Cleaning and care of equipment: Fleece Jacket

Fleece jacket is a jacket made of fleece which is a material made of Polyethylene, or most commonly known as Polyester. It is a soft and fuzzy fabric, with great insulating ability, it has very low water absorption qualities and it is also quite breathable. Fleece jackets come in two variations: micro and regular fleece, with the first being thinner and the regular fleece being softer and thicker. Due to the fabric’s characteristics, it repels the water from the outside but it lets the body breathe from the inside and since it is fast-drying it makes sweat escaping easy, leaving you dry and comfortable. You can wear a fleece jacket on its own, during cool and, preferably, dry weather, or you can wear it as part of a layering system, which is one of the best options for winter clothing.

So just follow the advices below and your fleece will be always as good as new.

Washing machine method

First of all check the care tag. If washing machine is a go you can proceed with this method. If there is no water temperature indication on the label, then go with the lowest setting on your washing machine, just to be on the safe side. High temperatures will damage the fabric, causing it to shrink down, or in some cases even lose its shape and stretch out entirely. So, the lower the temperature, the better for the jacket. Because the fleece has the tendency to pill (tiny fuzz balls all over the surface), it is better to turn the jacket inside out to prevent this from happening. Avoid mixing different fabrics together as fleece is notorious for picking up lint, therefore only wash fleece with fleece to be on the safe side.

Use mild detergent only and do not use bleach and fabric softeners because they will destroy the look and the feel of the jacket. If there is an odor present, baking soda is a great way to get rid of it, by mixing it in with the detergent. After the washing cycle is done, hang the jacket to dry, preferably in a dry room rather than out in the sun. Fleece dries out very quickly so it won’t take long.

Hand washing method

Washing machines, even if they are very efficient cleaner, can be an issue with fleece jackets that have a higher risk of pilling. If you want to avoid this, the best way is to wash the jacket gently by hand. The water you will use in this method should be cold, to minimize damage to the fabric. Mix in the mild detergent into the water and make sure everything is dissolved as much as possible, otherwise it will create residue on the fabric. Soaking the jacket for a little while, is a good first step, and then rub carefully on the areas where stains, dirt and sweat are present.

Rinsing is another important step as you must rinse until you are certain that there is no more detergent left on the jacket. That applies to both washing methods. For hand wash, one way to do this is by rinsing the jacket into fresh water until there is no sign of detergent in the water. For machine wash run the rinse cycle twice. Afterwards, hang it to dry in a dry room.

Regardless of the method used, dryers are not recommended, unless there is no other way. By using a dryer, there is the risk of damaging the jacket and it is really not necessary since fleece dries so quickly. However, if you must use a dryer, then use the coolest setting and preferably the air dry option.

Storing a fleece jacket

Your jacket is clean and dry, and now you must store it for later use.

While most jackets can be put in the closet on a hanger, fleece jackets are best stored folded into a drawer. They tend to attract lint and dust, which are very difficult to remove, so a drawer seems to be the best storing method.