How To Wash And Clean A Suit Jacket?

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October 19, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers, MA (English), Certified Consultant

To wash and clean a suit jacket, follow these steps: firstly, check the care label for any specific instructions. Next, spot clean any stains using a mild detergent and a soft cloth.

Finally, either hand wash or take it to a professional dry cleaner for a thorough clean. When it comes to keeping your suit jacket looking sharp and professional, proper care and cleaning are essential. A suit jacket is a staple in any formal wardrobe and can be quite an investment.

Regular cleaning not only removes dirt and odors but also helps to extend the lifespan of your jacket. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to wash and clean a suit jacket effectively. By following these simple tips, you can maintain the pristine appearance of your suit jacket and ensure it lasts for years to come.

How To Wash And Clean A Suit Jacket?


Choosing The Right Cleaning Method

Suit jackets require special care when it comes to cleaning. Learn how to wash and clean a suit jacket properly without damaging the fabric or altering its shape with these helpful tips.

When it comes to washing and cleaning a suit jacket, it is essential to consider the fabric and care label instructions as well as assess any stains or damage that may require special treatment. Different fabrics and stains demand specific cleaning approaches to maintain the jacket’s quality and appearance.


Follow these guidelines to ensure you choose the right cleaning method for your suit jacket:

Consider The Fabric And Care Label Instructions

  • Wool:
  • Check the care label for any specific instructions.
  • If the jacket is labeled as “dry clean only,” avoid attempting to wash it at home.
  • For machine-washable wool jackets, use a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent.
  • Avoid wringing or twisting the jacket and instead gently squeeze out the excess water.
  • Lay the jacket flat to dry to prevent distortion.
  • Cotton:
  • Most cotton suit jackets can be machine washed.
  • Always check the care label for any exceptions or specific instructions.
  • Use cold water and a mild detergent.
  • To prevent shrinking, avoid using hot water or high heat settings when drying.
  • Linen:
  • Linen suits should be dry cleaned or professionally laundered.
  • Check the care label to confirm the recommended method.
  • Polyester/blends:
  • Polyester blend suit jackets are typically machine washable.
  • Again, always refer to the care label for specific instructions.
  • Use cold water and a mild detergent to wash.
  • Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, as they may damage the fabric.
  • Silk/satin:
  • Silk and satin suit jackets should be professionally dry cleaned.
  • Do not attempt to wash them at home.

Assess Any Stains Or Damage That May Require Special Treatment

  • Oil or grease stains:
  • Apply a small amount of dishwashing liquid directly onto the stain.
  • Gently rub the fabric together to work in the soap.
  • Rinse the jacket under cold water.
  • Ink stains:
  • Place a clean white cloth or paper towel under the stained area.
  • Dab the stain with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol.
  • Blot the area to lift the ink.
  • Wine stains:
  • Sprinkle salt or baking soda on the stain to absorb the liquid.
  • After a few minutes, brush off the salt or baking soda.
  • Blot the stain with a clean cloth dampened with cold water.
  • Mold or mildew:
  • Mix equal parts of water and vinegar.
  • Dab the solution onto the affected area using a clean cloth or sponge.
  • Allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing with cold water.

Remember, if you are uncertain about the cleaning process or if the stain seems stubborn, it’s best to seek professional help. By selecting the appropriate cleaning method based on fabric and stain type, you can keep your suit jacket looking its best for years to come.

Gathering The Necessary Supplies

To wash and clean a suit jacket, it’s crucial to gather all the necessary supplies beforehand. Be prepared with a gentle detergent, a soft brush, a lint roller, and a steamer or iron to restore your suit jacket’s pristine appearance.

To properly wash and clean your suit jacket, you will need a few essential supplies. Ensure you have the following items on hand before you begin:

  • Mild detergent or suit-specific cleaning product: Using a mild detergent or a cleaning product specifically designed for suits will help protect the delicate fabric of your jacket during the cleaning process.
  • Soft bristle brush or lint roller: A soft bristle brush or lint roller is essential for removing lint, dust, and other surface debris from your suit jacket. These tools will ensure a pristine finish without damaging the fabric.
  • Clean, white cloth or sponge: A clean, white cloth or sponge is useful for spot cleaning any stains or spills on your suit jacket. Make sure the cloth or sponge is free of any dyes or chemicals that could potentially harm the fabric.

Now that you have gathered the necessary supplies for washing and cleaning your suit jacket, let’s move on to the next steps to ensure your jacket remains in impeccable condition.

Spot Cleaning The Stains

To properly clean a suit jacket, spot cleaning the stains is essential. Follow these steps: blot the stain with a clean cloth, use a mild detergent and water mixture, gently scrub the stained area, and let it air dry. Remember to follow the care instructions on the jacket to maintain its quality.

Liquid stains can be a real headache, but fear not! With the right technique, you can tackle them without a fuss. Here’s a simple blotting and dabbing technique to effectively remove liquid stains from your suit jacket:

  • Blotting and dabbing technique for liquid stains:
  • Start by quickly blotting the stain with a clean cloth or paper towel. This will help absorb as much of the liquid as possible, preventing it from setting deeper into the fabric.
  • Avoid rubbing or scrubbing, as this can push the stain further into the fabric or cause it to spread.
  • Once you’ve blotted the stain, take a clean cloth or sponge and dampen it slightly with water. Gently dab at the stain in a circular motion, working from the outside towards the center. This will help lift the stain and prevent any spreading.
  • If plain water doesn’t do the trick, you may consider using a mild detergent or stain remover specifically designed for delicate fabrics. Ensure you follow the product instructions and test it on a discreet area of the jacket first to avoid any damage.
  • Afterward, rinse the area with clean water and blot it dry using a clean, dry cloth or towel. Allow the jacket to air dry completely before wearing or storing it.

Solid or dried stains can be stubborn, but with a gentle scraping technique, you can bid them farewell. Here’s how you can remove solid or dried stains from your suit jacket without causing any harm to the fabric:

  • Gentle scraping technique for solid or dried stains:
  • Use a clean, dry spoon or a blunt edge to gently scrape off any excess solid or dried matter. Be careful not to exert too much pressure to avoid damaging the fabric fibers.
  • Once you’ve removed the excess, take a clean cloth and dampen it slightly with plain water. Gently dab at the stained area to soften the residue.
  • If necessary, you can also use a mild detergent or stain remover specifically formulated for delicate fabrics. Apply a small amount to the stain and gently dab at it with a cloth.
  • Avoid rubbing or scrubbing aggressively, as this could damage the fabric. Instead, continue dabbing until the stain begins to lift.
  • Rinse the area with clean water and blot it dry using a clean, dry cloth or towel. Ensure the jacket is fully dry before wearing or storing it to prevent any odors or mildew.

Remember, regular spot cleaning is essential to maintain the appearance and longevity of your suit jacket. By using these techniques correctly, you can keep your jacket looking sharp and stain-free for years to come.

Testing The Cleaning Solution

Discover the essential steps to effectively wash and clean a suit jacket, starting with testing the cleaning solution. Ensure the solution is safe for your jacket’s fabric to avoid any potential damage and maintain its pristine condition.

Perform A Patch Test On A Discreet Area Of The Jacket:

Before proceeding with cleaning the entire suit jacket, it’s essential to perform a patch test on a discreet area. This will help you determine whether the cleaning solution may cause any adverse reactions or color bleeding. Follow these steps to conduct a patch test effectively:

  • Select an inconspicuous area: Choose a small, discreet area on the jacket, such as the inside lining or an inconspicuous corner, to perform the patch test.
  • Apply the cleaning solution: Dampen a clean cloth or cotton swab with a small amount of the cleaning solution you intend to use. Gently dab the solution onto the chosen test area.
  • Wait and observe: Allow the cleaning solution to sit on the patch for the specified time as mentioned in the product instructions. Observe the area closely for any adverse reactions or color changes.
  • Check for color bleeding: After the specified time, take a white cloth or cotton swab and gently blot the test area. Check if any color transfers onto the cloth, indicating color bleeding.
  • Inspect the patch area: Examine the test area for any damage, discoloration, or unwanted changes. Ensure that the fabric remains intact and the color stays intact.
  • Assess the results: Based on the outcome of the patch test, you can determine whether it is safe to proceed with cleaning the entire suit jacket using the chosen cleaning solution. If there are any adverse reactions or color bleeding, consider seeking professional help or trying an alternative solution.

Performing a patch test before cleaning the entire suit jacket helps minimize the risk of damage and allows you to make an informed decision on the best cleaning approach.

Hand Washing Your Jacket

To properly wash and clean a suit jacket, start by checking the care label for any specific instructions. Use a gentle laundry detergent and hand wash the jacket in cold water. Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric and let it air dry flat to maintain its shape and quality.

When it comes to washing your suit jacket, using a gentle hand washing method can help prolong its lifespan and maintain its shape. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to hand wash your jacket properly:

  • Fill a basin with lukewarm water and the appropriate cleaning solution: Use a mild detergent or a specialized suit jacket cleaner that is suitable for delicate fabrics. Make sure the water is at the right temperature – lukewarm, not too hot or cold.
  • Gently submerge the jacket and agitate to loosen dirt: Carefully place the jacket into the basin and using your hands, gently swirl the water around. This will help loosen any dirt or stains from the fabric.
  • Rinse thoroughly and squeeze out excess water without wringing: After agitating the jacket, rinse it thoroughly under cool running water until the water runs clear. Then, gently squeeze out the excess water without wringing the fabric. Wringing can distort and damage the jacket’s shape.
  • Dry the jacket flat: Lay a clean towel on a flat surface and place the jacket on top of it. Reshape the jacket to its original form and allow it to air dry naturally. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or heat sources as this can lead to color fading and fabric shrinkage.

Remember, hand washing is the preferred method for suit jackets, especially those made of delicate fabrics. It allows you to have more control while minimizing the risk of damage. By following these steps, you can keep your jacket clean and well-maintained for years to come.

Now that you know how to hand wash your jacket, let’s move on to the next section: machine washing your jacket.

Machine Washing Your Jacket

To properly clean and wash a suit jacket, it is best to avoid using a machine. Instead, opt for professional dry cleaning services to ensure the jacket remains in top condition and retains its shape.

Machine Washing Your Jacket:

To keep your suit jacket clean and looking sharp, it’s important to know how to properly machine wash it. Follow these steps to ensure your jacket stays in great condition:

  • Use a delicate or wool cycle with cold water: When machine washing your suit jacket, be sure to use a delicate or wool cycle with cold water. This will help prevent the fabric from shrinking or becoming damaged.
  • Place the jacket in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to protect it: To further protect your suit jacket, place it in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase before putting it in the washing machine. This will help prevent any snags or tears that can occur from direct contact with the machine’s agitator.
  • Avoid mixing with heavy or rough-textured items: When washing your suit jacket, it’s important to avoid mixing it with heavy or rough-textured items. These items can cause friction and damage the delicate fabric of the jacket. Instead, wash your jacket separately or with similar lightweight and smooth-textured garments.

Following these steps will help ensure that your suit jacket remains clean and well-maintained. Remember, when in doubt, it’s always best to consult the care instructions provided by the manufacturer or consider professional dry cleaning for your suit jacket to ensure its longevity.

Removing Excess Water

To effectively wash and clean a suit jacket, it is important to know how to remove excess water. By gently pressing the jacket with a towel and allowing it to air dry, you can ensure the jacket maintains its shape and quality.

Press The Jacket Against A Clean Towel To Absorb Moisture:

  • Gently press the suit jacket against a clean towel to remove any excess water. This will help to expedite the drying process without causing any damage.
  • Avoid twisting or wringing the jacket, as this can lead to misshaping or stretching of the fabric.
  • Ensure that the entire jacket is pressed against the towel to allow for maximum absorption of moisture.
  • Use slight pressure when pressing to avoid applying excessive force that could potentially damage the jacket.
  • Continue pressing until you no longer observe any visible moisture being transferred to the towel.
  • By following this method, you can effectively remove excess water from the suit jacket without compromising its shape.

Remember, it’s crucial to handle your suit jacket with care during the cleaning process to maintain its pristine appearance.

Reshaping And Ironing

To properly wash and clean a suit jacket, it is essential to follow a few steps. Start by carefully removing any stains, then gently hand wash or dry clean the jacket according to the care instructions. Afterward, reshape the jacket while damp and iron it on low heat to achieve a crisp and polished look.

To maintain the professional appearance of your suit jacket, reshaping and ironing are essential steps in the cleaning process. Whether you opt for a garment steamer or a steam iron, paying attention to details like lapels, pockets, and seams is crucial.

Here’s how you can ensure your suit jacket looks pristine:

Use A Garment Steamer Or Thoughtful Steam Ironing Technique

  • Begin by hanging your suit jacket on a sturdy hanger in a well-ventilated area.
  • Using a garment steamer:
  • Fill the steamer with distilled water and allow it to heat up according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Hold the steamer nozzle a few inches away from the fabric and gently steam the suit jacket, moving the nozzle in long, sweeping motions.
  • Pay special attention to the lapels, pockets, and seams, ensuring the steam reaches all areas.
  • Using a steam iron:
  • Set the iron to the appropriate temperature for your suit jacket’s fabric (refer to the care instructions).
  • Place a clean cloth between the iron and the fabric to prevent direct contact.
  • Steam the suit jacket by hovering the iron a few inches above the fabric, moving it in a circular motion.
  • Pay attention to the lapels, pockets, and seams, always keeping the iron moving to avoid scorching the fabric.
  • For both methods:
  • After steaming or ironing, allow the suit jacket to hang for a few minutes to cool down and set its shape.
  • Gently reshape the lapels, collar, and pockets with your hands, smoothing out any wrinkles or creases.
  • If necessary, lightly press over stubborn wrinkles with the iron using a pressing cloth.
  • Avoid placing excessive pressure on the fabric to prevent damaging the jacket’s structure.
  • Ensure the suit jacket is completely dry before wearing or storing.

By following these tips, you can restore the impeccable appearance of your suit jacket, giving it a crisp and polished look.

Hanging And Storing Your Jacket

To effectively wash and clean a suit jacket, follow these simple steps. Start by checking the care label for specific instructions. Use a gentle detergent and cold water, and hand wash or machine wash on a delicate cycle. Hang the jacket to dry in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight.

Iron on a low heat setting or steam to remove any wrinkles. Store the jacket in a breathable garment bag to prevent dust and protect its shape.

To maintain the shape of your suit jacket and ensure its longevity, proper hanging and storing techniques are essential. Follow these tips to keep your jacket looking crisp and ready to wear:

  • Use a wide and padded hanger: Opt for a sturdy hanger that is wide enough to support the jacket’s shoulders without stretching them. A padded hanger helps maintain the shape and prevents creases.
  • Store in a breathable garment bag or suit cover: Invest in a breathable garment bag or a suit cover made of natural materials like cotton or linen. These materials allow air circulation while protecting the jacket from dust and lint.
  • Keep away from direct sunlight and excessive moisture: Avoid hanging your jacket in direct sunlight, as it can fade the fabric and cause discoloration. Excessive moisture can lead to mold or mildew growth, so it’s crucial to keep your jacket in a dry environment.


  • Always unbutton your jacket before hanging it to relieve any tension on the buttons or buttonholes.
  • Avoid overcrowding your closet to prevent your jacket from getting squeezed between other clothing items, which can lead to wrinkles.
  • Periodically rotate the hanger to distribute the weight of the jacket evenly and minimize stress on specific areas.

By following these simple steps, you can maintain the shape and integrity of your suit jacket, ensuring that it stays in top condition for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Wash And Clean A Suit Jacket?

How Often Should I Clean A Suit Jacket?

It is recommended to clean a suit jacket 1-2 times per year, unless it gets stained or soiled.

Can I Wash My Suit Jacket At Home?

Most suit jackets should be dry cleaned to maintain their shape and quality. Avoid washing at home.

What Type Of Detergent Should I Use?

Use a mild detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics to clean your suit jacket.

How Do I Remove Stains From My Suit Jacket?

For small stains, gently blot the affected area with a clean cloth dampened with a mild detergent solution.

Can I Iron My Suit Jacket?

It is best to avoid ironing a suit jacket at home. Take it to a professional cleaner for proper pressing.



Taking care of your suit jacket is essential to maintain its appearance and prolong its lifespan. By following the proper cleaning techniques, you can ensure that your suit jacket always looks sharp and professional. Start by checking the care instructions on the jacket’s label, and if it is safe to do so, spot clean any visible stains.

When it’s time for a deep clean, consider taking it to a professional dry cleaner to avoid damaging the fabric or altering its shape. If you prefer cleaning it at home, hand washing or using a gentle cycle on the washing machine can work for certain types of fabric.

Remember to always air dry your suit jacket to prevent shrinkage. Regularly steaming or pressing the jacket will help eliminate wrinkles and restore its smooth appearance. By investing time and care into washing and cleaning your suit jacket, you can confidently wear it for years to come while always looking your best.

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About Author (Marjorie R. Rogers)

The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Get Started To Read …