What Happens If You Wash a Carhartt Jacket

If you’re the proud owner of a Carhartt jacket, you know just how reliable and sturdy these garments can be. They’re not just jackets; they’re a symbol of durability and resilience, designed to withstand the toughest of conditions. But what happens if you wash a Carhartt jacket? Can you toss it in the washer without any worries? Well, not so fast! Washing a Carhartt jacket requires some special care to ensure it continues to serve you faithfully. In this article, we’ll take you through the entire process, step by step.

Understanding Carhartt Jackets

Before we dive into the washing details, let’s get to know your Carhartt jacket a little better. These jackets have been around for over a century, gaining a reputation for being tough as nails. They’ve been trusted by workers in the harshest environments, from construction sites to farmyards. Carhartt jackets have even stood the test of time in the world of fashion, becoming a staple in many wardrobes.

For instance, the Carhartt Duck Detroit Jacket, with its classic design and sturdy cotton duck fabric, has been a favorite among generations of workers. It’s not just a jacket; it’s a piece of history.

Care Labels and Instructions

Every Carhartt jacket comes with care labels, and they’re not there for decoration. These labels contain vital information about how to take care of your beloved jacket. So, grab your reading glasses and pay attention to those care symbols and instructions; they’re like a roadmap to jacket longevity.

For instance, you might notice a symbol that looks like a tub of water with a temperature indicator. This tells you the maximum water temperature you should use when washing your Carhartt jacket. It’s like a secret code that helps your jacket stay in tip-top shape.

Washing a Carhartt Jacket

Now, let’s roll up our sleeves and talk about washing. You don’t want to end up with a shrunken, faded, or damaged Carhartt jacket, do you? Of course not! Here’s how to do it right.

Preparing the Jacket

Start by emptying those pockets. You wouldn’t want your wallet or keys to go through a wash cycle, would you? Next, take a closer look for any stains. Spot clean them gently before tossing the jacket into the machine.

For example, let’s say you wore your Carhartt jacket while working in the garage and got a bit of oil on it. Instead of rushing to wash it immediately, you can use a stain remover designed for oil stains. Apply it directly to the stain, let it sit for a while, and then gently blot it with a clean cloth. This can prevent the stain from setting in during the wash.

Choosing the Right Detergent

Grab a detergent that plays nicely with Carhartt materials. Avoid harsh chemicals; your jacket deserves better. Look for a mild, eco-friendly detergent that won’t strip the fabric of its natural oils.

For instance, you could opt for a detergent specifically formulated for outdoor gear. These detergents are designed to clean tough fabrics without compromising their integrity. They’re like a spa treatment for your Carhartt jacket.

Selecting the Appropriate Washing Machine Settings

Here’s where you need to make some decisions. What’s the temperature? Cold, warm, or hot? The type of washing cycle matters too – gentle or regular. Don’t forget to consider the spin speed; you don’t want your jacket to feel like it’s in a spin class.

For example, if you’ve been working outdoors and your jacket is caked in mud, a warm wash with a higher spin speed might be necessary. On the other hand, if your jacket just needs a refresh after a light day’s wear, a gentle cycle with cold water will do the trick.

Additional Washing Tips

For added protection, consider using a garment bag. This simple step can prevent abrasion during the wash. And please, don’t overload the machine; give your jacket some space to breathe.What happens if you wash a Carhartt jacket

Imagine this: You decide to wash your Carhartt jacket along with a pile of jeans and a few heavy blankets. The result? Your jacket gets tangled up and subjected to unnecessary friction, leading to premature wear and tear. Don’t let that happen.

Drying a Carhartt Jacket

Ah, the drying dilemma! Do you air dry or machine dry? Let’s break it down.

Air Drying vs. Machine Drying

Air drying is the gentlest option. It’s like letting your jacket take a leisurely stroll in the park. Machine drying, on the other hand, can be a bit like a rollercoaster ride for your jacket. It’s fast, but it comes with risks.

Think about it: When you air dry your Carhartt jacket, you’re allowing it to dry naturally, just like it did before it became yours. It’s like giving it a spa day in the great outdoors.

How to Air Dry

To air dry, simply hang your jacket up or lay it flat. This allows it to dry naturally without losing its shape.

Picture this: You find a sturdy hanger, preferably one with wide shoulders to support the weight of the jacket. Then, you hang it in a well-ventilated area, maybe on the back porch or a laundry room with good airflow. Your jacket relaxes and dries without any stress.

Machine Drying Precautions

If you must use the dryer, use low heat settings to prevent shrinkage. Adding tennis balls or dryer balls can help fluff it up. Keep a close eye on it to avoid any unwanted surprises.

Imagine this scenario: You’re in a hurry, and you decide to use the dryer. But you remember to toss in a couple of clean tennis balls. They bounce around in there, preventing the jacket from clumping up and helping it dry evenly.

Maintenance Tips

Taking care of your Carhartt jacket doesn’t end with washing and drying. There are a few more things you can do to keep it in tip-top shape.

Storing a Carhartt Jacket

When you’re not wearing it, fold it properly and store it away from direct sunlight. You don’t want those vibrant colors to fade, do you?

Picture this: You fold your Carhartt jacket gently, ensuring that it doesn’t get creased along the same lines every time. Then, you place it in a cool, dark closet, away from harsh sunlight, which can cause colors to fade over time.

Removing Wrinkles

A steamer can work wonders on those stubborn wrinkles. Ironing is an option too, but proceed with caution to avoid any scorch marks.

Imagine this: You’re getting ready for a special occasion, and you notice some wrinkles on your Carhartt jacket. Instead of rushing to the dry cleaner, you pull out your trusty steamer. With a few passes, the wrinkles disappear, and your jacket looks as good as new.

Treating and Reapplying Water Repellent Coatings

If your jacket starts losing its water resistance, consider treating it with a suitable waterproofing product. After all, you want to stay dry when the rain starts pouring.

For instance, let’s say you’re out on a rainy camping trip, and you notice that water is soaking through your Carhartt jacket instead of beading up and rolling off. Don’t worry; it’s not the end of the world. You can pick up a water repellent spray designed for outdoor gear and give your jacket a fresh layer of protection.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Now that you know how to wash and care for your Carhartt jacket, let’s talk about some common blunders to steer clear of.


Resist the urge to wash it after every wear. Carhartt jackets are built tough and don’t need constant cleaning.

Imagine this: You’ve been wearing your Carhartt jacket while working on a woodworking project in your garage. Sawdust and paint splatters adorn it like badges of honor. Instead of tossing it in the wash right away, you shake it out and let it air out for a bit. It’s still good for a few more wears before it needs a bath.

Using the Wrong Detergent

Remember, gentle is the way to go. Harsh detergents can damage the fabric and reduce its lifespan.

What happens if you wash a Carhartt jacket

Picture this: You’re at the store, standing in the detergent aisle, and you see a super-duper ultra-stain-destroyer detergent on sale. It might work wonders on stains, but it’s not the right choice for your Carhartt jacket. You reach for the gentle, eco-friendly detergent instead, knowing it’s the better option.

Ignoring Care Labels

Don’t dismiss those care labels; they contain precious information.

For example, you’ve just bought a new Carhartt jacket, and you’re excited to wear it on your upcoming hiking trip. But before you head out, you decide to check the care label. It advises you to wash the jacket inside out. So, you take a few extra seconds to turn it inside out before tossing it in the machine. This small act can help preserve the jacket’s vibrant color and prevent abrasion on the outside.


Sometimes things go awry, even with the best intentions. Let’s look at how to tackle a few common jacket issues.

Dealing with Shrinkage

If your jacket does end up shrinking, try stretching it gently while it’s damp. It might just bounce back.

Imagine this: You accidentally left your Carhartt jacket in the dryer a tad too long, and it shrunk slightly. Don’t panic! While it’s still damp, you put it on and gently stretch the areas that seem tighter. This can help the fabric regain some of its original shape.

Addressing Pilling and Fuzziness

A fabric shaver can work wonders in removing those pesky pills and fuzz. Your jacket will look good as new.What happens if you wash a Carhartt jacket

For instance, you’ve had your Carhartt jacket for a while, and you’ve noticed some small, fuzzy balls forming on the surface. Instead of resigning it to the back of your closet, you grab a fabric shaver and carefully run it over the affected areas. Voilà! Your jacket looks fresh and fuzz-free again.


In the grand scheme of life, washing a Carhartt jacket may seem like a trivial task, but when you invest in quality, it’s worth every bit of effort. Remember, these jackets are more than just clothing; they’re a statement of strength and resilience. Treat them right, and they’ll be your trusty companions through thick and thin. So, the next time you’re wondering what happens if you wash a Carhartt jacket, just follow these simple steps, and your jacket will thank you with years of loyal service. Happy washing!


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