How to Clean a White Wool Coat

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Wool is often used in winter-wear.
Wool is often used in winter-wear. (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Anyone who's ever been outside on a cold winter night knows the value of a wool coat. Wool is as well-known for being a warm and comfortable fabric; as it is for being vulnerable to water and requiring special cleaning care to prevent damage. Wool cannot be simply thrown into a washing machine, since the fabric will be badly damaged and likewise bleach will cause it to corrode. Cleaning a white wool coat carefully will help the coat last longer.

Things You'll Need

  • White absorbent cloth
  • Soft brush
  • Wool-stain remover
  • Bucket
  • Mild detergent

Blot any fresh stains gently with an absorbent white cloth to soak up as much of it as possible, before it sets into the fabric. Avoid rubbing, since that will drive the stain deeper into the fabric.

Brush the coat length-wise to remove dirt and dust from the fabric. Use a soft brush to prevent damaging the wool.

Apply a wool-stain remover to any existing stain on the wool. Color-test it first on a small part of the coat, to make sure it won't make its own stain on the white wool, once it dries. Check to make sure the cleaner is designed for wool; since it will likely damage the fabric if it isn't.

Dip the wool into a bucket of lukewarm water and mild detergent. Hot water can cause wool shrinkage, so the water should be comfortable to the touch, but not steaming or scalding.

Squeeze the coat repeatedly for several minutes; without wringing it. This helps the soap and water soak into the fabric, without causing the wool to stretch.

Rinse the coat with cold water to remove any remaining soap. Do not wring the wool in the process, because it will cause the coat to stretch. Squeeze it gently to help remove excess water.

Place the coat on a flat surface away from the sun or any other heat source and allow it to dry. Hanging the coat up can cause warping, so the coat should dry naturally, while supported from the back.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take the coat to a dry cleaner if you're having stain problems, since they could help bring the wool back to its former form.

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