Maintaining a men's wool trench coat can seem daunting, especially given its size and the delicacy of wool as a fabric. However, cleaning your wool trench coat at home can be straightforward and effective with the right approach and knowledge.

If you have a wool coat and don't care for it properly, it will lose its shine over time due to wear and tear. To keep your wool trench coat in good condition, it is often possible to be careful when washing it at home. Cleaning wool is particularly important before storing it in the summer, as moths can be particularly troublesome when wool is kept for long periods.

This detailed guide will take you through the steps needed to wash your wool trench coat, ensuring it stays pristine for years.

Why are Trench Coats Dry Clean Only?

Often, labels on wool trench coats recommend dry cleaning because wool is a delicate fiber that can shrink, distort, or become damaged when washed incorrectly. 

Trench coats are often labeled as "dry clean only" due to the delicate nature of their fabric and construction. Wool, in particular, is prone to shrinking, felting, and distortion when exposed to water and agitation, making dry cleaning the safest and most effective method of cleaning.

Dry cleaning involves using specialized solvents and techniques to remove dirt, stains, and odors from the fabric without causing damage. Professional dry cleaners have the expertise and equipment to ensure that your trench coat is cleaned thoroughly and safely, preserving its shape, color, and texture.

It may be tempting to wash your trench coat at home, especially if it appears to have minor stains or odors, it's important to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to avoid damaging the garment.


Preparing to Wash Your Wool Trench Coat

What detergent is good for wool?

 For washing wool, it's essential to use a gentle laundry detergent formulated for delicate fabrics. Eucalan’s no-rinse formula is highly recommended for wool items because it's gentle and doesn't require rinsing, which minimizes handling and potential damage to the fabric.

Look for detergents labeled as "gentle" or "wool wash," as these are designed to effectively clean wool while protecting its natural fibers.

Avoid using regular laundry detergents or those containing harsh chemicals, bleach, or enzymes, as they can strip the wool of its natural oils and cause damage. Instead, opt for a detergent that is free from harsh additives and fragrances to prevent irritation and preserve the integrity of the wool fabric.

Always start by removing pills. Pilling occurs when fibers in the wool fabric rub together and form small balls. Using a garment comb or fabric shaver, you can easily remove these. Lay your coat flat and gently pass the comb over the fabric in short, downward strokes to lift away pills without damaging the wool.

Spot-Cleaning Stains

When it comes to stains, prompt action is crucial. Spot-clean any visible stains before washing the entire coat. Blot fresh stains to remove excess liquid, then lightly dab the affected area with a mixture of water and a bit of gentle laundry detergent or mild soap. For more stubborn stains, you may need to resort to rubbing alcohol or white vinegar. Remember, the sooner you treat a stain, the better your chances of removing it.


Washing Your Wool Trench Coat

Can you machine wash a wool trench coat?

Yes, but with caution. If your men's wool trench coat is labeled as machine washable, follow these guidelines to ensure a safe and effective cleaning process:

  • Select the delicate or wool cycle on your washing machine to minimize agitation and reduce the risk of damage to the fabric.
  • Wash your trench coat in cold water to prevent shrinking and preserve the integrity of the wool fibers.
  • Use a mild detergent specifically formulated for wool or delicate fabrics to clean your trench coat effectively without causing damage.
  • Avoid overloading the machine to allow for proper circulation and cleaning.
  • After washing, reshape your trench coat and lay it flat on a clean towel to air dry. Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric, as this can cause distortion and stretching.


For those who prefer or require hand-washing, fill a tub or large basin with lukewarm water and add less than a tablespoon of a gentle laundry detergent like. Submerge the coat and let it soak for about 30 minutes, gently agitating it every now and then. If your detergent requires rinsing, refill the basin with fresh water until all suds are gone.


Drying Your Wool Trench Coat

Do you put a trench coat in the dryer?

Never place a wool trench coat in the dryer. The heat and agitation can cause shrinkage and damage. 

Putting a trench coat in the dryer can be risky, especially if it's made of wool or other delicate fabrics. The heat and agitation of the dryer can cause shrinkage, felting, and distortion, ruining the shape and texture of the coat.

Instead of using the dryer, it's best to air dry your trench coat flat on a clean towel or drying rack. Gently reshape the coat to its original form and allow it to dry naturally in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

If your trench coat has specific care instructions indicating that it can be tumble dried on a low heat setting, it's essential to follow these guidelines carefully to prevent damage. However, when in doubt, it's always safer to air dry your trench coat to ensure it retains its quality and shape for years to come.

Can a Wool Trench Coat Get Wet? 

Yes, it can get wet, but avoid excessive exposure to water and never wring it out. Turn the coat every 12 hours to ensure even drying. Depending on the coat's thickness, drying can take a couple of days.

While wool is naturally water-resistant to some extent, prolonged exposure to moisture can cause it to become saturated and lose its shape. Additionally, wool trench coats are often treated with water-repellent coatings to enhance their moisture resistance and protect them from light rain or snow.

Discover even more about Can Trench Coats Be Worn in Snow?

However, it's important to note that wool trench coats are not waterproof, and excessive exposure to water can cause them to become soaked and heavy. If your trench coat gets wet, it's important to allow it to air dry thoroughly before wearing it again to prevent mildew and odors.

To protect your wool trench coat from moisture, consider applying a waterproofing spray specifically designed for wool fabrics. These sprays create a protective barrier that helps repel water and prevent moisture from penetrating the fabric.

Overall, while wool trench coats can withstand light rain and moisture to some extent, it's best to avoid prolonged exposure to water and take precautions to protect them from becoming soaked and damaged. If your trench coat does get wet, allow it to air dry thoroughly and consider applying a waterproofing spray to enhance its water resistance and prolong its lifespan.

Final Thoughts

Caring for a men's wool trench coat at home is certainly doable with the right approach and precautions. Always start with spot cleaning and pill removal, use a gentle detergent, and opt for hand-washing or a machine's delicate cycle if absolutely necessary.

Most importantly, remember that wool trench coats should never be put in the dryer. By following these steps, you can keep your wool trench coat looking its best for years to come.