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How to get a smell out of Barbour jacket

Updated April 17, 2017

The story of the Barbour jacket began in 1894 in a South Shields marketplace. Nowadays, the award-winning Barbour wax jackets are still manufactured in the region, processing over 100,000 wax jackets every year. A Barbour jacket should last for a lifetime, but it needs to be looked after. If your Barbour jacket has developed an unpleasant smell, various steps can be taken to make it smell fresh again.

Cleaning a waterproof breathable Barbour jacket

Check the washing instructions on your Barbour jacket. Wash it by hand or at 30 degrees in the washing machine. Use non-biological washing powder or soap.

Avoid fabric softener, which can break down the water repellent treatment on the garment.

Tumble dry your jacket at a low heat setting and take it out of the machine as soon as it has stopped.

Cleaning a wax Barbour jacket

Sponge your garment down with clean cold water, both inside and out. Never use soaps or detergents, wash it in a machine or get it dry cleaned, as this could cause irreparable damage. Additionally, any future reproofing would result in the wax being absorbed by the cotton, which would soil the inside lining of the jacket and possibly soil clothes worn underneath it.

Reproof your wax jacket at least once per year to keep it in good condition. Buy a tin of Barbour Wax Thornproof Dressing from an approved Barbour stockist and read the instructions before you begin.

Remove any dirt from the garment with a damp sponge.

Remove the lid from the Barbour Wax Thornproof Dressing. Place the tin in a pot of hot water. Wait at least 20 minutes for the wax to soften to a liquid consistency. Keep the wax in the pot during the reproofing process to keep it soft.

Spread the wax onto the garment with a clean sponge. Use short strokes and work apply the wax in thin layers. Pay attention to all seams and creases, but make sure you avoid the collar, the inside of the garment and the inside of the pockets.

Wipe off any excess wax.

Melt the wax into the fabric with a hair dryer to achieve a smooth finish.

Hang up your jacket and leave it to dry overnight, well away from other garments, leather and upholstery.

Odour elimination

Hang your Barbour jacket on a padded hanger. Use a damp cloth or soft clothes brush to remove any surface debris and stains.

Mix 2 ounces of water and 2 ounces of vodka in a spray bottle. Shake it well.

Spray your jacket with the solution. Make sure the entire garment is covered, but avoid drenching it with liquid.

Hang your jacket outside or in a well-ventilated room or at least three hours.

Place your hanging jacket inside a large bin bag. Dampen two cotton wool balls with two drops of vanilla extract. Place the cotton wool balls in the bottom of the bin bag.

Tie the handles of the bin bag around the hanger. Hang the jacket up for at least five hours to let the vanilla absorb any remaining smell.

Things You'll Need

  • Non-biological washing powder or soap
  • Barbour Wax Thornproof Dressing
  • Sponge
  • Hair dryer
  • Padded clothes hanger
  • Cloth or soft clothes brush
  • Spray bottle
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • Bin bag
  • 2 cotton wool balls
  • Vanilla extract
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About the Author

C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."