How to Care for Your Winter Wear

A great way to wash away the winter blues is to give your winter wear a good cleaning. Freshening up your coats, jackets and scarves will help everything feel more sunny. Here are some great tips to care for your winter clothing: Down-filled Coats and Parkas: Always follow the cleaning instructions on the inside labels of your coats. Most down-filled coats can be machine washed. Pop three fresh tennis balls into the dryer with the coat, which will help keep the feathers evenly distributed as they dry. For good measure, give heavy coats two full cycles in the dryer to insure that the inside down is thoroughly dry and fluffy. Wool Coats: Brush coats with a stiff brush to loosen and remove thin layers of dirt and grime. A lint roller will remove threads and pet hair, and at least once a season, treat your wool coat to a trip to the dry cleaner. Fleece Jackets and Coats: This fabric absorbs more, so it will need more frequent washings. To keep fleece fabrics from pilling, wash it inside out on a delicate cycle and then line dry. Leather Coats and Jackets: Leather is durable and shouldn't need more than one dry cleaning per year (the end of the season is a good idea). Spot clean leather with a rag and leather conditioner. For suede, spot clean with a dry, stiff brush. Avoid using water, which will stain leather that is untreated. Scarves, Gloves, and Knit Hats: Because these items have the most contact with your face, they are likely the dirtiest of your winter wear. A weekly washing will help keep them fresh, and keep you healthier too by washing away winter germs. Sweaters: Wool sweaters need very little washing since the fibers naturally repel dirt and water, not to mention that the texture encourages the use of an undershirt. One cleaning per season will suffice. Cotton, cashmere and silk sweaters should only be washed after every three or four uses. A NOTE ON COATS: One of the easiest ways to keep winter coats smelling fresh is to allow them to "breathe" after a wearing. Don't shove them in a crowded, dark coat closet. let them air out on the back of a chair or on a coat rack. The natural air flow in the room will help carry away odors and moisture that can otherwise get trapped. {Image via Pinterest.}
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