Summer ended just as swiftly as it started, and now that chilly weather is settling in, it’s time to bundle up in your coziest coats and plush jackets. Revitalize outerwear post-storage and keep it clean through the dawn of spring with our tips for washing and eliminating odors and stains from the warm comfort of your own laundry room. From shackets to puffers, wool jackets and teddy coats, our expert-crafted, plant-derived solutions will keep your layers looking and feeling fresh all winter long.
A Quick Note
Whipsawed by confusion over whether to wash? While most outerwear pieces can be laundered, be sure to take note of your item’s details and construction. If there are non-removable leather or fur attachments, heavy structuring or paneling, or if the item contains real fur or hide, it’s best to gently spot-treat stains with our Wash & Stain Bar and cool water.
If your outwear contains none of the above, you’re good to easily hand or machine launder them with the below steps. We’ve successfully washed...
- Down, fiberfill, and synthetic puffer coats & vests
- Teddy coats
- Trench coats
- Denim jackets
- Wool coats and jackets
- Faux fur coats and vests
Step 1: Get Stains & Odors Under Wraps
Stain removal is an essential prep step before washing! We recommend treating stains on outerwear prior to washing with Stain Solution, a key component of the Wool & Cashmere Kit. This highly-concentrated liquid pretreat is packed with stain-fighting enzymes that combat all color-rich, protein and tannin based stains like red wine, perspiration, coffee, mud, and grass. Laundress Fact: Stain Solution is suitable for all washable fabrics, including cotton, durable and delicate synthetics, silk and cashmere.
To use, pour a tiny amount of the Stain Solution liquid over the affected area and work in using your fingers or our extra-gentle Stain Brush. It’s always best to start with just a dime-sized amount of product to avoid over-saturating the fabric—as you work the solution in, you can layer on more as needed. This method is also excellent for pretreating stain-prone areas like cuffs and collars.
If you’re not planning on washing your outerwear but want to nix a stain, go with spot treating: Hold our Wash & Stain Bar under cool water and work into the stain with your fingers or a damp Stain Brush until discoloration has lifted. Wipe away soap with a damp Lint-Free Cleaning Cloths, and let air dry.
To treat odors in outerwear, try presoaking in your washing machine or Wash Tub Basin using about 3-4 capfuls of Scented Vinegar. This solution, scented in our essential-oil based No. 247 fragrance, absorbs tough odors without bleaching fabrics or an off-putting “vinegary” smell. Soak for 15-20 minutes before proceeding with your laundering method.
For more in-depth stain removal tips, check out our guide to removing any stain in 10 minutes!
Step 2: Wash Like A Pro
Once you’re ready to wash, always remove any fur or leather attachments (these can be freshened with a steamer and our Wool & Cashmere Spray—do not wash them!) and place your coat inside a Mesh Bag before dropping into the washing machine. This adds a crucial layer of protection against rips, tears, and snagging during the wash cycle, and also helps to preserve fit and finish. We recommend washing coats separately from other garments, and taking care to avoid overloading your machine.
Next, grab the hero product in our Wool & Cashmere Kit, the Wool & Cashmere Shampoo. This highly-concentrated, high-efficiency-optimized detergent is pH neutral, meaning it will provide an effective clean while preserving the soft, fluffy feel of your winter fabrics. Bonus: The shampoo’s Cedar fragrance reminds us of a crisp, morning walk along a wooded trail, blending fresh notes of sandalwood, cedar, rose, and orange.
For high-efficiency machines, add 3-4 capfuls into the dispenser or drizzle evenly over the Mesh Bag. Select a cold, low-spin cycle for laundering such as the handwash or delicate setting. The low spin is key to maintaining the fit of your items. If your coat has heavy buildup, or if you prefer to lighten up the Wool & Cashmere Shampoo’s scent, select an extra cold rinse cycle.
Pro Tip: When washing vintage outerwear pieces, inspect the constructions very carefully before laundering. If you find loose threads, rips, or pulling at the seams, a safer cleaning method would be to simply hand wash or steam and then mist with our odor-removing Wool & Cashmere Spray. If you don’t have a steamer, you can use your iron on the steam setting, hovering just over the item without making contact. If you have a vintage faux fur that sheds after touch, do not wash—only follow the instructions for steaming. For excessive odors on non-launderable items, mist with a 50:50 solution of Scented Vinegar and water, then steam thoroughly before spritzing with Wool & Cashmere Spray.
Step 3: Dry, Freshen, and Finish
Once you’re ready to dry, lay your outerwear flat in its natural shape on a drying rack or hang to dry. Wool and wool blend coats, faux fur, denim jackets, and trench coats should never be placed in the dryer. Down, fiberfill, and synthetic puffer coats should be removed from their Mesh Bags and air fluffed in the dryer on a no-heat setting using Dryer Balls. These 100% wool balls help to redistribute and fluff up feathers and filling during the drying process, and can also help to reduce static. If you like, you can mist them with the Wool & Cashmere Spray for an extra hint of scent. Fleece jackets can be dried with either method, just be sure to use the no-heat setting if machine drying to avoid shrinkage. Use a wide-tooth hair comb to detangle and brush faux fur pieces during air drying for a sleek finish!
For a boat of freshness both after and between washes, spritz items with Wool & Cashmere Spray. This plant-derived formula adds a soft, cedar scent to garments between washes while removing odor. It’s also ideal for refreshing closets, drawers, and upholstery.
Finally, for a pill-free finish on wool and wool-blend outerwear, glide the Sweater Comb over friction-prone areas in the direction of the fabric’s weave. This handy tool also works on sweaters, scarves, wool coats, and even pant legs! Two fine metal mesh screens on a cedar wood handle gently pick up stray pills while leaving renewed yarns behind. For more information on care for wool outerwear, check out our guide to washing wool coats, capes & more!
Laundress Fact: All the products in your Wool & Cashmere Kit can be used on more than just outerwear. These solutions are ahh-mazingly effective on knits, winter accessories like hats and scarves, down bedding, and even upholstery.