How to Wash & Properly Care for Winter Clothes

stacked winter clothes

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Chances are, during the cold months of December, January, February (and sometimes even March!), your winter wear becomes your best friend. The cold weather means piling on the extra layers, which means your laundry basket is probably filing up a lot faster. Washing sweaters and your favorite winter jacket right the first time can help keep your comfy clothes looking new, save you valuable time in the laundry room, and keep your utility bill down. The experts at Bakers Centre Laundry put together a smart, go-to laundry tip guideline to teach you how to wash your winter clothes.


Treat stains as they happen.

Salt, slush, and muddy knees from sledding can all leave unsightly stains on your winter clothes. While you may be tempted to wait until the end of the season to treat them, they will be much harder to remove once they are set. To remove the spots, spray an enzyme-based stain remover and wash the clothes as soon as possible.


Hand-wash hand-knitted winter wear.

Take the extra time to wash sweaters, scarves, and mittens that are hand-knitted or delicate in your kitchen or bathroom sink. Fill your sink with cold water, add a few drops of gentle dish soap, and swish your delicate winter gear around. Drain the sink and repeat this process until your winter wear is thoroughly rinsed.


Machine wash down jackets. 

If you’re wondering how to wash a winter jacket, we’re here to help! It’s best to machine wash your down or down alternative jackets twice during the winter season. Soak your jacket in cold water and detergent for at least 30 minutes. Then, wash on the gentle cycle and be sure to squish out any excess liquid. Avoid twisting your jacket during this step as it can ruin the shape of your coat. Dry your jacket on a low setting and add a few tennis balls to the drum to help re-fluff.

Wear a base layer under sweaters.

To keep yourself warm and to avoid excessively washing your sweaters, wear a light camisole or t-shirt underneath your clothes. This not only keeps you toasty, but it can also keep your wither clothes clean so won’t have to wash them as much. Alternatively, you can re-wear your sweaters, jeans, and pajamas because your body is less prone to sweating in the colder months.


Help sweaters keep their shape.

Running your sweater through a cycle can oftentimes leave you with a misshapen mess. To avoid this, trace the outline of your sweater on a big piece of paper. After washing, wrap it in a towel to absorb the excess water, and then lay the sweater out on your outline to reshape it. Let it dry flat.

Wash gloves, hats, and scarves in a mesh laundry bag.

Just like socks, these items tend to get lost on laundry day! To avoid losing a pair of gloves, put these pieces in a sealed laundry bag. Aim to wash these items once a month and let them dry flat.


“Line dry” indoors in the winter.

Not only can this practice save you money on your utility bill, but it can also help humidify dry winter air. Choose a laundry drying rack or hang clothes over a shower curtain to help them “line dry” during the winter.


Keep air-dried clothes from getting crunchy.

So, you air-dried your clothes and now they feel crunchy. Add ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle. This setting helps keep clothes soft and removes excess detergent. Shake out your clothes, then hang them up to dry. If they still feel stiff, toss them in the dryer for 5 minutes with a damp rag.


Learning how to wash winter clothes and winter jackets can seem challenging, but with these smart tips, you’ll be well on your way to clean, fresh winter wear that can be enjoyed all season long. If you still need help, stop by our 24-hour laundromat and the experts at Bakers Centre Laundry will take care of all your needs.