Carhartt products are sturdy work clothes designed to get dirty. They are long-lasting, comfortable, and warm. But at some point, you need to clean them. While throwing shirts and jeans into the wash makes sense, what about Carhartt jackets?
You want to wash them in a way that gets them clean but also protects everything about the jacket that you love.
For very brief instructions on cleaning Carhartt jackets, you should wash the jacket in warm water without bleach, then tumble dry on medium heat. Individual jackets may say something different, so always be sure to follow the instructions on the label.
Now, one thing to remember about washing instructions is that the instructions on the label are the limit for what the clothing can handle. If it says wash in warm water, wash it in water no hotter than warm. If it says tumble on medium, you can tumble on low or even hang dry.
For the purposes of this guide, we will be using the instructions based on Carhartt’s website mixed with a few tips about stain treatment should you have stains.
Pretreat any Stains (optional)
Disclaimer, this will not work on paint or paint-like stains.
If the jacket is stained with grass, blood, dirt, or oil, pre-treating it with a stain treatment guaranteed to work on those stains is a good idea. If you lack a stain treatment, dish soap and a little cold water applied to the area of the stain will also work.
This targets the stain before putting it all the way through the wash.
Wash in Warm Water
Per the jacket’s washing instructions, you should put the jacket into the washing machine with the water set to warm. You can, if you want, wash it with cold water as cold water can prevent stretching and is easier on the clothing.
Use whatever detergent you please, but do not use anything with bleach in it. Bleach can break down the fibers of the clothing and ruin the colors of the jacket.
Check for Stains Again
This is only if you pre-treated the jacket earlier for stains.
The reason why you want to check for stains immediately after pulling the jacket out of the washer is that once it goes through the dryer, the stain is basically set and it will be near-impossible to get out.
If the stain is still there, treat it again with the steps above. You can do this while the jacket is wet and then put it back into the wash immediately should you wish.
Repeat steps 1-3 a couple of times until the stain is gone. If the stain is persistent, it may never come out. And again, stain treatment will not work on permanent stains such as paint or wood stain.
Tumble Dry on Medium Setting
Many dryers have automatic settings, so pick the one that will give you medium heat. If this is your first time washing the jacket, opt for one with less time if multiple options allow for medium heat. The less time your jacket is tumbling with heat, the longer it will last.
Of course, if you pull your jacket out and it is still wet, you can put it back in again or hang it up to dry the rest of the way.
If you do not have a dryer or do not wish to tumble dry your jacket, you can hang dry it from the start. Additionally, if you do not wish to dry it at medium heat, you can choose low heat. However, choosing air fluff will not do the job, so make sure you have some heat.
Remove From the Dryer Promptly
Washing instructions give this step specifically to avoid unnecessary wrinkles. If the jacket is sitting in the dryer for an extended period of time, it will begin to develop creases in the manner in which it is sitting, which is not what you want.
Therefore, removing it from the dryer promptly and putting it onto a hanger, or your body, decreases the number of wrinkles you will get in the jacket.
If you end up with wrinkles anyway, you can iron the jacket provided it does not say “Do not Iron” or have the picture of the iron with an X through it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Put a Carhartt Jacket in the Dryer?
Most Carhartt jackets can be run through a medium or gentle cycle in the dryer. Certain jackets could become damaged in the dryer so you should always check the cleaning instructions on the tag.
Can You Put a Carhartt Jacket in the Washer?
Carhartt Jackets can be washed with warm water in the washing machine. Hot water should be avoided as it could harm the protective coating on the coat.
The washing instructions on the label are the limit of what the article of clothing can handle. Feel free to experiment with what works best up to those limits.
Make sure to look at the cleaning tag to see if your specific jacket is safe for use in the washing machine.
The guide above is what I’ve used for cleaning in the past and feel that it’s the best process for cleaning your Carhartt jacket!