It's that time of year again when you dig out your favourite winter items to stay warm in the cooler weather. These items, although only used for some of the year, require great care in order to uphold their quality. Here at The Laundry Press, we are cleaning experts who regularly deal with a number of winter garments. Take a look at our top tips:
Winter Coats & Jackets
When it comes to winter coats, it is important to follow the individual care instructions on the label to properly clean them, as these instructions will depend on the material. If there are any small stains on your coat or jacket, try and spot clean them by dabbing the stain rather than rubbing, as this can spread the stain and damage the material. Try and remove stains as quickly as possible, as the longer they soak into your coat or jacket, the more difficult they are to remove.
To protect your coats and jackets this season, do not apply hairspray, perfume, or cologne while wearing them, and instead, do this before putting them on. Additionally, wearing a scarf can act as a barrier between any makeup you have on and the top of your coat or jacket, meaning it is less likely to get marked.
There are two main types of good winter coats - puffers and wools:
Puffers (puffer jackets) can technically be washed at home; however, great care is needed. If in doubt, a professional cleaner can clean it for you. Firstly, look at the type of washing machine that you have as these jackets require a front-loading washing machine for their protection. Check the label on the jacket to ensure that it is recommended you use a washing machine before cleaning it. Before putting it to the machine, puffer jackets should be wiped off any loose debris or dirt, and the jacket should be fastened and turned inside out. No detergent or fabric softener should be used in the water as this can damage the jackets ability to keep water out. Wash on a cold and delicate cycle to protect the jacket and dry on a low heat. A great tip is to use tumble dryer balls in the dryer as this will help even out the down within the jacket.
Wool coats, on the other hand, are unlikely to be able to be washed at home and should instead be taken to a professional. When wearing your wool or wool-blend coat, there are some care tips that you can do to prolong the time between cleanings and protect your garment, so you can wear it for years to come.
Firstly, ensure that the coat is kept clean and has no loose threads or piles. Lint rollers and sweater shavers are excellent tools to help with this, and they are very affordable. Secondly, when not wearing your coat, or storing it during the summer months, ensure that it is protected within a garment bag, with acid-free paper inside to help stop creasing. If you have an issue with moths, it is also recommended that you use a cedar hanger, as this will deter them from damaging your coat.
Wool & Cashmere
Some of the most classic winter materials for sweaters, tops, or skirts are wool, and more specifically, cashmere, but these materials can be difficult to care for and should be cleaned with caution. Any type of wool should not be treated with heat as this can damage the fibres and lead to shrinkage. Instead, consider hand washing in lukewarm water with specialist gentle, eco-friendly wool cleaner. When drying, wool clothing should lay flat instead of hanging as this can stretch the fabric. If in doubt, it is best to call in the professionals for delicate materials like this.
To prolong the lifetime of your wool products, try and avoid wearing them with any jewellery that could cause it to catch, ruining the fabric. Additionally, when not wearing them, wool and cashmere should be neatly folded instead of hanging in your wardrobe to stop them from becoming out of shape. Allowing plenty of space within your storage to let the material breathe and maintain its softness and fluffiness.
A great pair of jeans is hard to come by, so you will want to ensure they stay in good condition for as long as possible once you find the perfect pair. The best way to keep your jeans in great condition is by limiting the number of times that you wash them. As jeans are a thicker and more robust material, they do not need to be washed after every wear – instead, they can be worn up to 10 times before needing to be cleaned!
When they do need washing, many believe that handwashing is best for protecting the denim – using cold water and gentle detergent before rinsing out any cleaning products. If you are using a washing machine, it is important to put on a cool setting as this won't shrink the material and you should turn the garment inside out to limit the denim fading. Again, before doing anything, check the washing instructions on the garment for personalised instructions. All denim should not be tumble dried and instead should air dry to avoid them shrinking or damaging the stretch of the fabric.
Faux Fur Coats or Scarfs
There is nothing that says winter more than a soft but comforting faux fur coat or scarf that will help keep the heat in and the cold out. Follow care labels for these products to ensure they retain their quality.
If your faux fur has a small mark or spillage on it, use a spray bottle of water to wet the area before combining the stain out with a soft and natural brush. If the stain is larger, it may be able to be washed in the machine on a delicate cycle, but check the instructions or ask a professional for their advice before you do so. The fur should, however, not be tumble dried and should be left to dry naturally.
To ensure that the fur stays in good condition, try not to wear in the rain or snow where the coat will get very wet, as this can damage the material. Additionally, consider brushing the fur with a soft brush every so often to prevent matting.
Cleaning and looking after winter items can be tricky, but it is vital to maintain their quality for years to come. Ensure that you follow any care instructions on the labels, and if you are unsure, contact our expert team for some advice- we love to hear from you!