How to Wash a Carhartt Jacket

The unique style and durable nature of Carhartt jackets mean that you can wear them for a long time. Some Carhartt Jackets can last for as long as fifteen years and still be in fashion. 

But for your jacket to last this long, it must be washed correctly. Washing Carhartt Jackets the wrong way can make them fade and even shrink.

This article will show you how to wash your Carharrt Jacket without ruining them. You will also learn some essential tips on keeping your jacket in top shape for a very long time.

Precautions to Take When Washing Your Carhartt Jacket

Carhartt Jacket Wash Guide

It would be best to take special care before washing your jacket; this is necessary to prevent your Carhartt Jacket from losing color. Here are some things to avoid when washing your Jacket:

Avoid Using Chlorine Bleach or Hydrogen Peroxide

Chlorine bleach or Hydrogen Peroxide is very harsh on Carhartt Jackets and can break down the fabric and make them lose their color very quickly.

Avoid Using Harsh Detergents

You should avoid harsh detergents as they can damage the fabric of your jacket. 

To avoid any damage caused by harsh chemicals, always test any detergent on a small part of your jacket to ensure they are safe.

Avoid Ironing or Drying Your Jacket

Heat is terrible for Carhartt jackets; it makes them lose their rain protective properties.

Tumble drying at low temperature and air drying is always preferred when laundering your Carhartt Jacket.

Avoid Fabric Softeners

You should avoid using fabric softeners when washing Carhartt Jackets. Fabric softeners often create a waxy type covering over the fabric that alters the overall appearance of the jacket.

Avoid Overwashing Your Jacket 

The more you wash your jacket, the more you risk damaging its fabric. 

Generally, you should wash your jacket once every month or twice every season, reducing damages like fading or shrinking the fabric.

Note: Read and follow the Fabric Care instructions for the best care of your Jacket.

How to Wash Your Carhartt Jacket

There are two ways to wash Carhartt Jackets, and the method you choose depends on what your Jacket is made of. 

Some Carhartt Jackets are made of cotton, and you should wash them by hand. Other jackets are polyester and are better washed with a washing machine.

How to Hand Wash Your Carhartt Jacket

hand wash Carhartt jacket

Carhartt Jackets made of cotton do not do well in washing machines because they are especially prone to shrinking. So, it is best to hand wash them.

To hand-wash a Cotton Carhartt Jacket, you need the following materials.

  • A tub or bowl
  • Cold water
  • A Mild detergent

Steps to Hand Washing a Carhartt Jacket

Follow the steps below to hand wash your jacket safely:

Step one: Fill the tub or bowl with warm water for three minutes. Avoid using hot water as this would destroy the fabric of your jacket.

Step Two: Soak the Jacket in the filled tub, then add a few drops of your mild detergent. Remember to test each detergent you use on a small part of your jacket as a precaution.

Step Three: Gently rub the jacket with both hands, concentrating on the stained parts.

Step Four: Squeeze the jacket by gently pressing it between both hands.  

Step Five: Rinse the jacket thoroughly under running lukewarm water until all soap suds are gone. After that, flap it several times to remove excess moisture from the jacket. 

Step Six: Place the Jacket on an airing rack in a sunlit area of your house. Air drying is best for your jacket.

How to Wash Carhartt Jacket Using a Washing Machine

Wash Carhartt Jacket
Source @Pierre Hills

If your jacket is made of polyester, you should wash it with a washing machine. Take precautions since the wrong setting can damage the jacket.

You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and set the machine to a warm, delicate tumble.

Also, you will get better results if you pre-treat your jacket for any stains before placing it in a washing machine. 

Pre-Treating Your Carhartt Jacket 

How you pre-treat your jacket depends on the type of stain found on it, and oily stains are pre-treated differently from non-oily stains.

Pre-Treating Carhartt Jacket With Non-Oily Stains

If there is a non-oily stain on your jacket, you can pre-treat it with the following steps:

Step One: Use a mild detergent or stain remover that isn’t too harsh for non-oily stains. Drop a small amount of mild soap directly on the jacket and allow it to soak for ten minutes. 

Step Two: Blot the stain with a clean paper towel. Do not rub the towel on the stain, making the stain spread deeper into the fabric.

Step Three: Add a few more drops to the stained part and gently jab with a fresh paper towel.

Step Four: Rinse the stained areas under cool running water. 

Pre-Treating Your Carhartt Jacket With Oily Stains

Follow the steps below to pre-treat the Carhartt Jacket with oily stains:

Step One: If the stain is fresh, blot the stain with a clean paper towel, but skip this process if the stain is dried.

Step Two: Sprinkle a light covering of either baby powder or cornstarch to soak up the stain. 

Step Three: Gently rub the powder on the fabric’s surface and allow it to stay overnight.

Step Four: Shake the jacket over your bathtub or sink to remove the dry powder.

Washing your Carhartt Jacket With a Washing Machine

Once you are through with pre-treatment, put your jacket into the washing machine. Follow the steps below to wash your jacket without damaging it:  

Step One: Load the Jacket into the Washing Machine. Ensure you don’t overload the machine to avoid excessive friction on the fabric. Preferably, you should wash only the Carhartt Jacket at a time.

Remove all contents from the pockets and zip them up before placing the jacket inside the washing machine.

Step Two: Fill the machine with warm water. You can also wash with cold water as cold water helps to prevent shrinking.

Hot water is bad for Carhartt Jackets and should be avoided.

Step Three: Add a bleach-free detergent. Bleach breaks down the fibers of the jacket, so don’t use them. Use any mild detergent instead.

Step Four: Set the machine up to a mild to moderate temperature of less than 70°C. Remove the jacket once the wash cycle is complete.

Step Five: Check the Jackets for stains before putting them into a dryer. 

Ensure all the stains are gone before placing the jacket in a dryer. The heat from the dryer tends to harden stains and makes them near impossible to remove. 

If the stain is still present after the wash cycle, pre-treat the Jacket again and put it into the washing machine for a quick spin.

Drying Your Carhartt Jacket

To maintain the quality of your Carhartt Jacket, it is best to air dry them. You can hang your jacket on an airing rack and place it in a well-sunlit area of your house. Air drying should take about five hours.

However, you can also use a dryer; but do so with a low or medium tumble dry setting. And don’t keep the jacket in the dryer too long. 

If your jacket sits in the dryer too long, it could develop creases or wrinkles that affect its appearance.

Note: Check the fabric care label on the jacket or the manufacturer’s label for the appropriate heat setting.

Breaking in Your Carhartt Jacket

You can do this if you have a fresh Carhartt Jacket and need to break it in because they tend to be too stiff.

Remember, you can’t use a fabric softener since they can damage Carhartt Jackets. Instead, use a small amount of vinegar.

Add a cup of vinegar and allow the machine to run through its first cycle. Once the cycle is over, allow the Jacket to soak for about an hour. This process would soften the fabric without damaging it.

Rinse the jacket in clean water after the soaking process, and gently wring the jacket to remove excess water. You can now place it in a dryer or hang it dry.

Tips on Maintaining Your Carhartt Jacket

There are several tips to maintain the quality of your jacket and improve its chances of lasting a long time. Here are a few tips you can use:

  • Always check the care label before washing your jacket.
  • Air drying is the best way of drying your jacket without damaging them. Use dryers only on rare occasions.
  • If your jacket gets wet due to exposure to weather conditions, hang it up to dry as quickly as possible.


Owning a Carhartt Jacket comes with many rewards. Carhartt Jackets keep you warm, are comfortable to wear, and can last a long time.

But poor washing methods can ruin the jacket and leave you wishing it was intact. Use the tips in this article to properly wash your jackets and avoid damage. 

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