Caring for winter clothes can be a bit time consuming! Gone are the carefree summer days of throwing your cotton t-shirts and rubber flip flops in the washing machine. Now you have materials like wool, cashmere, leather and down to contend with – and they don’t always mix well with the spin cycle. The right cashmere sweater, wool coat, or down jacket can certainly be an investment, yet when it comes to learning how to care for winter clothes, there seems to be a great deal of mystery. Here are the top tips to care for your winter clothes:

  • Despite what it says on the tag, cashmere is best washed by hand in cold water with baby shampoo or Woolite for optimal softness and protection from chemicals (and only about two times a season).
  • Always fold cashmere sweaters in thirds so you don’t get a fold line running down the front of the sweater.
  • Hang wool overcoats on sturdy wood hangers so the weight of the coat doesn’t stretch the shoulder area.
  • Remove light stains on wool by blotting (not rubbing!) with cold water or club soda using absorbent cloths or paper towel.
  • Use the permanent press cycle on the washer and add the proper amount of soap per directions on the bottle.
  • If your garment is really dirty, stop the machine mid-wash for a hour or so and simply let it soak.
  • Do not wash leather clothes, use only clean cotton cloth or cotton ball dipped with cleaning lotion for leather and rub gently the dirt directly from leather. Dry under the sun before packing. It is best to put a piece of white cloth over your leather clothes. Avoiding direct sunlight as this can lead to lose of shine, damage of skin-fibre and cracks on leather clothing.
  • In case of fibre clothing, to avoid fluff, do not over brush or rub your clothing. Do not use hot water to wash; as fibre is susceptible to heat, hot water can lead to contraction and deformation of your clothing. Wash gently and rinse thoroughly to avoid soap residue. Dry it in a ventilated area but not under excessive sunlight as UV rays may damage the fibres.
  • Always read labels, as some velvet fabrics must be dry cleaned, but others—such as crushed velvet—can be machine washed.
  • You can use a steamer to remove mild wrinkles from velvet if you turn the garment inside out.
  • Never iron velvet, as the fibres will get crushed and the iron will leave an imprint.
  • Velvet gets flattened easily, so never press or blot. If you spill something, shake out moisture and, if it leaves a stain, follow cleaning instructions.
  • Always clean cashmere before storing it for the winter, as moths are attracted to our everyday scents, such as perfume, food, deodorant, and smoke.
  • Wool coats should be dry cleaned at the beginning and at the end of the season. Why at the end? Because moths are attracted to everyday human scents like perfume, smoke, and food.

Keep the above mentioned tips to care for your winter clothes and keep them looking clean in a long run.