When it comes to clothes, jackets are our ultimate protectors. They shield us from the cold and keep us safe from dirt and rain.
However, that means they’re constantly exposed to the elements and can accumulate lots of dirt and smells. In this article, Electrolux Malaysia will show you how you can wash your favourite jacket in a washing machine without damaging it.
Read the care labels in your jacket carefully
Firstly, why you should always consult a clothing item’s care labels or any other care instructions you receive when you’ve purchased that jacket, t-shirt or any other type of clothing.
How these labels look and how detailed they are depends on the brand. Some clothing brands enclose in-depth care guides with their products to make sure you know exactly what to do in any conceivable care scenario. However, most garments just come with standard care labels, usually fixed to the back of the collar or another seam on the inside of the item.
These labels can also look quite different. The easiest to understand are labels that give their care instructions in plain words – “Dry clean only” or “Hand wash only”, for instance. These rules are easy to follow, so any person will know not to put a jacket with such care instructions into the washing machine.
The more common form of care label uses symbols, however. And these symbols can often lead to misunderstandings – with potentially disastrous consequences for your favourite clothes. Here are some of the most important symbols you need to know if you want to wash a jacket:
- A tub with a hand in it: This means “hand wash only”, so don’t put the garment into the washing machine. You may even want to use a laundry detergent that’s specifically designed for hand-washing.
- A tub with an X over it: This means “dry clean only”, so the jacket should not get wet. This may apply to many garments made from animal products like leather, suede or fur, but also some synthetic materials.
How often should you clean your jacket?
This depends on the material and the usage of your jacket. Here are some examples:
- Winter coats and down jackets: If you’re living in a cold place, you’ll enjoy the use of a nice and cozy down jacket. And unless it gets particularly dirty or stained, there’s no need to wash these jackets too often. Once or twice per season should be enough.
- Fleece jackets: Fleece jackets are great for chilly weather that’s still too warm for a proper winter coat. The fleece surface attracts a bit more dirt than a smooth down jacket, so clean it after wearing it around six to seven times.
- Blazers/suit jackets: These kinds of jackets don’t need to be cleaned after each usage either. Depending on their condition (for example, did you sweat a lot when wearing it?), it’s fine to wash them after wearing them around four to five times.
For all these jacket types, keep in mind that you can still wash them any time they get stained.
Washing your jacket correctly
Step 1: Pre-treat stains on your jacket
Before putting your jacket in the washing machine, inspect it for stains. With jackets you’ve worn for a long time, old stains may have dried up and gone deep into the garment fibers, so it’s a good idea to do some pre-treatment of particularly nasty stains.
You can either use specially designed stain remover or regular liquid laundry detergent for this. Take a small amount of the liquid, apply it to the stain and rub it in gently. Then let it do its job for 10 minutes before you put the jacket in the washing machine. If you don’t have liquid detergent or stain remover available, dish soap will do as well.
Step 2: Zip or button up your jacket
Loose zippers or buttons can damage the fabric in the washing machine, so it’s best to close them completely. The same goes for pocket zippers. In the process, also make sure that the pockets are empty.
Step 3: Wash every jacket separately
To avoid any damage to the material, you should wash every jacket on its own. This avoids jackets getting caught on each other, which could lead to damage.
Step 4: Choose a cold, gentle cycle
All jackets should be treated as delicate garments when it comes to washing them in the washing machine, so choose a gentle cycle for them. Depending on your washing machine, such a cycle might be called “Delicate”, “Gentle” or “Handwash”, but consult your user manual to make sure which is the gentlest wash cycle your washer offers.
Next, choose cold water to further protect the garment fibers and make sure your jacket isn’t damaged.
Remember the basics when washing your favourite jacket in the washing machine:
Delicate, Gentle or Handwash
Air-dry or with low temperature in dryer
You might want to read FAQs about Electrolux washing machines to learn more about different washing program!
Tips for washing different kinds of jackets
- Down jackets: Choose a delicate wash cycle and a short, low-temperature option on the dryer. Just 20 minutes in the dryer will keep the jacket fluffy. If you put a few tennis balls into the dryer with it, the effect will be even better. If you can avoid it, don’t wash down jackets in a top-load washer, since the agitator might damage the fragile material.
- Wool: Only wash wool jackets if the care label allows it and your washer features a wool or delicate cycle. Don’t put it into the dryer since it will shrink. Hang-dry it instead.
- Fleece: Fleece jackets should always be washed inside out to protect the fleece surface. For other kinds of jackets, turning them inside out is not necessary. Don’t tumble dry fleece jackets since the material could be damaged.
- Leather, suede or fur: Don’t wash these materials in the washing machine. They’re usually dry-clean only. Faux fur, on the other hand, can be washed in the washing machine on a delicate cycle.
Frequently asked questions about how to wash a jacket in the washing machine
Should you wash jackets with zipper up or down?
It is generally recommended to zip up your jacket before washing it in the washing machine. This helps to protect the jacket and prevent any potential damage to the fabric or other clothes in the machine.
Should a jacket be washed inside out?
Turning your clothes inside out can help preserve their appearance by protecting the outer surface from friction and agitation when operating the washing machine.
Be careful with your jackets
In general, it’s best to err on the side of caution when it comes to washing and drying your jackets. Unless the care label explicitly says that putting them in the washing machine is fine, opt for hand wash or even dry cleaning.
You should use even more caution when it comes to tumble drying your jackets, since the heat can easily damage sensitive fibers or shrink your garments.
With an Electrolux washing machine with features like Woolmark-certified wool cycles and flexible delicate and temperature settings, washing your jackets becomes easier than ever – with peace of mind, knowing that your favourite jacket is getting the perfect care.
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