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21 Tips for Washing Your Winter Gear

Updated: May 15, 2023

Wool Coats/Sweaters/Pants

  1. Treat wool coats with a lint or suede brush after wearing to remove any surface lint or dried salt (pant hems, coats, etc.)

  2. Hang wool coats on wood hangers, this will prevent the coat from stretching in the shoulder area.

  3. Hang wool coats in a closet with room to breathe, wool coats should not be packed into a full closet. Allowing a wool coat to have room to breathe ensures the fabric stays crisp.

  4. Dry clean wool coats at the start of winter and again at the end of winter.

  5. Wool sweaters should be washed according to the label.

  6. Machine washable wool should be done in the “wool cycle” with cool water.

  7. Handwash wool sweaters in lukewarm water with a mild detergent, let the item sit and soak for 3 to 5 minutes and then rinse with cool water. Squeeze the remaining water from the item and lay flat to dry.

  8. Never use hot water or bleach on any wool items.

Down Jackets/Blankets

  1. Top load washing machines can damage down items, using a front load washing machine is recommended.

  2. Down items should be washed on the “permanent press” cycle.

  3. Add only the recommended amount of detergent, excess detergent will leave residual soap on the item and will prevent it from getting “fluffy.”

  4. For excessively soiled items, simply stop the wash cycle mid-cycle and let the item sit and soak for about an hour, then complete the full washing cycle.

  5. Dry down items on lower heat, as high heat can cause unnecessary wear to down-filled items.

  6. If the item is not dry after a standard, low heat dryer cycle it is necessary to do one more low heat cycle.

  7. Toss a few tennis balls or dyer balls into the dryer, this will help to break up the “clumps” that occur with the down-filled pockets.

Leather Gloves

  1. Freshen up leather gloves without ruining them, use a bit of saddle soap with a damp papertowel and work the soap into the leather, use a new damp towel to wipe away the soap and leave to air dry.

  2. To clean the inside of leather gloves, simply turn them inside-out and apply a few drops of Woolite or gentle detergent with a damp washcloth, wipe gently and use a clean damp washcloth to rinse the soap away.

Knit Hats/Gloves/Scarves

  1. Knit hats/gloves/scarves are best washed with gentle shampoo (yes, hair shampoo) and conditioner.

  2. Place knit items in lukewarm water mixed with a small amount of shampoo and conditioner for a minute or so, rinse and fill the sink again with clean lukewarm water and a bit of vinegar (which will help to protect the fibers.)

  3. To dry, place knit items in the washing machine on the spin cycle for 10 seconds.

  4. Lay knit items flat to air dry. Sources:

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