How to get an old smell out of a mink coat

A mink coat is a classic fashion item, but one that has taken much flak in the last few decades due to the anti-fur movement. This means many of the mink coats you are likely to get your hands on can be quite old, and with this ageing sometimes comes bad smells. Lots of fur specialists offer to clean fur as well as sell it, but before you fork out a lot of money on a professional clean you should try one of the following techniques to get the smell out.


Buy some ground coffee, or grind some beans yourself. Spread the coffee along the bottom of a plastic box large enough to hold your coat and put in a metal grilling or oven rack – or anything else that will keep your coat suspended over the coffee.

Put your coat on top of the rack and seal the box. After a week or more, remove the coat.

Air the coat on a hanger and the coffee smell will dissipate after a few days, along with the musty smell. You can also substitute the box with a garment bag and put the coffee in the bottom of that.


Put your coat into a bin liner and squeeze out all the air.

Put the bag in a freezer for three days, which will kill all mites on the coat – these and their droppings are often responsible for bad smells in fur coats.

Take the coat out of the freezer and let it defrost, then put it in a tumble drier without any heat and add a few sheets of Bounce and some bouncy balls. Spin it for an hour.


Prevent future smells by storing your mink coat somewhere cold and out of direct sunlight, which can break down the natural fibres in fur.

Keep it in a dry, ventilated place – not in plastic.

Things You'll Need

  • Coffee
  • A large plastic box or garment bag
  • Tumble drier
  • Freezer
  • Bin liner
  • Bounce sheets
  • Bouncy balls
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About the Author

Robert Macintosh is a full-time journalist based in Northern Ireland. He has accumulated eight years’ experience since 2005, writing for magazines, newspapers and websites in various countries. Macintosh has specialised in politics and entertainment. He has an honours degree in social anthropology, an NVQ level 4 in newspaper journalism and an AS Level in photography.