How to Wash a Winter Coat - A Complete Guide


It’s time to move your favorite coats to the front of the closet! Check out these simple at-home tips for how to wash a winter coat and put the comfy back into your favorite winter wear.

It’s the time of year to pull your favorite heavy coat from the closet. What may surprise you, however, is that it may not be as clean as you remembered when you put it in there. Before you panic, run to the dry cleaner, or abandon your coat for a new one, check out our complete guide to how to wash a winter coat. We’ll have you putting the comfy back in your favorite winter wear in no time.

How to Wash a Winter Coat By Material

Cotton and Jersey

You’re in luck. These materials are highly cooperative (and why they are often used in kids’ clothing.) Give them a wash on warm with a Dropps Stain and Odor Pod, and (if the tag agrees) do a full hot water cycle for extra nasty stains. Sleeves and collars can get pretty dingy, so it's a great idea to add a Dropps Oxi Booster Pod for extra brightening power! Dry on medium heat, or the temp recommended by the manufacturer.

Down or Down Alternative

Do you have a puffy coat filled with down or down alternative? It’s OK to give it a wash on the gentle cycle in your machine. Throw a newly-washed coat into the dryer, on low-heat for no more than 20 minutes. Check it to see how it’s coming along, and continue drying for additional 5-minute increments until it is dry. For best results, throw in a few Wool Dryer Balls to shorten drying time and help the garment regain its shape.

Fake Fur

If your fluffy coat seems a little stale, go ahead and wash it according to the tag directions. Care should be taken to hang it dry, however. If you need it to regain some of its “poof” after it’s fully dried, toss it into a steam-only cycle for a few minutes to bring back its sass.

How to Clean a Winter Coat: Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Spot Clean?

Spot cleaning is easy with Dropps Ultra Concentrated Detergent. Apply 1 pump of the detergent directly to the stain, and let sit. Use a clean washcloth and cool water to rinse afterwards, and lay it out to air dry! Use a Stain & Odor Detergent for tough stains, or try our enzyme-free Sensitive Skin formulation for natural fabrics such as wool.

Can I Wash a Winter Jacket in the Washing Machine if it says Dry Clean Only?

What do you do if your coat’s care label insists that you must outsource the cleaning? While it’s always advised that you follow directions for best results, it’s sometimes possible to cheat a bit with some very careful DIY hacks. Take a look at this blog post about how to treat dry clean only items at home.

While hand washing is best, Wool can usually be washed in your machine on the gentlest cycle possible with an enzyme free detergent like our Sensitive Skin Laundry Pods. Use cool water and never, ever dry it in a dryer – which can shrink and put holes in your precious piece. Blot soaking-wet jackets dry with a neutral-color towel and hang flat on a dryer rack for best results. Suede can usually be spot cleaned with an approved leather product only. Leave the fur to those who do it for a living.

Should I Wash My Winter Coat Inside Out?

Washing your winter coat inside out allows the inside of the garment to take most of the friction, and can prevent fading or damage to any delicate material. This method is recommended for material like fleece in order to keep the nap fluffy and smooth. However, if the outside of your coat is stained or dirty, you may want to wash it the more traditional way!

How Often Should You Wash Your Winter Coat?

We recommend washing your winter coat at least twice a season. Fancier or less worn winter coats can be washed less often, while more often-worn (and odor absorbent) items like fleece pullovers should be washed more regularly. No matter the coat type, be sure to wash your coat before storing it for the season since a dirty jacket can encourage moths and mice to hang about. If you failed to take charge last year, or you inherited a hand-me-down that needs a bit of TLC, you can rest assured that the tips shared above will make you an expert on how to wash a winter coat, and give your coat a new lease on life!