How to Clean Winter Garments

For most people here in the DFW area, clothes washing is no big deal. Sure, it can be time-consuming, but you’re used to that. On the other hand, washing items like coats, hats, sweaters, and other items not part of your weekly regimen can be a real pain in the “you know what,” but only if you’re not sure how.

So, to help you get off to the right start, here’s a guide to cleaning winter clothes and other items:

Wool and cashmere

Dry cleaning is the preferred cleaning method for these higher-end fabrics.  But if you have an item that is obviously soiled or dry cleaning isn’t an option, you can wash it in cold water with baby shampoo or Woolite. This helps clothing items stay soft. And to avoid distorting their shape, pick up each such item in a wet ball after washing but before stretching it out to dry.


For best results, washable winter coats should be cleaned once a month to prevent dirt from getting into the fiber and wearing it down like sandpaper. If you wear a coat only occasionally, washing it at the start or end of winter should be sufficient.

Quilts & blankets

Add the item to cool water with detergent already added, and let it soak for 10 minutes. Then run it through the spin cycle, and later remove it and lay it out to dry.  If you must place it the dryer, do so only for a few minutes to remove the bulk of the dampness and then lay it flat to finish drying. If you let it dry outside, cover it with a sheet to avoid bird “accidents” and fading from the sunlight.


Washing anything – coasts or otherwise – made with down is a must.  To keep these items looking their best, use the smallest amount of detergent recommended as too much will leave a residue that weighs the material down. Use a low heat setting on the dryer to keep the item nice and fluffy.

How about your indoor air – is that as clean as possible, too?  The answer is probably “no” if you hear a whole lot of coughing and sneezing going on that suddenly goes away when the affected family member leaves the house. To help you and your family feel better all winter long, contact Optimum Air today to request a free indoor air quality analysis along with recommendations on how to make it cleaner and healthier. Optimum Air is an indoor air quality specialist.