A great wool coat is the full package: cosy, classy and versatile throughout the colder months. But how do you wash a wool coat without damaging the fabric or the shape? Once you’ve found your sartorial soulmate, here’s how to clean and iron a wool coat, and keep it in top condition for the long term.
How to clean a wool coat: Regular maintenance
A good rule for how to care for a wool coat is to avoid getting it very wet, as it can lose some of its shape and fabric quality when it dries off.
The easiest and safest way to regularly dry clean a wool coat at home is to gently lift away surface dirt and oil using a lint brush. Brush your coat after every wear if possible, to prevent a build-up of dirt and lengthen the time between professional dry cleans.
How do you wash a wool coat? Tips for a wool-safe deep-clean
Brushing should be your go-to method, but how can you wash a wool peacoat or jacket more thoroughly if brushing won’t do the job?
The first step is to check the washing label for guidance on how to clean a wool coat safely. If your coat is dry-clean-only, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. But if your coat is less delicate, then you could try out these at-home methods.
Dry clean wool coats at home
It’s very difficult to dry clean a wool coat at home in the same way that it would be dry cleaned professionally, but you can still clean your coat at home without immersing it in water.
Put your coat in the freezer!
This won’t get rid of surface dirt, but it will help to kill bacteria that can make your coat smell bad.
Try a hand-held steamer.
Steaming your coat will help to freshen it up between professional dry cleans. Concentrate the steam over stained areas to help lift them out of the fabric.
If in doubt...
Take it to a dry cleaner! It's not worth ruining your beautiful woollen coat.
How to wash a wool coat with water
Can you hand wash a wool coat? On the care labels of some wool coats, hand washing will be listed as a safe method of cleaning. If this applies, the steps below should freshen up your coat and keep it in good condition.
Fill a large tub or bath with cool water
Fill a large tub or bath with cool water and around 30ml mild washing detergent.
Move it around
Move the coat around gently in the water so that it’s saturated.
Leave to soak for 10-30 minutes.
Drain the bath and refill with fresh, cool water.
Swirl the coat around again in the fresh water to rinse out the detergent.
Go for a second rinse
Drain the bath again and re-fill for the second rinse. Add around 30ml Comfort Pure fabric conditioner to the final rinse water.
Absorb excess water
Then, remove the coat and lay it on a thick towel, gently rolling the coat up in the towel to absorb excess water.
Finally, leave the coat flat on a fresh, dry towel to dry over 2-3 days. Never dry your coat hanging up, as the weight on the wet fibres could distort the shape.
How to get creases out of a wool coat
Wool coats look their best wrinkle-free, and ironing is the quickest way to smooth out creases. Here’s how to iron a wool coat.
Check the label
Check the care label to see if your coat is suitable for ironing.
Lay your coat flat on an ironing board and place a sheet or a clean pillowcase over the surface of the wool to protect it from direct contact with the iron.
Set your iron to a low heat
Set your iron to a low heat and for the best results, use steam from your iron with Comfort Vaporesse Ironing Water to leave your wool coat fragrant and perfectly smooth.
How do you get wrinkles out of a wool coat without ironing it? If your coat is too delicate for the ironing, there are other answers for how to get creases out of a wool coat.
First, try simply leaving your coat hanging on a broad hanger outside your wardrobe overnight and let gravity work on the creases.
A hand-held steamer can also be a great tool for smoothing out creases. Hold it around 15cm from the fabric and move it over the garment slowly.
How concerned are you about disinfecting while cleaning?
How to care for a wool coat when you’re not wearing it
When the weather gets warmer and you know won’t be wearing your coat for a few months, store your coat carefully to keep it in its best condition.
Keep moths away. Repel moths and other insects that could infest and damage your coat over the summer by zipping your wool coat into a garment bag. Try cedarwood chips or balls as a safer, natural alternative to mothballs.
Store your wool coat on strong, broad hangers. Avoid hangers that are thin or made of metal for your coat: the arms of the hanger should be wide and smooth to prevent the shoulders of your coat from being pulled out of shape by its own weight.
So, if you're asking yourself “how do you get wrinkles out of a wool coat?” or “can you wash a wool peacoat?”, this guide should have all the answers you need to keep your favourite winter coat clean, smooth and in great condition for as long as possible. Wrap up against the winter winds in style!