During the winter, we can be sure that our heated clothes, jackets and coats will get plenty of wear, whether we are working outdoors, wearing them for regular hikes or simply using them to keep us warm whilst wearing an otherwise casual outfit.
However, once it starts to warm up a little outside, we aren’t likely to need to wear thermal or heated clothing as much, and will more than likely store them away until the following winter season – so what do we need to do in order to take care of our heated clothes and keep them safe and clean until the next winter season arrives so that we can wear them all over again?
Here’s SnowWolf guide to preparing your heated winter clothes to be stored away over the warmer months.
Heated clothes do, of course, contain elements which should not be exposed to water. In order to avoid damaging your heated clothes, always make sure you read any instructions that may be featured on the labels on the inside of the clothing items, as well as following the instructions here. Washing your heated clothing without adhering to all instructions fully may lead to damaging the functions of the clothing, as well as causing damage to the fabric itself.
1. Get All Your Heated Clothing Together
If you plan on washing more than one piece of heated clothing at once, then it’s a good idea to get it all together before you start the cleaning process. That way, you can make sure that you take care of every step on every piece of clothing, so you won’t miss anything out and will get a good final result, with all pieces perfectly clean!
Again, make sure you have thoroughly read the care labels on each piece, as you may have to wash some pieces separately due to different advised washing machine settings or temperatures.
2. Remove Power and Switch Off
This is important! SnowWolf heated apparel uses the energy from a portable power bank to generate heat, and these definitely do not mix with the inside of a washing machine. Make sure that before you begin any part of the washing process, you check the clothing is switched off and disconnected from the power bank.
Whilst doing this step, double check all other pockets on the clothing for any other things left inside – leaving tissues, coins, earphones, keys, etc. will always either damage the clothing or the washing machine itself, so you want to avoid washing your clothes without fully emptying each pocket first.
3. Take Care of Larger Stains First
If there’re any large or stubborn stains on your clothing, then attempt to get these off first before putting the clothes in the washing machine. There’re many different products available for this, sometimes to be rubbed in directly before being placed in with the laundry and sometimes to be used as part of handwashing the item. The best product for the job depends on the fabric and color of the item, as well as the severity of the stain.
Skipping this step won’t damage your clothes, but it will mean that you aren’t getting the best result possible, which you’ll come to regret when you dig out your heated clothing next winter!
4. Protect Your Clothing
To protect the heated elements on the inside of your clothing, place them inside a speciality garment bag or, if you can’t get one, a pillowcase.
If you’re washing multiple items of clothing at once, you should place each one in its own bag before washing, as washing them all in the same bag could lead to an ineffective wash at best and, at worst, damage to the fabric of all the items.
5. Wash Your Clothing
Having chosen the correct settings for your washing machine according to the care labels on each item, you can then get down to the washing process. The general advice would be not to use water which is too hot, and to be careful which detergent you use – always check the bottle before putting a certain detergent in with heated clothing, especially clothes which are made from harder-to-wash fabrics.
6. Dry Your Clothing
Once your clothing is washed and clean, it’s time to dry it. As convenient as it may be, you should never use a tumble dryer to dry your heated clothes. This is due to the wires and heated elements inside the clothing, which could become damaged themselves or damage your tumble dryer. The best way to dry your heated clothing is to hang each piece out individually, either outdoors on a clothesline or on coat hangers in a warm room inside your home. Allow them to dry naturally rather than using a radiator, as this may damage the fabric, but do keep in mind it may take quite a while.
7. De-crease Your Clothing
Clothes are generally pretty creased after they’ve been in the washing machine and dried naturally, so you may want to take out those creases before storing them for the warmer seasons.
However, do not do this with an iron!! It will damage the clothing and the heated elements. The best way to take the creases out of your heated clothing is by simply leaving them hung out until the creases flatten out naturally, but failing that, a steamer is perhaps the safest way to take creases out and avoid damaging your clothing.
8. Wrap Them Up and Store Them Away!
Once your clothes are all clean and dry, you need to get them ready to store them. The best way to keep them as clean and safe as possible is to keep each item wrapped individually, either in individual garment bags or in garment covers, depending on whether you are hanging them up or leaving them folded away in drawers. If you do store them in drawers, be sure to fold them neatly before placing them in garment bags! Garment bags aren’t compulsory, of course, but it’s certainly the best way to keep them in great condition if you aren’t expecting to use your heated clothes again for a number of months.
Another thing you may want to do is put all the power banks back in the pockets of the clothing before you store them away – your future self will thank you, since you’ll save yourself hours of searching high and low for them next winter if you just keep them in the pockets all year round!