It’s natural to want any coat you wear to look its best, but sooner or later you are going to have to deal with cleaning it. You could take it to a dry cleaner, but they are quite expensive these days, and many of the use extremely harsh chemicals that leave your coat smelling more like a garage than a glamorous garment.
Here are some of the best ways to clean your coat at home, and also deal with a few common coat problem spots.
1. Cleaning the Whole Coat
The first step is to see what fabric it is. Wool will be the most delicate because you don’t want to shrink the coat or have it look like a wrinkled mess once you have washed it. Synthetic coats like parkas made of nylon also pose their problems.
Read any care instruction labels inside the coat. They might be on the collar or the lower seam. Even if it says dry clean only, you can usually get around this if you are really gentle.
Wash It in the Machine
You can put wool in a washing machine if you use cold water and a gentle cycle. Place the coat in a large pillowcase or a mesh laundry bag if you have a very big one. Use a small amount of detergent so it does not get too sudsy and then cause problems with rinsing.
When they cycle is done, take it out immediately, shake it out, and put in on a wooden hanger. If any areas of the coat look bunched up, pull them out gently into shape. If it looks really wrinkled, iron with a cool iron.
This is possible if you have a small coat or jacket. However, there are two issues. The first is that wringing a wet coat to try to get the water out will damage the fibers and often give the coat a wrinkled or worn appearance. The second is that the weight of the water will stretch most fabrics once you hang it up.
The best solution if you really need to go over the coat by hand to give it a thorough cleaning is to put it in a washing machine for a spin cycle afterwards to remove as much of the water as possible from the coat fibers before hanging it up.
Shower Steam It
Hang the coat in the bathroom and shut the door. Take a hot shower for around 15 minutes. The steam will steam the jacket, killing bacteria and eliminating odors.
Buy a Home Dry Cleaning Kit
These can clean a coat without too many harsh chemicals. Check to see that the kit is suitable for the fabric you wish to clean. The kits usually involve you putting the garment in the tumble dryer.
Febreze is a fabric deodorizer, so it can do wonders to freshen up an otherwise clean coat you’ve been in smelly places with. Spray it inside and out and leave to dry.
2. Stain Removal Tips
Nothing can make a coat look old faster than stains on it. Here are some of the ways to tackle them.
Makeup on the Collar
Men’s shaving cream will usually take it off. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wash.
Oil or Grease
Apply baby powder and let it sit overnight to absorb it. Brush it away the next day.
Clean it by rinsing it with white wine, or by placing salt on it for a few minutes to absorb the liquid. Then brush it away.
Sweat under the Arms
Spray with lemon juice. If the stains are really dark, use ammonia. Leave to soak for a few minutes, then wash the coat.
Use these ideas to avoid having to take your coat to be dry cleaned. It’ll save you money and will also benefit the environment – a win-win method.