Yes, you can wash a wool coat, but it requires extra care compared to washing other types of fabrics. Wool is delicate and can be damaged or shrink if not handled properly.
Dos and don’ts of washing a wool coat
- Spot clean: Treat any stains or dirt with a gentle stain remover or a mild detergent and a soft cloth before washing the entire coat.
- Hand wash or use gentle cycle: If the coat is washable, hand wash it in a tub with cold or lukewarm water using a mild detergent specifically designed for wool. Alternatively, use the gentle or delicate cycle on your washing machine, if it’s safe for your coat.
- Turn the coat inside out: If machine washing, turn the coat inside out to protect the outer fabric from abrasion.
- Dry flat: Gently squeeze out excess water without wringing or twisting, then lay the coat flat on a clean, dry towel or drying rack to air dry. Reshape the coat while it’s still damp to maintain its form.
- Steam or press: Use a steamer or an iron on low heat with a pressing cloth to remove any wrinkles after the coat is dry.
- Read the care label: Always check the care label for specific instructions on cleaning your wool coat.
- Don’t use hot water: Hot water can cause wool to shrink and lose its shape. Stick to cold or lukewarm water.
- Don’t use harsh detergents: Avoid using bleach or detergents containing enzymes or brighteners, as these can damage the wool fibers.
- Don’t wring or twist: Never wring or twist the coat to remove water, as this can cause the fabric to stretch and lose its shape.
- Don’t tumble dry: Do not use a tumble dryer, as the heat can cause the wool fibers to shrink and lose their shape.
- Don’t hang to dry: Hanging a wet wool coat can cause it to stretch and lose its shape. Always dry it flat.
- Don’t dry in direct sunlight: Avoid drying the coat in direct sunlight, as this can cause the colors to fade.
5-step guide to the best way to wash a wool coat
Check the care label: Always read the care label on your wool coat for specific cleaning instructions and to determine if it’s safe for hand or machine washing.
Spot clean stains: Gently treat any stains or dirt with a soft cloth dampened with a mild detergent specifically designed for wool. Gently dab the stained area without rubbing to avoid damaging the fibers.
Hand wash or gentle machine wash: Fill a tub with cold or lukewarm water and add a mild wool detergent. Submerge the coat and gently swish it around. If machine washing, turn the coat inside out and use the gentle or delicate cycle with cold water and a wool-safe detergent.
Remove excess water: Gently squeeze the coat to remove excess water without wringing or twisting. If machine washing, use the lowest spin setting. To further remove water, lay the coat flat on a clean, dry towel, and gently roll the towel with the coat inside to absorb more moisture.
Dry and reshape: Lay the coat flat on a clean, dry towel or a drying rack, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Reshape the coat while it’s damp to maintain its form. Allow it to air dry completely before wearing or storing.
Can I use regular laundry detergent to wash my wool coat?
It is best to use a mild detergent specifically designed for wool or delicate fabrics when washing a wool coat. Regular laundry detergents may contain enzymes, bleach, or brighteners that can damage the wool fibers, causing them to weaken or lose their shape.
Is it safe to iron my wool coat after washing it?
Yes, you can iron your wool coat after washing and drying it, but be cautious. Use a low heat setting on your iron and place a pressing cloth between the iron and the coat to protect the wool fibers. Alternatively, you can use a steamer to gently remove wrinkles without direct contact with the fabric.
My wool coat’s care label says “dry clean only.” Can I still hand wash or machine wash it?
If the care label on your wool coat specifies “dry clean only,” it is recommended to follow those instructions and have the coat professionally dry cleaned. Washing a “dry clean only” coat at home may result in damage to the fabric or loss of shape. The coat may have special finishes, lining, or other details that require professional care.
Final thoughts 💭
Wool coats require extra care when washing to avoid damage or shrinkage. Before washing, always check the care label for specific cleaning instructions. It is best to spot clean any stains and treat them with a mild detergent. For hand washing, use a mild detergent designed for wool in cold or lukewarm water.
If using a washing machine, turn the coat inside out and use a gentle or delicate cycle with cold water and a wool-safe detergent. Do not wring or twist the coat and allow it to air dry flat away from direct sunlight or heat sources. It is best to follow the care label instructions, and if it specifies “dry clean only,” it’s recommended to have the coat professionally cleaned.