Can You Wash Your Coat In The Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Your Coat In The Washing Machine

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Is your favorite coat starting to show signs of dirt and grime, but you’re hesitant about the idea of washing it at home? We’ve all been there, wondering whether we can safely put our coats in the washing machine without damaging them.

The good news is, yes, in many cases you can wash your coat in the washing machine! However, it’s not always as straightforward as throwing it in and pressing start.

Here are some critical considerations to bear in mind before and during the washing process.

Dos and don’ts of Wash Your Coat in the Washing Machine


  • Check the Care Label: Always look for the care label on your coat before anything else. This label provides specific washing instructions, indicating whether the garment is machine washable or if it needs special care.
  • Pre-treat Stains: Pre-treat any visible stains with a gentle stain remover before washing.
  • Empty Pockets and Close Zippers: Ensure you empty the pockets and close all zippers to prevent damage to the fabric or machine.
  • Use Gentle Cycle: If your coat is machine washable, use the gentle or delicate cycle on your washing machine. This cycle uses less agitation, reducing the risk of damaging the garment.
  • Wash with Similar Items: Always wash your coat with similar items in terms of color and fabric type to prevent dye transfer and wear.


  • Ignore Care Instructions: Never overlook the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Some coats, especially those made of delicate fabrics like wool or silk, may need dry cleaning.
  • Overload the Washer: Don’t overload the washing machine. Coats need plenty of space to move around for effective cleaning.
  • Use Harsh Detergents or Bleach: Avoid harsh cleaning agents as they can cause fading or damage to the fabric.
  • Expose to High Heat: Don’t put your coat in a dryer unless the care label permits it. High heat can cause shrinkage or damage to certain fabrics.
  • Ignore Drying Instructions: Don’t neglect the drying instructions. Some coats may require air drying, while others can tolerate tumble drying.

Steps to Wash Your Coat in the Washing Machine

Step 1 Inspect Your Coat:

Look over your coat for any stains, tears, or loose buttons. Pre-treat stains with a gentle stain remover.

Step 2 Prepare Your Coat:

Empty all pockets and close all zippers and buttons. If your coat has a detachable hood or other removable parts, consider removing them before washing.

Step 3 Load the Washer:

Place your coat in the washing machine. Don’t add too many items; the coat needs room to move around.

Step 4 Add Detergent:

Use a mild detergent that’s appropriate for your coat’s fabric type. Avoid using bleach or other harsh chemicals.

Step 5 Choose the Right Settings:

Select the delicate or gentle cycle on your washing machine, and opt for cold or warm water depending on the care label instructions.

Step 6 Start the Cycle:

Start the washing cycle and let it complete.

Step 7 Dry Your Coat:

Once the cycle is finished, take your coat out of the machine. If the care label allows it, you can tumble dry the coat on a low-heat setting. Otherwise, air-dry it by laying it flat or hanging it up.

Alternative Washing Methods

While machine washing is a feasible option for many, it may not always be the best choice. Certain fabrics and coat styles require more specialized cleaning methods. Here are some alternatives:

  • Hand Washing: Hand washing is the most gentle method to clean a coat. Fill a basin with cold or lukewarm water and a mild detergent. Submerge the coat and gently agitate it. After washing, rinse thoroughly to ensure no soap residue is left. Then, squeeze out the excess water but avoid wringing it as this can damage the fabric.
  • Spot Cleaning: If your coat only has a small stain or two, consider spot cleaning. Apply a mild detergent or stain remover to the area and gently rub it in. After a few minutes, rinse the spot with cold water.
  • Dry Cleaning: Certain materials like leather, suede, or fur demand professional care. Dry cleaning uses specific chemicals to clean your garments without the use of water. It’s particularly useful for items that could be damaged by traditional washing methods.


Is it safe to wash a down coat in the washing machine?

Answer: Yes, most down coats can be machine washed, provided you use a gentle cycle, mild detergent, and avoid fabric softeners. Be sure to air dry or tumble dry with dryer balls to help restore the coat’s fluffiness.

What can I do if my coat smells musty after washing?

Answer: If your coat smells musty, it may not have dried properly, leading to mildew growth. Re-wash it and ensure it dries thoroughly. If you can, air dry it outside or in a well-ventilated area.

How often should I wash my coat?

Answer: It depends on how frequently you wear it and the type of coat. Generally, a coat should be washed every few weeks with regular use. However, down or wool coats might require less frequent washing.

Can I machine wash a coat with a faux fur trim?

Answer: If the trim is detachable, remove it before washing. If it’s not, it’s best to hand wash the coat or take it to a professional cleaner. Machine washing might damage the faux fur.

What type of detergent should I use to wash my coat?

Answer: A mild or all-purpose detergent works well for most coat materials. However, for down coats, it’s best to use a down-specific detergent. Always avoid bleach and harsh chemicals that could damage the fabric.

Final Words

Understanding how to clean your coat properly can significantly extend its lifespan and maintain its pristine appearance. While washing machines can be a convenient method for cleaning coats, it’s crucial to consider the garment’s fabric and care instructions. When in doubt, professional dry cleaning or hand washing are safer alternatives. However, with proper knowledge and care, you can effectively and safely clean most coats at home, saving time, money, and energy while keeping your favorite coat looking its best.

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