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How To Wash a Suit Jacket By Hand

Featured image for "How To Wash a Suit Jacket By Hand" blog post. Man with a suit jacket and tie.

A suit has a formal purpose. They should always be kept neat and clean. It gives off a professional vibe when someone is wearing a great jacket. They are the perfect garments for occasions where you want to put forth a classic look. Suit jackets are usually double-breasted coats with four to six buttons or single-breasted coats with just two or three buttons. No matter the style you must maintain it and keep it clean. In this blog post, we’ll go into how to wash a suit jacket by hand.

Having a few food stains on a lapel is just horrible. You may feel like you can’t be taken seriously if you’re not looking your best. This is especially important when meeting new clients and making those important first impressions. You don’t want to appear sloppy. It’s a good idea to keep some Champion Delicate Wash (the best laundry detergent for wool and all other delicate fabrics) in your sports bag to gently dab and blot out serious spots and at least pre-treat what you’re able to as quickly as possible. At least try to minimize the damage.

Following is a common scenario many people have experienced. Here it goes….Just last week, you was wearing a custom-tailored leather jacket to a job site. You were going to be visiting with a client while the construction was still in progress. You wanted to look a bit casual but it is a very nice piece of clothing. The afternoon went quite well and the client was pleased with the progress but after he left you took off your jacket and to your horror you had rubbed against some drywall plaster and smeared it across your back at some point.

You immediately thought about running it to the cleaner but you don’t wear it too often so you decided to try to remove the stains yourself. You even got some on your trousers. Sound familiar? You looked for the cleaning and care label and read the instructions. Always be sure to read your clothing instructions. It definitely cannot be washed. The leather is delicate and you have to avoid too much moisture.

When you got home you laid the article flat. You scraped off what you could with the dull edge of a spoon. You mix a solution of warm water and add Champion Delicate Wash.  You dampened a clean cloth with the solution and used it to wipe the jacket. You had a clean damp cloth and a dry towel ready.

You wiped the area with the cleaning solution then wiped it with the clean cloth to rinse away the debris and cleaner. Then you dried it immediately with the towel. You got it as dry as possible. You’re glad you didn’t try to use chemicals. Your article of clothing is perfectly clean and luckily, this story has a happy ending thanks to Champion Delicate Wash!

Man wearing a suit.
Suit jackets can last a long time if cared for properly.

Suits or Blazers?

Suit jackets should fit a bit snug. It should be a perfect fit for you. It is meant to be worn with just a shirt underneath. You could pair it with a sweater or vest but it should be light and breathable. A blazer isn’t usually lined or padded like a suit jacket and can be thrown on over anything. They can be a bit easier to wash. They are lightweight but can be made of many fabrics. What fabric a garment is made of has a lot to do with how to keep it clean. Thread count and weight are a big part of how you will clean each of your jackets.

You want a suit that feels good and is breathable. You want to be comfortable, you don’t want this to end up just hanging in the closet. These garments are sometimes expensive and can be a wardrobe investment. You want to be sure that you can wear the suit you’re buying comfortably in the season you are buying it for. You don’t want to be too hot or cold while you’re looking sharp. Suits are structured garments that give a poised look. A stain on your jacket could become a huge distraction. Too bad you can’t just throw it in the laundry.

Suits can be tailored just perfectly to fit better and keep that smooth line you want. A jacket’s lapel stitches and inner linings are usually signs of higher quality coats. Italian suits have more rounded shoulders sewn into the body of the jacket. There are a couple of pads that give the jacket its structure and definition. Suits are just more formal jackets that should be worn to important meetings and events.

Blazers are an integral part of many people’s daily outfits. They’re less formal than suit jackets. They can be worn with pants of different colors or denim. They are designed to be worn as office or streetwear. Blazers often have a seam similar to those in shirts in the shoulders that are softer and have a more natural shape than suits. They are an easy choice for informal business meetings or even a date. Washing them with the wrong detergent can result in a completely ruined blazer. The following tips for how to wash a blazer by hand will ensure that your favorite blazer remains at its finest for many years to come.

Man wearing a full suit.
Suits often cost a lot of money, so they’re important to take care of properly.

Can Blazers Be Machine Washed?

Everyone wants their blazers to last a long time, but there is no need to beat around the bust when trying to wash them. In fact, blazers are very hardy jackets, and washing them in a machine is an efficient and fast method of getting them clean. Still, learning how to wash a blazer by hand is an important skill. Depending on what fibers the coat is made from throwing the soiled piece in the machine with a mild liquid soap could do the trick.

Be careful though. Making sure it is machine washable by reading the care tag first then using a gentle cycle that doesn’t agitate as violently can prevent damage and keep your blazer from getting torn and ruined.

You may have a very comfortable blazer that pairs well with a lot of the things you wear. It’s a go-to quick casual dress option of yours.  You can just throw it on over anything. It’s polyester, it has a modern style, and it stays wrinkle-free. Use a mesh bag to protect the jacket. Turn it inside out before placing it in the bag.

Set the washer on its gentle and cold cycle, then add Champion Delicate Wash. Hang and air dry it but have the machine dry it on low heat when its damp and it will still come out looking great. The crease and cuffs still keep their shape and it’ll rarely wrinkle.

Clean Tough Fabric Stains Delicately.

Tips For Machine Washing A Blazer

Before you start, always check the care labels on the garments. Most blazers that are made from polyester are quite easy to wash but wool garments generally require more attention and care.  If you’re washing a blazer by hand,  make sure to empty all pockets and wash it at a cooler temperature than normal.

This will help stretch out the lifespan of the blazer by reducing its exposure to stress. As a bonus, the blazer will be left with more vibrant coloration. You will want to make sure that you use a high-quality delicate fabric wash for your blazers.

Certain blazers can be machine dried, but just like with washing, check the care label first. If you can, it’s best to air dry whenever possible so as to prevent shrinking the material. If the blazer is made from wool, you should definitely be safe, wash it by hand, and then air dry.

If you shrink a jacket that fits you just right it probably won’t fit the same again. The sleeves will be too short and it won’t fit your body correctly anymore. Lint on your coat can be a pesky problem too. You might have to try using a different setting or use a lint roller before you wear it.

Using a clothing brush especially on wool jackets can keep a lot of dirt and debris from setting in. Brushing your suits from top to bottom and following the same direction as you brush will really help keep your fabrics cleaner and looking better longer. Go over it with a roller afterward to get any lint.

Laundry machine washers.
Before machine washing a suit jacket, check the care label.

Can Blazers Be Ironed?

Since washing machines can wrinkle up a blazer quite a bit, you’ll want to know how to iron one properly. Always check the care label on a blazer before ironing just to make sure that it can indeed be ironed. Suit jackets can be steamed as well. Always turn the garment inside out before you begin using the iron or steamer. You should start carefully in an inconspicuous area to check colorfastness.

You don’t want the colors bleeding. We don’t recommend trying the popular adding vinegar trick for keeping color but we have heard of it. If the material is suede or the jacket is waxed do not iron or steam it. Avoid steaming plastic parts that could melt as well.

If you aren’t sure about how to wash a suit jacket by hand or are afraid of ironing the fabric, steaming can be a much less detailed process to refresh your suit jacket and blazer between cleanings. A little bit of effort will ensure that your outerwear looks and smells great. If you choose to steam your coat it will not only remove the wrinkles but will refresh the fabric and deodorize it. The steam and heat are good for the fibers. It will clean the coat and keep it smelling better.

Green iron.
Most blazers can be ironed, but just make sure to check the care label first.

How To Properly Iron a Blazer

It is best to use a cool-warm or cool setting if your iron has those settings. High heat may damage a blazer so if your iron only has one high setting, you may want to look into getting a different one with lower heat options. If the blazer contains embroidered work, make sure to turn the blazer inside-out.

To eliminate the typical iron shimmer that often appears post-ironing, you might want to consider placing a clean cloth between the iron and the blazer while ironing. You can really use whatever technique you fancy, though the majority of people do prefer beginning at the shoulders and gradually moving along the sleeves, and finally the body. After you’re done, hang up your blazer to avoid creasing.

Luckily, you really don’t need to wash blazers too often. Actually, since they are items that rarely make direct contact with skin, they only need to be washed after getting dirty or stained. You shouldn’t be ironing them too often. Just throw on a colorful polo from the collection and a neutral blazer to complete your business casual look in a hurry.

Closet full of blazers.
Certain blazers can be tumble dried, but air drying is generally best practice since this way, you won’t get shrinkage.

You can learn how to wash a suit jacket by hand

As soon as you realize you have a stain you will probably wonder how you will be able to remove it completely and wash it without ruining it. That largely depends on what it is made of. Usually, suit jackets are made of wool or polyester. Other blends can also be used, cotton blends, silk blends. Some jackets are made from materials like linen, silk, and even velvet. Fabric thread count and weight are important in the comfort, quality, and care of your clothing.

Lighter fabrics are better for warmer months during the peak of summer. Midweight material is great for average temperatures. Save heavier material for cold days. Most suits are designed to be worn comfortably with just a shirt. Save those vests and sweaters for particularly cold weather. If a stain occurs be sure to pretreat and wash it according to the fabric type. When you are going to wash any type of jacket be sure to read the care tag first.

Use gentle Champion Delicate Wash to soak and wash your items in cold clean water. Make sure it gets soaked completely. Find the stain and rub it until you get it out. Rinse it thoroughly with cool clean water. Then squeeze out the excess water and press it flat between two dry towels. Hand washing garments isn’t as difficult as you might think.

Wool is widely used for suits and is a great look. It’s breathable and soft. It’s a mid to heavyweight material that is tough to wrinkle. Wool will hold a crease well. To pretreat wool stains, dab around the edges of the stain with a cool cloth dipped in Champion Delicate Wash. Then, blot it gently from the outside with a heavy towel to absorb it until the stain is gone.

Cashmere is softer and more luxurious. It can make a suit look shinier. Rinsing a cashmere stain in cold water is best. Add some Champion Delicate Wash to the mix and let it soak. Repeat until the stain is gone. Rinse it cold. Do not wring or stretch it. Squeeze and press it flat to remove the excess water and dry it between absorbent towels. Maybe hang on a rounded hanger when damp.

Tweed and flannel can be made of wool. Worsted wool is a compact and smooth material. It’s very durable. Wools should be washed and dried carefully and without heat. Never lay an iron directly on them. Using a pressing fabric in between the iron and the wool will prevent heat damage. Rayon should also be washed very carefully and dried without heat. It is very wrinkle resistant though. Polyester is a blend of fibers. It’s not as breathable and wrinkles a bit easier than wool. It can usually be machine washed.

Cotton is easy to move in. It’s breathable and soft. Linen is very light and keeps you cool. Cotton blends and linen fabrics do wrinkle and stain more easily. They can usually be machine washed though. Turn these jackets inside out and place them inside a mesh bag before using a gentle and cold wash cycle on them. Then, dry them flat. Spandex blends can usually be machine washed too, just not dried with heat.

Silk and velvet are luxurious fabrics to be saved for parties or special occasions. They’re very comfortable and breathable and cost more than polyester. Velvet is silk, cotton and nylon blended together in these closely woven jackets. Take special care when cleaning these garments and keep them away from heat.

You want your colleagues to take you seriously and to focus on what you’re telling them. You don’t want them staring at a taco sauce stain on your jacket. You want to take care of them and keep them looking great as long as possible.

If they get dirty or dust builds up you can give them a quick wipe down with a damp cloth and some gentle detergent. Champion Delicate Wash can help you keep your suit jackets fresh and free of stains. Sometimes it’s just too expensive or too time-consuming to take a jacket to the cleaner.

Man with a suit and watch.
If the car label on your suit jacket specifies that it can’t be machine washed, don’t worry! With the right techniques, you can have a sparkling clean suit jacket by hand washing it!
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