How to Clean a Vinyl Rain Jacket

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Hand-washing a vinyl rain jacket will get it clean without damaging the material.
Hand-washing a vinyl rain jacket will get it clean without damaging the material. (Image: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Vinyl plastic has been in use since the 1920s. Water beads on the surface of vinyl rather than soaking through, which makes it an ideal material for a rain jacket. Just like any other type of coat or jacket, it will get dirty over time and require cleaning. Machine washing a vinyl rain jacket may damage the material, so it’s best to clean it by hand. Washing it properly will ensure the jacket gets clean without compromising the integrity of the fabric.

Things You'll Need

  • Still scrub brush
  • Window cleaner
  • Rag
  • Mild laundry detergent
  • Hanger

Allow any wet mud or dirt on your rain jacket to dry completely. Once dry, brush off as much as possible with a stiff scrub brush. Don’t try to clean wet mud or dirt from the jacket, as this will only spread it around on the surface.

Spray any dirty spots on the rain jacket with window cleaner. Use a damp rag to wipe the dirt and window cleaner from the jacket.

Fill a tub or sink with cool water. Add a few drops of mild laundry detergent to the water, then stir it up with your hands.

Submerge the rain jacket into the water. Swish it around for a minute, then leave it in the water to soak for 30 minutes. Swish the jacket around occasionally while it’s soaking.

Discard the soapy water from the sink or tub. Rinse the rain jacket under cool running water until all traces of soap are gone.

Hold up the rain jacket and shake off as much of the water as possible. Hang it from a hanger and let it drip-dry the rest of the way.

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