Can You Wash a Suit Jacket [Answers & Explanations]

Published by Hala Zaqqout on March 6, 2022 | Last updated on May 14, 2023

This is a problem that everyone is familiar with: An unsightly stain mars your suit jacket, it might be asking for cleaning.

You may think of sending your suit jacket to dry cleaning. This not only wastes time but can also be a hassle. Above all, it is costly. Then you think of washing it yourself but don’t want to be ruining yours anytime soon. So you find yourself asking “can you wash a suit jacket?”.

Many questions crossed your mind here. When and how should you clean a suit jacket that has gotten a dirt stain on it?  

Don’t panic! Cleaners Advisor team will provide you with the complete answer. They also will help you avoid laundry accidents by following the tips and tricks for cleaning a suit jacket, provided you do it the right way.

Can You Wash a Suit Jacket?

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Do you have a stain on your favorite suit jacket? Wondering “can you wash a suit jacket?” No problem! If you’re in a hurry, you can wash it at home.

This process is safe as long as you do so the right way.

Men’s suit jackets are especially delicate, as they often have shoulder pads, delicate detailing, inner pockets, and other elements that make them rather delicate to just stick in the wash.

The simple answer is that there are techniques you can use to wash them by hand or in your machine without fear of damaging the garments, saving you money that you would have otherwise spent at the dry cleaners.

Wouldn’t washing a wool suit ruin it and cause it to shrink? You may be curious. The answer is, once again, no. Not if you use the right techniques.

In general, avoid the temptation to take your clothes to the dry cleaners every time they need to be washed because the harsh solvents used in dry cleaning will degrade and break down garment fibers over time.

Furthermore, water does not shrink wool garments; rather, the agitation caused by a washing machine or, more likely, a dryer causes wool fibers to seize together or feel.

As a result, the most important thing to look out for when washing your clothes is preventing felting or, in the case of non-woolen garments, other fiber damage.

How to Wash a Suit Jacket?

Tools and Material Needed

Suit Care Items
  • A Suit Brush
  • Quality Suit Hangers
  • Cloth Suit Bag
  • A Steamer

Cleaning your suit isn’t difficult, but it is absolutely necessary. You can wash it yourself if you learn how to do so the right way. Here we provide you with a 6-step process below. 

After that, keep up with regular steaming to keep the suit in good condition. Though: you’d better take your garment to a trusted dry-cleaner whenever you have the chance.

1. Get a Suit Brush

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Can you hand wash a suit jacket? The short answer is YES! Start by spot cleaning a suit jacket before washing it. This step ensures that you find and treat every stain on your suit before washing it.

Brushing your suit regularly after you’ve worn it somewhere is the best way to keep it in good condition. The fabric of your suit can lose its shape over time, and dirt and unseen particles can accumulate.

Not to mention that it can remove dust, dead skin, hair, food particles, and other contaminants. Brushing your suit regularly will help you to extend the life of the suit. You can get a suit brush made of either synthetic or animal hair.

It is applied by brushing the fabric downward. After you’ve brushed out your suit, you can use a lint roller to make it spotless.

Also, run the soap under the arms, inside the collar, and around the cuffs of the jacket. This will pre-treat these commonly soiled areas.

2. Wash Your Suit Jacket

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Can you machine wash a suit jacket? While it may seem crazy, you can actually do a home machine wash of your suit jacket. Follow these easy and simple steps to wash clean it properly.

a. Bring a mesh garment bag large enough to accommodate your suit jacket. Make sure it has enough space inside to move around.

b. Turn your suit inside out and place it gently inside the mesh bag. You’ll want to wash it by yourself. Other fabrics should not be allowed to bleed color or add lint to your jacket.

Once you have finished working on it, dry the area out by hanging your suit jacket and allowing it to air dry.

c. If you want to use the washing machine, set the washer to the delicate wool cycle and add a few drops of liquid wool soap. Allow the washing machine to complete its cycle.

d. Set the washer to the delicate wool cycle and add a few drops of liquid wool soap. Allow the washing machine to complete its cycle.

3. Hang Your Suit Jacket

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You should not put your suit jacket in the dryer. Instead, unroll the suit jacket carefully, reshape it, and lay it flat on a surface to dry. To hasten the drying process, place a clean towel underneath it.

Once dry, hang the suit on a thick hanger to help it regain its shape. Keep it away from any heat sources that could damage the fibers while drying.

4. Steam Your Suit Jacket

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A steamer is a wonderful device that can be used on all of your clothes, not just your suits. Before hanging your suits to air dry, you can steam them.

This is an awesome way to quickly refresh your suit while also removing odors and wrinkles.

5. Find Quality Suit Hangers

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Suit hangers will not help you in cleaning your suit, but they will certainly assist you in maintaining it. You should completely forget about wire hangers for start. Second, good suit hangers can and will help with maintenance.

The right quality suit hangers will extend the life of your suit and keep it smooth and wrinkle-free during wear. A hanger is an absolute must if you work in an office.

When you’re feeling hot or similar, it’s far better to hang your suit jacket on a high-quality wooden hanger, which will keep your suit looking fine and smooth. It’s far superior to simply toss it over your chair.

6. Find a Cloth Suit Bag

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Despite the fact that your suit will most likely come with a plastic bag, you should look for a good cloth suit bag. Cloth suit bags allow for more airflow, allowing your suit to breathe. It is important to keep your suit in a cloth bag to protect it from moths.

You can even put lavender or basil in your cloth bag to keep your suit smelling fresh and moths away. Additionally, cloth bags will keep your suit smooth and wrinkle-free.

This video below describes a detailed guide of how to wash your suit jacket at home.

When to Take Your Suit for Dry Cleaning?

There will be unavoidable mishaps that require having your suit jacket dry cleaned.

However, dry cleaning your suit regularly is not recommended. The chemicals used in dry cleaning are harsh, and they will degrade the condition of your suit over time.

Dry cleaning depletes a suit’s natural oils, which keep the suit supple and soft. The fabric becomes frail and worn out without them.

How Often to Clean a Suit?

Well, it depends on how often you wear them. Examine your clothing and habits carefully. If you wear it frequently, like 3 or 4 times per week, you should have it cleaned regularly.

Once or twice a month is enough to. Of course, if you only wear them once in a while, you won’t need them as often. Then you should do it at least once a year.

When brushing, airing out, and stain treatment no longer removes the odor, dirt, and spots, it’s time to dry-clean them.

For more information about dry cleaning a suit, read our Cleaners Advisor article answering the common question “how long does it take to dry clean a suit?”  

How To Care and Maintain Your Garments?

Here are 8 top tips for storing your suit so that it keeps nice and clean for a long time:

1. Don’t wear the same suit over and over. Buy multiple of them and wear them regularly.

2. The steam roller works like a charm when it comes to wrinkle removal. To look freshly pressed, use the steamer on the lowest heat setting before putting on the suit every time.

3. Make sure your suit has been steam-pressed to remove any minor wrinkles before wearing it. When you take off your suit, hang it up properly as soon as you take it off, and let it hang for at least a day or two before wearing it again.

4. After each use, brush off any clinging dust particles before hanging. Brushing against the grain with short, quick strokes is the best way to get started. Then, with the nap, finish brushing.

5. You can take care of your suit while wearing it. If you’re driving, resist the urge to sit in your sports coat; instead, hang it on your seat or on a backseat hanger. To avoid spills and sweat, leave your jacket at work if you go outside for lunch in warm weather.

6. Air out your suit after each wear by hanging it for at least 24 hours on a good wooden hanger. It’s even better if you can hang them for a few days. Allowing the fabric to breathe and relax before storing it can help it last longer.

7. Wrap it in a cloth cover that allows for ventilation. This prevents trapped humidity from ruining your cloth.

8. Make sure to check and empty the pockets to avoid wrinkles.

Can You Wash a Suit Jacket FAQ

To Wrap Up

There you have it! We think the question of “can you wash a suit jacket?” has been successfully answered. It is possible to wash and clean your suits at home as long as you do it the right way.

The most important thing to remember is to read your labels at all times. They are your guide to providing the best care and protection for your clothes.

You’re now ready to take perfect care of your suit.  

If you have any more questions or would like to know more about this issue, then leave us a comment below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.