Kids' coats

How to wash my kids' winter coats.

I look out there and all I see is a world of glistening white. Yet my kids manage to find mud, slush, salt, and grim while they are out in our winter wonderland. It's no secret. Kids play hard, even when it is cold outside. Here's how to keep your boys winter coat clean and fresh, no matter if you're looking at a down coat, synthetic coat, or snow pants. I may even throw in a snow boot bonus for you at the end.

How to clean your kid's down coat.

We want our girls down jackets to stay puffy, but does that mean we should avoid washing them? Not at all. To wash a down coat, simply put it in the washing machine. Set it to the gentle cycle. Use warm water. You'll also want to select the extra rinse option if your machine offers one. A down specific detergent will work best. One labeled "free and gentle" will also do the trick. Then wash it as you would any other clothing item with one small change: take it out instead of letting it go through the spin cycle. To dry, hang it to drip dry a bit. Then put it in the dryer with a few tennis balls until it has finished drying. The balls will bring the puff back to your child's puffer.

How to clean your kid's synthetic coat.

For a synthetic coat, it will be best once again to either wash on the gentle setting or by hand. The deciding factor will be which type of washing machine you plan on using. You can safely use a front load machine as long as you remember to set it to gentle. If the washer you plan to use is a top loading machine that has an agitator, you must absolutely wash the coat by hand in a sink instead. The agitator will tear the delicate fabric used in the shell of most synthetic coats. Cool to warm water works best with a mild detergent to thoroughly clean synthetic coats. Once clean, simply line dry or tumble dry on low heat.

How to clean your kid's snow pants.

Boys and girls snow pants are most often waterproof. However, they can be machine washed using cold water. Set the washer to the delicate cycle and the lowest spin setting. A detergent designed specifically for cleaning waterproof outerwear is best. If that is not an option, a gentle detergent of your choosing will suffice. Wash either alone or with other waterproof apparel. Never wash snow pants together with jeans or towels. The lint will be next to impossible to remove from the snow pants. Also, do not pack the washer full. The snow pants will need plenty of room to jostle around if you want to ensure they come out looking clean. To dry, snow pants can just tumble on low until done.

Bonus round: how to keep their snow boots smelling fresh.

Easiest answer? Buy boys snow boots with an antimicrobial interior. If you are receiving the antimicrobial message a bit too late, there's still hope. First, clean the snow boots up to remove any loose dirt. Douse the inside of the snow boots with disinfectant spray. Wait at least ten minutes for the disinfectant to dry a bit. Then dust the interior of the snow boots with baking soda to absorb lingering odors and ward off new ones. If this just isn't cutting it, you can throw some snow boots in the washing machine. If you do, wash only the snow boots and two towels. The towels will prevent the snow boots from damaging the washing machine. Wash using cold water. Pour the detergent directly into the wash tub. For snow boots that cannot be machine washed or ones you'd just rather not put into the washer, there are also some excellent boot dryers on the market. If you own one, you can simply slip your child's snow boot on the boot dryer in the evening and when you awake in the morning, their snow boots will greet you with freshness.

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