How to wash a wool coat & other winter clothes care tips

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Ever shrunk a wool jumper or ruined your best tights in the dryer? Laundry disasters happen to the best of us, especially when you’re trying to keep on top of the whole family’s washing. That’s why we’re only too pleased to hear the thoughts of Angie Tang from dry cleaning and laundry service Laundrapp. She’s written this post to show you how to care for your winter wardrobe.

Laundry can seem like a never-ending chore at the best of times, but it’s an especially big job during the winter months, when you’ve got all those woollen jumpers, party dresses, coats and scarves to contend with. Here, I’ll talk you through how to wash those delicate fabrics and tricky garments, to keep your winter wardrobe looking great throughout the colder months.

Hats, scarves, and gloves

Kids are always dropping their gloves and hats when out and about, so these will often need to be washed throughout the winter. Synthetic wools can be washed at 40°C, while wool blends can be washed using your machine’s delicate or hand wash setting. Just remember to turn all items inside out before washing, as this will help to prevent bobbling. After washing, gently reshape the item and leave to air dry.

If your kid’s accessories are absolutely caked in mud, then use your machine’s pre-soak setting before running the full cycle. It will also help to pause the machine halfway through and allow them to soak for an extra half hour — this is also a great way to clean mucky P.E. kits!

Wool and cashmere

During the winter — when we wear more wool, cashmere, and other delicate natural fabrics — we often need to handwash our clothing more often. So, it’s a good idea to set aside half an hour each week as part of your laundry schedule. It might seem like a pain, but it’ll be worth it to keep your clothes looking great for longer.

To do this, simply soak your jumpers in a basin of clean wash water and a mild specialist detergent, and swirl them gently to loosen any dirt. Then, gently squeeze out the water — never wring woollen garments, as this can cause them to go out of shape. Roll your jumper up in a towel to remove as much water as you can, and then lay it out flat to dry.

Coats and jackets

Most coats and jackets will need to be dry-cleaned to stay in good condition. But, that doesn’t mean they don’t need a bit of TLC between professional washes. After all, a winter coat is an investment, so treat it accordingly! To get your coats looking good in between trips to the dry-cleaners, brush off lint and dirt after every wear. A handheld electric lint remover will also help to stop bobbling or pilling. Stash one in your coat cupboard and try to get into the habit of using it each time you hang up your coat.

How you hang your coats is also important. You don’t want to cram them all into a small cupboard as they won’t have the space to properly hang, which can lead to creasing. An overcrowded coat cupboard is also an ideal breeding ground for moths. Your coats need to air out between wears, so ensure they have some room to breathe, and add some cedarwood rings to your hangers to ward off hungry moths.

Velvet clothing

With its opulent texture and luxurious sheen, there’s just something about velvet that makes it the perfect fabric for winter, especially during the festive season. Unlike other fabrics, velvet has a cut-pile, which gives it that lovely soft feel. But this means that you’ll need to be careful when washing it.

Time is of the essence when cleaning velvet, so if you (or the kids) spill something on your favourite velvet top, be sure to spot clean it right away, as dried-on stains can be especially tough to remove. Use a cool wash cycle, and don’t use fabric softeners, as these can make the pile feel stiff. After washing, velvet should always be air-dried, preferably laying flat. Ironing can flatten and burn the pile so, if you need to get some creases out of a velvet garment, use a handheld steam cleaner instead.

Caring for your family’s winter clothing doesn’t have to be a chore. Take my tips on board, and your jumpers, accessories, coats and partywear will look great all season long. Remember, the tips I’ve shared here are only meant as a general guide and you should always check the label and follow the instructions carefully. If you’re not sure about the best way to wash a certain item, then it’s always a smart idea to use a professional laundry or dry-cleaning service.

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