Waxed canvas jackets are a timeless classic known for their durability, water resistance, and rugged style. Whether you’re using it for outdoor activities like hiking or camping or just wearing it for everyday use, it’s essential to keep your waxed canvas jacket clean and well-maintained to ensure it lasts for years to come. In this article, we’ll look at some tips and tricks for cleaning a waxed canvas jacket.
What is Waxed Canvas?
Before we explain how to clean a waxed canvas jacket, it’s important to understand what waxed canvas is and how it differs from regular canvas. Waxed canvas is a cotton canvas that has been treated with wax to make it water-resistant and more durable. The wax fills in the gaps between the cotton fibers, making it harder for water to penetrate the fabric. The wax also gives the canvas a unique texture and appearance, often described as a “vintage” or “rugged” look.
Waxed canvas jackets are a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts, as they protect you and the jacket from the elements while remaining breathable and comfortable. However, waxed canvas jackets can become dirty and stained, affecting their water-resistance and overall appearance. Here’s how to clean a waxed canvas jacket and keep it looking its best.
Can You Machine Wash A Waxed Jacket?
Machine washing a waxed canvas jacket is not recommended as the heat and agitation from the washing machine can cause the wax coating to break down and wear off. This can result in the loss of the jacket’s water-resistant properties and can also cause the fabric to become stiff and brittle. This is the same reason you should also not tumble dry a waxed jacket either.
Step 1: Brush off Loose Dirt and Debris
Before you start cleaning your waxed canvas jacket, remove any loose dirt and debris. Use a brush with soft bristles or a clean cloth to gently brush off any dirt, dust, or debris that may have accumulated on the jacket’s fabric. Be sure to pay special attention to the seams, pockets, and other areas where dirt can accumulate.
Step 2: Spot Clean Stains
If your waxed canvas jacket has any stains or marks, you’ll need to spot clean them before you can move on to the rest of the jacket. For oil-based stains, use a clean cloth to apply a small amount of dish soap or laundry detergent to the affected area. Rub the soap into the stain, and then rinse the area with cold water.
For water-based stains, use a clean cloth to apply a small amount of white vinegar to the affected area. Rub the vinegar into the stain, and then rinse the area with cold water. If the stain is particularly stubborn, repeat the process a few times to remove it completely.
Step 3: Hand Wash the Jacket
Once you’ve spot cleaned any stains on your waxed canvas jacket, it’s time to give the entire jacket a thorough cleaning. Fill a sink with cold water and add a small amount of mild laundry detergent. Swish the water around to create suds, and then immerse the jacket in the water. Gently agitate the jacket with your hands to work the soap into the fabric.
After a few minutes of washing:
- Drain the soapy water and refill the sink or basin with clean, cool water.
- Swish the jacket around in the clean water to rinse out any soap residue.
- Drain the water and repeat the rinsing process a few more times to ensure that all of the soap has been removed from the fabric.
Step 4: Hang to Dry
Once you’ve finished washing and rinsing your waxed canvas jacket, it’s time to hang it up to dry. Be sure to hang the jacket in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Do not put the jacket in the dryer, as the heat can damage the wax coating and affect the water-resistance of the fabric.
To prevent the jacket from developing wrinkles as it dries, be sure to shake it out every once in a while and smooth out any creases or folds. Depending on the temperature and humidity of your drying space, it may take several hours or even a full day for your waxed canvas jacket to dry fully.
Step 5: Re-Wax the Jacket (Optional)
Over time, the wax coating on your waxed canvas jacket may start to wear off, which can affect the waterproofness of the fabric. If you notice that your jacket is no longer repelling water like it used to, it may be time to re-wax the fabric.
To re-wax your waxed canvas jacket, you’ll need to purchase a waxing product specifically designed for this purpose. These products typically come in the form of a bar or block of wax that can be melted and applied to the fabric.
To begin the re-waxing process, start by laying your jacket on a flat surface and melting the wax in a double boiler or in a pot on the stove. Be sure to follow the instructions on your waxing product to ensure that you melt the wax properly and safely.
Once the wax has melted, use a clean cloth or brush to apply a thin layer of wax to the entire surface of the jacket. Be sure to work the wax into the fabric, paying special attention to the seams and other areas that are prone to wear and tear. Once you’ve applied the wax, use a hair dryer or heat gun to gently heat the fabric, which will help the wax to penetrate the fibers of the canvas.
After you’ve finished applying the wax, hang the jacket up to dry in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Depending on the temperature and humidity of your drying space, it may take several hours or even a full day for the wax to fully set and cure.
Cleaning and maintaining a waxed canvas jacket is an important part of ensuring that it lasts for years to come. By following these simple steps, you can keep your jacket clean and well-maintained, which will help to maintain its waterproofness and rugged appearance. Whether you’re wearing your waxed canvas jacket for outdoor activities or everyday use, taking care of it will ensure that it remains a classic and durable wardrobe staple.