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Women's winter coat

Tips on Taking Care of Your Winter Coats

A winter coat is a wardrobe staple designed to last you for many years. That is, of course, if you care for it properly. To get the most use out of your winter coats, employ a few simple care tips. By taking the time to clean, protect and maintain your winter coats, they will be able to serve you for many winters and keep their structure for even longer.

Have Them Cleaned Properly

Depending on the material of the coat, you may need professional wet cleaning or dry cleaning. You'll want to do your research to decide which version of cleaning is best for your coat based on its material. The benefit of professional wet cleaning is that far fewer harsh chemicals are used during the process, yet this method of cleaning still effectively gets rid of odors, stains, dust, and other unwanted elements.

Always Hang Them up When You're Not Wearing Them

This is just a given. Always hang any of your clothes up when you are not wearing them. It's the kind of thing you tell your teenage son to do and that every parent tries to have ingrained in their child before they grow up. Throwing your winter coat on your bed, over a chair or on the floor is just asking to get it trampled on, wrinkled and dirtied. Not only should you keep them hung up whenever the coats are not in use, but it's worth investing in good quality, sturdy hangers that will support and maintain the proper form of the coat.

Empty the Pockets

Don't neglect the little things when it comes to taking care of your winter coats. That includes getting rid of any items left in your pockets (e.g., gum wrappers, tissues or other items that are not meant to live in there). It's also a good idea to remove heavier items from your pockets once you return home and are no longer wearing your coat. Keeping large items sitting in your pockets can lead to wear and deterioration and you want to maintain the structure of your coat—pockets and all—for as long as possible.

Brush Your Coat

Regardless of the material of your coat, it's always a good idea to regularly brush it. Particles and fluffy pieces from your top can pollute the interior of your winter coat, so it won't hurt to go over the area with a lint roller. As far as the exterior of your winter coat goes, that's even more susceptible to dirt and other unwanted elements. For example, if there is salt on your vehicle and your accidentally brush your warmest winter coat up against the side of it, not only will it ruin the clean look of your winter coat, but left unaddressed, it will lead to quicker deterioration of your coat. At the end of a long day, after you have worn your coat to work, the grocery store, and school pick-ups, give it a quick but thorough brushing before putting it away in the closet. Simply by taking a couple of minutes to do this once or twice a week, you will make your coat last even longer.

Remove Stains Immediately

There's no shame in it. We all stain our clothing somehow at some point … sometimes multiple times … in one day. You accidentally spill a spoonful of your soup on your turtleneck, the dog jumps up on you and gets their dirty paws on your pants, the sludge from the mixture of snow and street grime splashes on your jacket. If you're out in the world on a daily basis, your clothes are bound to get dirty. To preserve the integrity of your winter coat, always make it a priority to clean out any stains as soon as possible. Although it's important to get the stain out before it sets in, you don't want to put just any old cleaner on your coat. Keep in mind the material of your winter coat and what you can put on it without causing additional damage. You really can't go wrong with warm water and dish soap. So if that's all you have, use it until you can do your laundry or take the coat to a professional cleaner.

Do One Good, Thorough Cleaning Before Storing

When the spring season arrives and you no longer need your winter coat for several months, make sure to give all your best winter coats a good cleaning before putting it away for a while. Wash it yourself or take it to the cleaners to remove any scents like food, perfume, or anything else that will attract moths. Take extra precautions against moths by storing your winter coats in sealed garment bags. To further up the ante, throw in a few natural cedar balls, which are known to effectively keep moths away. They are a better alternative to mothballs that carry harsh chemicals that will embed themselves into the material of the coat.