A Cleaner World Blog
Clean Your Winter Coat Before Storing it Away
Think about all the items a winter coat is exposed to in a season – precipitation, sidewalk and road salt, germs, dirt, makeup, and body oils and fluids. Are you guilty of placing your coat in the closet and pulling it out next fall to wear again? I am embarrassed to admit that I have done that. It is not that I purposely think about neglecting my coat; it is just that warmer weather slowly rolls in, and I need my coat less and less until I just forget about it.
A good-quality winter coat is meant to last for more than one season; for that to happen, it requires proper care.
- Hang when not wearing. It seems like an obvious statement, but my teenage son has a tough time with this. Leaving it wadded on the floor for the dog to use as a bed will cause it to be wrinkled and dirty but hanging it on a good-quality sturdy hanger will allow it to maintain its proper shape and save it from dog hair.
- Address stains immediately. As with any stain on a garment, the sooner you address it, the more likely it will be removed. And with all garments, you first need to check the care label to see if it is something you can attempt at home or if you need to take it to a professional. If it is machine washable, then it is safe for you to address it at home, but do not use any cleaner on your coat. A Cleaner World recommends warm water and a mild detergent.
- Brush. Just as you would a man’s blazer or suit jacket after wearing, brushing your winter coat once or twice a week will help remove any corrosive particles from the nap. It is easy to brush up against the side of your car that is covered with road salt or have your dog jump up on you with his dirty paws. Brushing will help remove dirt and elements, extending the life of your coat.
- Empty pockets. Leaving heavy items in your coat while it is hanging could lead to distortion or unnecessary wear. Make sure you remove items from pockets as soon as you get home.
- Clean before storing. Soiled winter coats, just like soiled winter clothing, are an open invitation to moths and other pests to feast on while in storage. Items may look fine when you take them out of storage, but as soon as you wash or dry clean the item, holes appear. That is because the fabric was weakened by insects, then the agitation the garment received during the cleaning process caused unbroken but weakened fibers to break. If it is machine washable, take care of it at home. If it’s not machine washable, drop it off at one of our locations, and we will take care of it for you.
When you finally get to put your coat away for the season, store it in a cool, dry location on a sturdy hanger, preferably in a breathable garment bag. For a bonus, throw in lavender or rosemary sachets to keep the critters away, and your coat will smell nice when you pull it out of storage next fall.