How to Wash Winter Coats, Gloves, Hats & Scarves


Whether you’re taking them out of winter storage (or putting them back in) or you just need to wash your winter outerwear to get rid of stains and odors, you want to do it right and right away. Here are some tips for how to wash coats and other winter outerwear (think ski gloves, snow pants, beanies, and more) properly and efficiently.


How to Wash a Winter Coat

There’s no such thing as a universal winter coat. The fabric your coat is made of matters for how you wash it. Some wool pea coats are dry clean only, so your first step is to check the coat’s care label to see what it recommends. Most other coats can be machine washed and many can also be tumble dried in your dryer – even many down or “puffy” coats. Use these basic steps to wash your winter coat or jacket:


  1. READ: Follow the instructions for water temperature, washing machine setting and more listed on your coat’s care label.
  2. CHECK: Look over your coat carefully for any stains and pre-treat them. Also check your coat pockets for any items you may have left behind.
  3. PREP: Close all zippers and Velcro to keep them from snagging on other items. If your jacket has a hood with drawstring, tie the strings together. You may also want to turn the coat inside out to protect it further.
  4. ADD the recommended amount of a detergent such as ARM & HAMMER™ Clean & Simple™ Liquid Laundry Detergent to the machine. If your coat is waterproof, do not add fabric softener or use a detergent containing fabric softener.
  5. CHOOSE the water temperature on your washer, using the hottest temperature that is recommended on the coat’s care label. If you’re concerned about pilling (like with a fleece) use cold water.
  6. SELECT the proper washing machine setting. Try “Bulky Items,” if your machine has one; otherwise the “Normal” cycle is probably fine.
  7. REMOVE coat from the washer and inspect it. Shake out before adding to the dryer.
  8. DRY: Follow the instructions on the coat’s care label for Tumble Dry or Line Dry. If your jacket is puffy or fluffy, try adding a couple tennis balls or dryer balls to the dryer.


How to Wash Winter Gloves

If you’ve been out on the slopes or out in the neighborhood, your water resistant winter gloves could probably use a wash. The fabric your gloves are made of determines whether and how you can wash them. Leather, suede and wool gloves are not meant for the washing machine, but you can typically spot clean stains on their surface.

Here are some tips for getting washable winter gloves clean and ready to wear again.


  1. READ the care label inside your gloves for any recommendations. You should not submerge leather or suede gloves in water or put them in the washer.
  2. Optional: SPOT CLEAN using a small amount of mild detergent and a soft cloth. Rinse and air dry on a towel.
  3. PREP: Clip the gloves together or place into a mesh laundry bag. Add to a load of other winter gear or color items.
  4. ADD the recommended amount of a detergent such as ARM & HAMMER™ Clean & Simple™ Liquid Laundry Detergent to the machine. If your gloves are waterproof, do not add fabric softener or use a detergent containing fabric softener.
  5. CHOOSE the water temperature on your washer, defaulting to cold for the greatest fabric protection, especially if your gloves are fleece or Sherpa-lined.
  6. SELECT the proper washing machine setting. “Normal” cycle is probably fine.
  7. DRY in your dryer if tumble dry is indicated on the care label or lay the gloves out to air dry on a towel or drying rack.

How to Wash Winter Hats – Including Ones with Pompoms


Most winter hats are knit beanies (sometimes with pompoms) and may also be lined with fleece. If your hat is wool, cashmere or a wool-silk blend, be sure to read the care label. It may need to be dry cleaned or surface spot-cleaned only.

Wash most knit or fleece winter hats like you would a sweater: in cold water on the delicate cycle and air dry on a drying rack or towel. If your hat can be tumble dried, use a low heat setting.

How to Wash Winter Scarves


If the wind outside is brisk and the temperatures are below freezing, you know the importance of a scarf to keeping you warm in winter. Scarves can get extra dirty since they are up around your face and neck. It’s common for scarves to get stained with food, makeup or sweat. Of all the winter wear items, scarves need washing more often.

How you wash a scarf depends mostly on what it’s made of. If your scarf is silk, rayon, or a fabric blended with these, be sure to read the label to see if it can be submerged in water. The same goes for wool, cashmere, angora or fabrics blended with these natural fibers. Knit scarves made of acrylic, cotton, polyester, or a blend of these are usually machine washable and can typically be put in the dryer. As always, read the label on your scarf to be sure.

To wash your winter scarf, do the following:


  1. READ the scarf’s care label to look for water temperature and other guidance.
  2. PLACE the scarf in a mesh laundry bag to keep it from getting tangled up with other items in the load. This is especially important if your scarf has fringe.
  3. PRE-TREAT any stains before washing.
  4. WASH using the water temperature and cycle settings indicated on the label.
  5. DRY in the mesh bag if using the dryer. Otherwise, lay flat on a towel or dry rack.

Tips for Storing Winter Gear after the Season


Always wash your winter weather wear at the end of the season before putting it away until next year. You want to put the stains and odors of this year behind you and the longer they stay in the garments, the more set-in they can become.

If you move your winter gear into a blanket chest or spare closet after the weather starts to warm, try adding an open box of ARM & HAMMER™ baking soda to the closet or chest to absorb moisture and lingering odors.

If you’re vacuum-packing winter gear for added space, make sure they are completely dry before sealing to prevent mold or mildow. Only vacuum seal clean items.


Get All Your Winter Wear Clean and Fresh with ARM & HAMMER™

how to store winter clothes after the winter season is over.

When you need to wash a winter hat, scarf, gloves, snow pants, jacket or coat, reach for a detergent you trust to get your items clean. Try one of these ARM & HAMMER™ laundry detergents that don’t contain fabric softeners that could compromise waterproof fabric.


Tips to freshen things up

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