Wools, furs, downs and other winter apparel can be a source of frustration due to its unfamiliar fabric types and cleaning restrictions. But don't fret! Your friendly Tide Cleaners AZ is here to help you muddle, waddle and snowshoe through winter weather clothing and accouterment without damaging these pieces you might only bring out one time a year.

High-Performance Gear Calls for Low Maintenance

A lot of winter-weather clothing that consistently touches your skin is considered high performance for those exercise-based outdoor activities that cause a person to sweat, such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and the like.

This means that by virtue of these pieces' special moisture-wicking fabric that dries quickly and helps reduce odor, you'll want to steer clear of using dryer sheets or fabric softeners. Why? Because they'll actually take away the high performance of that wicking, drying, and freshness, and you'll simply be left with, well, a shirt that doesn't wick, doesn't keep you dry and doesn't keep odors at bay.

So, follow the instructions on your long johns, fleece and other moisture-wicking fabrics and feel free to use your standard detergent. Just skip the extras.

Those Boots Need Help, Too!

Snow boots are the ultimate odor offender if they're never cleaned properly. Simply fill a large bucket with cold water, a splash of vinegar and a capful of laundry detergent, soak the boot inserts for at least an hour and then hang dry. We also recommend adding a pinch of baking soda to your dry inserts before your next wear. (Trust us: It really helps keep things fresh.)

Keeping Your Down Clean-and Fluffy!

Whether you've got a down jacket, sleeping bag or even a comforter, there's a trick to cleaning this specialty item. Using your washer as a bucket, you'll soak the piece in cold water and a very small amount of detergent for an hour or so, and then use the gentle cycle for a spin. PRESS any excess water out (don't twist!) and dry on a low, delicate setting with dryer balls or even tennis balls to restore that fluff. And just like your high-performance clothing, don't use dryer sheets or fabric softener, as these tend to de-fluff the down over time.

Alternatively, let your local Arizona Tide Cleaners professionally launder your pesky downs, particularly the large down comforters that don't comfortably fit in your washing machine.

What to do with Cashmere, Fur, Silk, and Wool?

We may be biased, but we wouldn't steer you wrong on this: Depend on us to clean your high-end, expensive fabrics such as cashmere, fur, silk, and wool. We've had too many customers come to us too late, after the fact, with pieces that have shrunk or become deformed (or both!) during the cleaning process.

Since cleaning is our thing, definitely leave it to us to return your high-end winter gear in much better shape (pun intended) than when you drop it off.

The rest of your winter gear that doesn't fit into a special category-jeans, sweatshirts, hats, mittens, and jackets-can be washed the good ole' fashioned way, along with your other laundry. When in doubt? Simply read the label to gain peace of mind that your washing methods suit the fabric type.

And when all else fails, turn to Tide Cleaners AZ! We're more than happy to ensure all of your winter gear is in tip-top shape before storing them through the summer months.