When the snow stops and the weather warms up, it's always a relief to abandon those heavy coats. But if you just hang ‘em and forget ‘em till next winter, you could end up with unexpected stains, odours or damage. So before storing them away for spring, give them some TLC so they're clean and ready to keep you cozy next winter. Here are a few special care tips specifically for parkas and insulated outerwear.

Quick tips

Look at the label first. Before you do anything, check care instructions and fibre content. Washing things like non-removable fur trim, wood buttons or leather inserts can be tricky to do yourself. If it says “dry clean only,” you may still be able to wash it yourself – with precautions like removing trim, etc. Not sure? Check the manufacturer’s website for washing instructions or contact the company directly.

Wash sparingly. Down and wool coats shouldn’t be washed more than once or twice a year. If you get a stain, spot clean it as soon as you can before it has a chance to set. 

Using a strong detergent can damage your coat. Use Soak to avoid stripping the wind/rain-proofing finish off your coat. 

Use cold water. Always wash wool and down coats in cold water to avoid shrinkage. 

Machine wash 
  1. Once you’ve determined your coat is machine-washable, empty pockets and remove real fur trim or any other removable embellishments.
  2. If this is the first time you’re using Soak on your coat, spot test it out in an inconspicuous area first.
  3. If there are particularly dirty or stained areas on your coat, treat them with undiluted Soak and let it sit for 15 minutes or more before washing.
  4. Wash on a gentle cycle with Soak and cold water. Use a front-loading machine if possible for an extra-gentle cycle.

    Don’t have a machine? You can Soak your coats by hand, too: just be prepared to use a bit of muscle for lifting and squeezing heavy water-soaked coats.
  1. Remove faux fur trim: it can melt in the dryer.
  2. Dry on the coolest, most gentle setting your dryer has.
  3. Use dryer balls or (clean) tennis balls to fluff up the insulation and prevent clumping.
  4. Check on your coat frequently as it dries (every 15 minutes or so) to make sure it’s tumbling loosely.
  5. You can also turn the coat inside out for the second half of drying to ensure it’s dry inside and out.

    Need some tips for washing and storing your winter woolens? Get the scoop on Soakworthy sweater, scarf and hat care here.