How to Wash a Plastic Raincoat

plasticraincoat

Amy asked: How do I remove mold from plastic raincoats? The raincoats are from Disney and were stored a little wet. They are very thin plastic drapes. Thanks.

Raincoats are subjected to all kinds of dirt and moisture from being worn outside in inclement weather. As children splash and play in mud puddles, additional stains and dirt can develop on the surfaces. Regular cleanings are a necessity for keeping raincoats looking and working their best. Here are a few cleaning methods that can be used to keep your raincoat clean and beautiful.

Vinegar Cleaning Method

You Will Need:

  • Vinegar
  • Sponges
  • Soft cloths
  • Water
  • Bowl or small bucket
  • Baking soda
  • Bathtub or large sink

Steps to Wash the Raincoat:

  1. Begin by pouring a small amount of vinegar into a bowl or small bucket. The vinegar can be used straight out of the bottle or diluted for lighter cleaning jobs.
  2. Spread the raincoat out on a flat surface.
  3. Moisten a soft cloth or sponge with the vinegar.
  4. Gently wipe the surfaces of the coat, focusing on any soiled areas.
  5. Wipe the coat dry with a soft towel.
  6. Flip the coat over and repeat on the other side.
  7. Turn the coat inside out and clean the inside of the coat.
  8. Rinse the entire coat well with plain water.
  9. An optional soak/rinse is advisable, especially for soiled raincoats.
  10. Fill the tub or large sink with enough water to cover the raincoat.
  11. Add ½ cup baking soda to the water.
  12. Soak the raincoat in the water and baking soda for an hour or so to ensure all of the dirt and grime has been removed.
  13. Remove and rinse completely with clean, cold water.
  14. Hang the coat on a hanger or drying rack and allow it to dry completely.
  15. As the coat dries, the smell of the vinegar will dissipate.

Soap/Detergent Cleaning Method

You Will Need:

  • Mild soap or detergent
  • Sponges
  • Soft cloths
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Soft brush or toothbrush
  • Baking soda
  • Bathtub or large sink

Steps to Wash the Raincoat:

  1. Begin by filling a bucket with warm water.
  2. Add a small amount of soap or detergent to the water. Agitate to mix.
  3. Moisten a soft cloth or sponge with the soapy water.
  4. Gently wipe down the surfaces of the coat.
  5. Gently scrub away dirt and stains.
  6. For tough stains, soap or detergent can be applied directly to the surface and then washed away with the soapy water.
  7. A soft brush, such as a toothbrush can be used to clean around the cuffs and hem which can often become more soiled than the other areas.
  8. Turn the coat inside out and repeat the above cleaning steps to clean the interior of the coat.
  9. Rinse away any soapy residue with clean water.
  10. An optional soak/rinse is advisable, especially for soiled raincoats.
  11. Fill the tub or large sink with enough water to cover the raincoat.
  12. Add ½ cup baking soda to the water.
  13. Soak the raincoat in the water and baking soda for an hour or so to ensure all of the dirt and grime has been removed.
  14. Remove and rinse completely with clean, cold water.
  15. Hang the coat on a hanger or drying rack and allow it to dry completely.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • To remove stains, wipe the surface of the coat with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
  • Prior to cleaning raincoats, check the care instructions. Specialized water-resistant materials, such as Gore-Tex, require special cleaning methods.
  • Store raincoats by hanging them in a moisture-free area.
  • Never store raincoats wet as this can lead to mold and mildew growth. This growth can be removed with the soap and water method above. Any odors from the mold and mildew can be removed with the vinegar method above.
  • Need more cleaning power? Mix ¼ cup water, ¼ cup white vinegar, ½ cup laundry detergent and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice in a spray bottle. Spray the surface of the coat and wipe clean with a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly before drying.
  • These cleaning methods will remove mold and mildew.  Bleach can also be used in a weak concentration (1 part bleach with 6 parts water) on fabrics that are colorfast and will not be damaged by the bleach.

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