In Colorado, winter is one of our longer seasons, which means that our winter gear—like scarves, mittens, gloves, hats, and winter coats—needs a little TLC. Keeping these cozy closet staples clean and well-cared for can be a challenge, but not if you know how to properly handle your winter gear.
Clothing meant for the cold is usually made out of particular materials like wool, down, or heavy synthetic fiber that can get persnickety in the wash. At Dependable Cleaners, we want our clients to feel confident in taking care of their favorite winter clothing, which is why we’ve pulled together this list of winter gear care tips.
Here’s how to get the most out of your winter clothing, from wool hats and scarves to down coats and more.
Tricky Materials Mean Careful Considerations
Winter gear is often made from heartier, warmer materials, which can be tough to get right when it comes to washing. Remember that if you plan to wash your wool winter gear, you’ll probably want to hand-wash in cool water with a delicate detergent or soap, unless the care tag on your hat or scarf explicitly states that machine washing is okay. For down clothing like mittens or coats, you can hand-wash, but the process can be tedious and hard to get exactly right. We recommend taking down clothes to a professional, who will decide based on the specific item what is the right course of action.
Tackle Tough Stains ASAP
Because winter gear is harder to clean, it is even more important to spot clean stains from slush, mud, grass, or salt as soon as possible. This is particularly important for down clothing like ski bibs—if a salt stain hardens, it can rip or tear the fabric keeping the down or down alternative safe inside. As with all spot cleaning, use a gentle stain remover or a vinegar based solution and spot-test on a less visible part of the clothing item before applying liberally.
“Because winter gear is harder to clean, it is even more important to spot clean stains from slush, mud, grass, or salt as soon as possible.”
Drying: A Tough Call for Winter Gear
Depending on the fabric of your winter gear, you’ll need to decide whether to air dry it or dry on a low, gentle cycle. Sweaters made out of cotton and other such durable, soft materials should be fine in the dryer, as long as the care tag indicates so, but you should never try to machine dry wool. Down requires a special drying process which consists of partial air dry and partial machine drying. When in doubt, dry cleaning your winter gear is often a safe option, but be sure to consult your dry cleaning professionals for their opinion beforehand.
Storage is King: Keeping Winter Gear Safe and Clean
One of the best ways to care for your winter gear is to make sure that you store it correctly during the warmer months. Wool sweaters, hats, scarves and coats can get holey if left exposed to moths, and down jackets can lose their fluff if they’re stuffed hastily into an underbed storage bin without consideration. As with washing your winter gear, the proper way to store your cold-weather clothing depends mostly on what material it is made from.
Some Things Are Best Left to the Professionals
As with most tough laundry cases, caring for your winter gear can be tough to get just right, which is why it’s almost always the best option to leave it to laundry professionals. Not only will they be familiar with what each piece of your winter clothing needs in terms of washing and drying, but they will be able to use whatever methods necessary, given that they will likely have dry cleaning and other cleaning options readily available.
No matter what your specific winter gear needs, Dependable Cleaners has you covered, all year round. Take advantage of our coat cleaning services, or just check out our free pick up and delivery for wash and fold. Don’t get left out in the cold when it comes to your laundry. Visit one of our many locations today—you’ll be glad you did. Plus, if you decide it’s time for a new winter coat, swing by one of our participating locations to donate your old one to Coats for Colorado, an organization we proudly partner with to support our Denver community.