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  • Writer's pictureLaundry Care

How to Wash A Raincoat and Other Waterproof Clothing

Young girl wearing a pink raincoat holding a pink umbrella

Spring rain brings the promise of summer and the blooming of plant life...but can ruin a perfectly planned outfit. Which is where raincoats and waterproof jackets are necessary to keep you and your ensemble dry and “insta-worthy”. But unlike other clothing, raincoats are made of waterproof/resistant fabric that requires a bit of TLC when it comes to washing them. So how do you keep them clean and ready for the next drizzle, sprinkle or storm? Keep reading to find out!

Check the Tag First

The first step when washing any item is checking the clothing care tag for the recommended wash instructions and suggested water temp. In this case, if you can’t find the exact temperature, use lukewarm or cold water. We recommend hand-washing rain jackets if there are no machine washing directions available...just to be sure your jacket is not damaged. We’ve also included specifically how you can machine wash raincoats most effectively WITHOUT causing damage.

Washing by Hand

  1. Fill up a tub or basin with cold or warm water.Then pour/ sprinkle a mild detergent. Mix to fully dissolve/ incorporate in the water.

  2. Submerge your raincoat gently in the water, this process is a little more time consuming than just using your washer but you can be much more thorough.

  3. Gently swish your raincoat around in the water making sure to give extra attention to areas that have stubborn stains and gross smell. For some stains you may have to soak the raincoat for up to thirty minutes.

  4. After that you are ready to dry it out, you can also use a dryer on low heat for this process as well, or you can let your raincoat dry out over time on something like a clothesline.

In the Washer

  1. Wipe any mud or dirt off your raincoat. It’s a good idea to do this whenever you see noticeable stains or soiling- whether or not you plan to fully wash the raincoat.

  2. Before going any further, be sure to read the care tag on the jacket. Some are made of proprietary fabrics that require specific detergent and/ or unique care.

  3. If the care tag allows, put about 2 TBSP of mild detergent into your washer’s detergent dispenser and insert your raincoat into the washer drum/ basin.We’d suggest washing the raincoat by itself in the “quick” cycle that most washers offer--designed specifically for smaller loads.

  4. Alternatively, you can wash the rain jacket with a load of towels in a regular cycle duration.

  5. Select the delicate setting(s) and a warm or cold temp for best results.


Prefer to leave the laundry to the pros? We can help!

Click here to learn how.


How Often Do Raincoats Need to be Cleaned?

Reading this, you’re probably already rounding up all your rain jackets to get them clean. BUT keep in mind, you don’t really need to clean them all that often. We recommend washing a raincoat only when visibly dirty, smelly or after about every 4-6 wears (depending on how soiled they get, how much you sweat and how much contact they’ve had with skincare products such as sunscreen/ sunblock).

Protect Your Investment

In many areas of the country, specifically areas where it often rains year round like Portland, Seattle - as well as places that get a ton of spring rain, storms and even SEVERE weather like Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Nashville, Tampa, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Greenville, Atlanta, Louisville and Lexington - a raincoat is an investment you’ll want to last a long time!.


Ready to be Laundry-Free?

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