Step 1 - Check the care label
The first step to taking care of your wool coat is to check the care label. Here, you will find all the key information that will prevent you from damaging your coat. For example, some garments are dry clean only so you will have to take them to a professional for a clean. Alternatively, you may find that your coat will need to be hand washed or machine-washed at a low temperature. All garments are made with different yarns and fibers; therefore, it is important to check the instructions before you begin.
Step 2 - Brush the coat
To remove any surface dirt and gust, grab a garment brush and gently stroke the coat ensuring you only go in one direction, from collar to hem. If you don’t have a garment brush, a damp cloth will suffice.
Step 3 - Spot clean the coat
Step 4 - Hand washing your wool coat
Immerse the coat into the tub and push it down until it stops floating. Leave the coat to soak in the detergent for 30 minutes and then with your hands, squeeze the water into the coat to ensure every fiber is getting cleaned.
Leave the coat once again for anywhere between 1 to 2 hours and then come back and rub away any dirt and soiled areas with your fingers. Although many people recommend using the wool itself to remove marks, this actually causes felting which cannot be reversed, so always use your hands.
Drain your bathtub and wipe any residue from the tub, then refill with fresh lukewarm water. Gently move the coat around in the water until there is no soap left in the coat.
Step 5 - Washing your wool coat in the washing machine
If the care label has given you the go-ahead to wash your coat in the washing machine, do not just throw it straight in. Begin by soaking the coat in warm water and detergent for 30 minutes to prevent shrinkage and loosen any dirt. Then, turn the coat inside and out and place it in a wash bag. This is to prevent the coat from rubbing or getting snagged against the washer. If you do not have a wash bag feel free to use a pillowcase or a bed sheet and tie a loose knot around the top.
Set your machine to a lukewarm temperature, either 30 or 40 degrees, and ensure the setting is delicate for around an hour.
Step 6 - Drying your coat
After either hand or machine washes the coat, gently squeeze out any excess water from the top to the bottom. Be sure not to wring the coat as this can stretch and distort the fibers and your coat will not fit as it originally did.
Grab a towel, roll the coat in it and very gently squeeze the towel to help it to absorb any excess water. Once this step is complete, unroll the coat and place it flat onto a dry towel. Do not hang the coat as this can cause it to become misshapen and putting it into a tumble dryer can potentially shrink the coat.
The drying process may take 2 to 3 days, so make sure that you flip the coat every day to ensure both sides are fully dried.