How To Wash A Vintage Pea Coats

Whether you've inherited one from a Navy veteran, or picked one up at the surplus store, you may want to know how to wash a vintage pea coat.  These coats are clean cut and delightfully warm, but the wool content can make them difficult to clean. Here are a few ideas to keep your coat in top shape.

  1. Light Cleaning. If hair and lint are the issue, you need only use a lint roller to remove it from your vintage pea coat. Hang the coat on  a hanger for easiest access. Don't have a lint roller? Wrap masking tape or duct tape around your hand (sticky side out) and rub. Either method is an effective way to get rid of the "fuzzies". You can help prevent new lint by rubbing your vintage pea coat with a dryer sheet.
  2. Moderate Cleaning. Gasp! You've spilled something on your vintage pea coat! Don't panic. Blot the stain with a small amount mild detergent and cold water. (Hot water can make it worse.) Don't use too much soap and water as getting the wool soggy can deform the shape.(It makes a person wonder why these were designed for the Navy!)  And make sure you blot the stain. Rubbing can damage the fibers. Try to clean a stain as soon as possible. If it sets in, you will have to take more drastic measures.
  3. Heavy Cleaning. So your vintage pea coat has a funny smell? Or maybe you waited too long to blot out a stain? While some brave souls say you can wash a vintage pea coat on gentle with a very mild detergent, you are likely to end up with a coat that is a deformed and lumpy shadow of its former self. Wool takes special care, so if you like your vintage pea coat, take it to the dry cleaners.

Whether your vintage pea coat is an heirloom, an investment, or a lucky find it is a timeless classic that you can enjoy for a long time. With a few simple steps your vintage pea coat will give you warmth and style for years to come. Enjoy!

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