How to Wash a Winter Jacket

Investing in a quality winter jacket is a great decision if you live in a cold climate. Whether you have a puffer jacket, a down jacket, or a parka, it’s important to properly clean and care for your coat. To keep your winter jacket fresh and clean, we recommend you wash the jacket one to two times a year. Follow our step-by-step guide and get your jacket ready for winter!


1. Check the Care Label

For the most detailed information on how to clean your jacket, check the care label. This will provide you any cleaning or care steps recommended by the manufacturer. This should always be your first step to avoid damaging the jacket.

2. Prep for Washing

Once you’ve checked the care label, you can start prepping the jacket for washing. If your jacket has a fur trim, you’ll want to remove this prior to washing. You can also remove the entire hood if the trim is attached to it. If you need to freshen up your fur, you can use a soft brush to gently clean and remove any dirt. Next, empty the jacket’s pockets of any items, zip up all the zippers, and seal any VELCRO® or hook-and-loop closures.

3. Wash the Jacket

When you’re ready to wash the jacket, go ahead and place the jacket in your washing machine. Ideally, use a front-loading machine or a machine without an agitator (the tall spindle in the center of the wash basket). This will ensure a gentle cycle and prevent damage to your coat. Make sure to wash on cold with a gentle soap.

4. Drying the Jacket

Once your jacket is finished in the washing machine, load your jacket into the dryer on low heat. If you have a down-insulated jacket, it’s a good idea to add a lint ball or a tennis ball in a tied-up sock. This will gently beat the coat and add volume back into the down. Make sure the jacket is fully dry—if it’s still damp after the drying cycle ends, run it again for a few additional minutes. This will prevent your jacket from picking up a damp, musty smell.


Voila! Your jacket is clean and ready for the season. While you only need to wash your jacket once or twice a year, you can perform any touch-ups or spot-cleaning with a soft cloth and some water or diluted vinegar. If your down jacket needs a mid-season fluff-up but is still clean, you can add some volume back into the coat by following the instructions above for drying your coat.


If you’re ready to make the investment in a quality winter jacket that will last for years to come, stop by your local SCHEELS or shop our Cold Weather Headquarters online.