Wax jackets are a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts and fashion-forward individuals alike. Their rugged durability and classic style make them a staple in many wardrobes. However, when it comes to cleaning a wax jacket, there is some confusion as to whether dry cleaning wax jackets is a good idea. Can you dry clean a wax jacket?
No, you should not dry clean a wax jacket. The solvents used in dry cleaning can break down the wax coating, causing it to lose its effectiveness. This can result in a jacket that is no longer water-resistant and has lost its original appearance. That said, there are companies that will offer professional wax jacket cleaning. Click here to jump ahead on the page to read more about those services.
In this article, we will discuss alternatives to dry cleaning wax jackets and where you can get your jacket professionally cleaned. We also discuss how to clean a wax jacket at home.
|Issue||Why It Matters||Solution|
|Dry Cleaning||The solvents used can strip the wax coating, weaken fabric fibers, cause shrinkage or loss of shape, and fade or discolor the jacket||Avoid dry cleaning wax jackets and use a specialized cleaning process instead, such as hand washing or a professional wax jacket cleaning service|
|Re-Waxing||Over time, the wax coating can wear off, leading to a loss of water resistance and durability||Re-wax the jacket using a specialized wax product, such as wax dressing, thornproof wax, or Greenland Wax|
|Stains and Dirt||Accumulated dirt and stains can impact the jacket’s appearance and performance||Spot clean the jacket with a damp cloth and mild soap, or use a specialized cleaning product, such as Nikwax Tech Wash|
|Storage||Improper storage can cause the wax to melt or become brittle, leading to damage or loss of shape||Store the jacket in a cool, dry place away from direct heat and sunlight, and avoid folding or crushing the jacket|
|Repair||Tears, holes, and other damage can impact the jacket’s performance and appearance||Repair any damage promptly, either through a professional wax jacket repair service or with a DIY patch or wax repair kit|
|Professional Cleaning||Cleaning the jacket yourself may be difficult or time-consuming, or you may prefer to have it cleaned by a professional||Mail your jacket to a specialized wax jacket cleaning service, such as Barbour or The Scottish Lion, to have it professionally cleaned and re-waxed. This option may be more convenient or efficient than cleaning the jacket yourself.|
Can You Dry Clean a Wax Jacket?
No, you should not dry clean a wax jacket.
Dry cleaning is a process that uses solvents to remove dirt and stains from clothing. However, wax jackets are made with a waxed cotton or canvas outer layer that is designed to repel water and dirt. The solvents used in dry cleaning can break down the wax coating, causing it to lose its effectiveness. This can result in a jacket that is no longer water-resistant and has lost its original appearance.
In addition to damaging the wax coating, dry cleaning wax jackets can also cause damage to the fabric of the jacket. The solvents used in dry cleaning can weaken the fibers of the cotton or canvas fabric that makes up the jacket, causing it to become brittle and prone to tearing. Over time, this can lead to holes and damage to the jacket that cannot be repaired.
Also, the heat used in the dry cleaning process can cause the jacket to shrink or lose its shape, resulting in an ill-fitting jacket that no longer looks or feels as good as it once did. The color of the jacket can also become faded or discolored.
Professional Wax Jacket Cleaning
While dry cleaning wax jackets is not recommended, some professional cleaners offer a specialized cleaning service for these types of jackets. These cleaners use a process that involves hand washing the jacket in cold water with a mild detergent.
Usually, the jacket is then hung to dry in a well-ventilated area. Once the jacket is dry, the wax coating is reapplied to the outer layer to restore its water-resistant properties. While this process can be effective, it can be costly and not all markets offer a local cleaner that is willing to do this process.
But if your local market doesn’t have a wax jacket cleaner, you do have two options:
- Mail it off to a professional wax jacket cleaning service
- Clean your wax jacket at home
How to Clean a Wax Jacket at Home
Cleaning a wax jacket at home is a simple process that can help maintain its appearance and water-resistant properties. Here are the steps to follow:
- Brush off any loose dirt or debris from the jacket using a soft-bristled brush.
- Fill a basin or sink with cold water and add a small amount of mild detergent.
- Submerge the jacket in the water and gently agitate it to loosen any dirt or stains.
- Rinse the jacket thoroughly with cold water to remove any soap residue.
- Hang the jacket to dry in a well-ventilated area, away from direct heat sources.
- Once the jacket is dry, use a soft cloth to apply a wax dressing to the outer layer. Rub the wax into the fabric in circular motions, paying special attention to areas that receive the most wear and tear.
Dry cleaning wax jackets is not recommended, as it can damage the wax coating and fabric of the jacket. However, with a little care and attention, it is easy to clean a wax jacket at home and maintain its appearance and water-resistant properties.
Where to purchase wax?
You can purchase wax to re-wax your jacket at various outdoor and sporting goods stores, as well as online retailers. Here are a few options to consider:
- Barbour: Barbour is a British brand that specializes in waxed cotton jackets. They offer a range of wax products, including wax dressing and thornproof wax, that are specifically designed for use on their jackets. You can purchase these products on their website or at one of their retail stores.
- Otter Wax: Otter Wax is a company that produces all-natural, eco-friendly wax products for use on a variety of fabrics. They offer a range of wax bars, including their popular Heavy Duty Fabric Wax, that are suitable for use on waxed cotton jackets. You can purchase these products on their website or at select outdoor retailers.
- Filson: Filson is a popular outdoor brand that sells many types of wax jackets. They sell their oil finish wax on their website. They instruct you to apply an even layer of wax over your oil-finish garment then use a heat gun or blow dryer to warm the wax so it absorbs into the cloth.
Can You Machine Wash a Wax Jacket?
No, you cannot machine wash a waxed jacket. The harsh wash cycles can damage the oil or paraffin wax coating that gives the jacket its waterproofing characteristic. To learn more, visit our article about machine washing wax jackets.
Professional Re-proofing Wax Jacket by Mail
Dry cleaning wax jackets is not a good idea. However, there are several companies that specialize in professional wax jacket cleaning. These companies clean and restore wax jackets and can be a convenient option for those who do not have access to a local cleaner. This process is often called “re-proofing a wax jacket”.
To use these services, simply visit the website of a reputable wax jacket cleaning company and follow their instructions for mailing in your jacket. In most cases, you will need to fill out a form with your contact information and details about the jacket, including its size, color, and any specific areas that need attention.
Once the company receives your jacket, they will inspect it for any damage or areas of concern. They will then use their specialized cleaning process to remove dirt and stains from the fabric while protecting the wax coating. Some companies may also offer additional services, such as repairing tears or replacing zippers, for an additional fee.
After the cleaning process is complete, the company will carefully package and return your jacket to you. You can expect your jacket to arrive clean, refreshed, and with its water-resistant properties fully restored.
Click here to visit a company that specializes in re-proofing wax jackets.
While using a wax jacket cleaning company can be more expensive than cleaning your jacket at home, it can be a convenient option for those who want to ensure their jacket is properly cleaned and maintained. Additionally, some companies offer warranties or guarantees on their cleaning services, providing peace of mind that your investment is protected.
Since dry cleaning wax jackets is not a good idea, this option offers you a way to get your jacket professionally cared for.