For the next three or so months, you will be wearing your winter coat every single day. Your coat will go through a lot of situations that will make it dirtier whenever it is worn outside. It can amass salt stains, sweat, snot, and water damage from snow or rain. At the end of the season, your coat could look really worn out and ugly. By the time you pull it out next year, the dirt has already cemented itself to your coat and could be a lot harder to wash out.

If you want to keep your coat in mint condition while look fresh and stylish, use these techniques to keep your coat clean this winter.

Proper Daily Care

You coat goes through a lot, and at the end of the day we usually just hang it up in a closet filled with other coats and clothes. If the coat was wet from the snow, it won’t be able to properly dry in a dark closet with no circulation. This can result in unwanted odors or mildew. When hanging up your coat, make sure it has room to breathe to allow it to dry. Avoid hanging it on a hook to help keep its shape, use a sturdy hangar for proper storage.

How to Wash Your Coat

At the end of the winter season (or if your coat gets really dirty while you are in harsh elements), it’s time to wash your coat so it stays fresh until the next time you need it. Depending on the type of coat you have, there are different directions you should follow when washing it.

Only spot clean sections if you have a suede or leather coat. At the end of the season, bring it to a dry cleaner for a proper washing.

If your coat is down or a parka, using a front-loader washer will do the trick. The drying part of this option will be the longest to complete. Set your dryer on low heat and add a tennis ball or two to help break the down. It is important to get your coat completely dry, so you may have to dry it for up to seven hours, depending on the size and type of coat you have. If you have a top-loading washer, it may damage your coat, so bringing it to the dry cleaners will be the safer option.

If you have a wool coat, the best and fastest course of action you can take is to get it dry cleaned. However, some wool coats can be washed at home, but only if you hand wash and dry it. The best way to wash a fleece coat is to turn it inside out to protect its soft finish. Don’t use fabric softener and air dry after washing.

To keep your coat looking fresh and stylish for many years to come, make sure you are always taking good care of it. Winter coats can get expensive if you keep having to replace it every other year!