is advisable to align with your preferred wash practices.

The care label also informs you about the water temperature suitable for washing the winter jacket, the drying procedure, recommended laundry additives, etc.

Some winter jackets that are machine washable are; down, puffer, and active. Although, you should always confirm from the care label.

  • Prepare the Winter Jacket

Run a thorough check for stains on your winter jacket. Ideally, you should spot clean the winter jacket as soon as stains occur, but some crafty ones might be hiding.

When stains dry and set on the winter jacket, it makes the already stressful washing process even more tasking, but pretreating can reduce some of that stress.

Use a suitable stain remover or laundry detergent to spot clean the stains.

After treating the stains, check the pockets of the winter jacket for any loose coins or debris and quickly remove them. Close the zippers and buttons, and remove any attachments; they can damage the winter jacket or the washer.

Remove dust and debris from the outer part of the winter jacket with a soft brush.

  • Choose the Correct Wash Settings

Select the gentle/delicate wash cycle to wash your winter jacket because it uses slow spin speeds and a short wash period. Use a front-loading washer or a top-loading washer with no center agitation to prevent excess stress on the winter jacket.

Check the care label for the correct water temperature, but you should stay in the safe zone with cold water. Heat can damage, shrink, or melt your winter jacket.

Another vital selection for your winter jacket is the detergent you will use to wash it. Detergents containing enzymes, bleach, optical brighteners, etc., can be too harsh for the fiber of your winter jacket.

Use a mild laundry detergent to wash your winter jacket. Always follow the recommended dosage because too much detergent will not rinse out properly, which can damage the winter jacket.

  • Load the Winter Jacket Correctly

The only thing left to do at this stage is to place your winter jacket in the washer. Wash the winter jacket alone without other clothes to prevent damage. If you have multiple winter jackets, ensure to sort them into similar colors and fabrics.

Place any attachment, like belts, into a mesh laundry bag and wash it with the winter jacket. Some winter jackets like wool may require a mesh laundry bag when loading.

  • Finish Wash

When the wash cycle ends, remove the winter jacket from the washer and lay it on a sturdy surface so it can start air-drying. You can also tumble dry the winter jacket on low but refer to the care label for confirmation.

Remove the winter jacket from the washer after washing, or it will develop a foul odor and may start bleeding color.

Method 2: Hand Wash your Winter Jacket

Some winter jackets cannot withstand a washing machine, and you should only hand wash them. While this method is more labor-intensive than machine washing, it is also easy.

Winter jackets made of wool, faux fur, and some active wear have delicate surfaces that will only disintegrate in the washer.

The wash settings – detergent, prepping, and water temperature – listed in the machine washing method also apply when hand washing.

Following the instructions on the attached care label will clear up any confusion.


  • Prepare your winter jacket by checking for stains, closing the zippers and buttons, and turning it inside out.
  • Sort multiple winter jackets into similar-colored and similar-fabric loads.
  • Check for stains on the winter jacket and spot clean them.
  • Choose your preferred wash space that has enough space for the winter jacket. Your bathtub or a sizable bowl should be enough.
  • Clean the wash space to prevent dirt and debris from transferring to the winter jacket or ruining the efficacy of the detergent.
  • Fill the bathtub or bowl with cold water or whatever temperature the care label suggests.
  • Pour the correct amount of a mild liquid detergent. For wool winter jackets, use a wool-specific detergent to avoid damage.
  • Agitate the water with your hands to ensure the detergent dissolves.
  • Place the winter jacket into the soapy water.
  • Leave the winter jacket to soak for 30 minutes.
  • Gently wash the jacket, but do not wring or twist it.
  • After washing, drain the water.
  • Fill the bathtub or bowl with clean cold water and start rinsing the winter jacket with the same gentle agitation used during the washing.
  • Continue rinsing till there is no soap left on the jacket.
  • Hang the winter jacket; so the excess water drains without squeezing or wringing.
  • Lay a clean, absorbent towel on a flat surface, place the winter jacket, and roll the towel with the jacket inside. The towel will absorb the excess water.
  • Lay your winter jacket flat to air-dry.

Method 3: Dry Clean the Winter Jacket

As much as you try to avoid dry cleaning, there are some winter jackets that you should send to the professionals.

Winter jackets made from viscose, leather, suede, or fur should never enter the washer, and you should not attempt to hand wash them either. Moreover, these winter jackets will have a “dry clean only” instruction on the care label.

The dry cleaners will use a distinctive technique to wash your winter jacket without damaging the fabric of the structure.

How to Maintain your Winter Jacket

  1. Store the winter jacket well.

Because the winter jacket is seasonal clothing, you should store it well to preserve it for the rest of the year. Wash your winter jacket and repair damages before storing it.

Hang the jacket on a sturdy wooden hanger in your closet or fold it in a fabric bag or plastic container. Ensure the storage is dry and well-ventilated to prevent mildew and mold.

  1. Treat your winter jacket with proper care.

Always follow the proper procedure when washing the winter jacket to preserve its lifespan.

Brush the winter jacket daily and spot clean stains the instant they occur.

Air-dry and use a laundry spray on your winter jacket to maintain freshness.

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