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Wash or Dry Clean Trench Coat

Submit an Entry: Your Laundry Questions and Answers

By dellphillius

My Laundry Question

Machine Washing a "Dry Clean Only" Navy Trenchcoat.


I have a navy trenchcoat that I would like to try washing in the machine on a 30 degree delicates cycle. The site I bought the coat off last year stated in the description that the coat was machine washable at 40 degrees should not be dry cleaned. The label states the opposite that the coat should be professionally dry cleaned.

The coat is 100% cotton with a 48% viscose/52% polyester lining. I'm fairly confident it'll be alright and I don't really want to spend £10 at the dry cleaners as its not really smelly or that dirty. Would the colour run at 30 degrees?

Share a Little Background Info

The coat isn't really dirty or smelly, I spilt a drink on it and wanted to clean it without taking it to the dry cleaners. I'm concerned that the coat will shrink at 30 degress and I don't want the colour to run as the coat is a dark navy colour. Does cotton shrink at 30 degrees? And does colour run at this temperature?

Lessons Learned

  • I've not attempted this yet, I've washed similar items in the machine and nothing bad has happened.

Fabric Content of Item (if appropriate)

100% cotton outer

48% viscose/52% polyester lining

Mary Marlowe Leverette, About.com Laundry & Laundry Rooms, says:

I have an article that may help you decide if you want to wash a dry clean only item. Washing in cold water on the delicate cycle should not harm the outer shell of your coat. However, the trouble might come with the interior structure of the coat. If there is any interfacing, it may shrink or pull. The lining might also react differently than the outer fabric causing a difference in length.

If the coat is new or expensive, I would believe the label. If you are willing to risk it looking a bit less pristine, washing in cold water on delicate will not destroy the coat.

Good luck!

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