How to Clean a Wool Winter Coat

Updated April 17, 2017

Whether you have a brand new stylish wool coat or a treasured old favourite, cleaning your wool coat usually means a costly trip to the dry cleaners. The tag on the coat may even say, "dry clean only." However, it is possible to hand wash your wool coat using gentle, wool-safe detergent. As long as you are not too rough during the washing process, keep the water temperature cool and avoid the dryer at all costs, you can save money and have your coat looking as good as new in no time.

Brush the wool coat length-wise with a garment brush. This removes any surface dirt and dust, as well as loosens up any dried-up food or other stains that may be on your coat.

Fill a sink with cool water and add a capful of a gentle, wool-safe detergent.

Place the wool coat in the water so that it is fully submerged.

Gently squeeze and swirl the coat around underneath the water. Allow the soap and water to penetrate and clean all areas, especially any stains.

Remove the wool coat from the sink and drain the water.

Fill the sink back up with cool water and put the wool coat back into the water. Push it around for several minutes to rinse all the soap out of the coat. Repeat if necessary.

Remove the coat from the water. Squeeze gently all over from the collar to the sleeves and down to the bottom of the coat. Remove as much water as possible.

Lay the wool coat flat to dry on a clean surface for two to three days. Flip over every so often to make sure that both sides of the coat dry evenly.

Steam the wool with a steamer machine to remove wrinkles and get it back to its original shape. Use an iron on a steam setting if you don't have a steamer.


If you just have a small stain on your coat, spot clean with a rag dipped in vinegar and rinse with cool water. Make sure the temperature of the washing water and the rinse water is the same to minimise shrinking. If the sink is too small to submerge the entire coat, use a bathtub.


Don't rub the wool against itself when cleaning as this can thin the wool in the rubbed sections. Avoid laying the wool coat to dry in sunlight, which can cause the colour to fade.

Things You'll Need

  • Garment brush
  • Wool-safe detergent
  • Steamer
  • Iron
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.