How to Clean a Shearling Coat

by Dan Ketchum ; Updated September 28, 2017

The fur and suede sides of shearling coat require different care procedures.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Suede on one side and wooly on the other, shearling coats offer a bohemian unisex look that gives any ensemble a sense of style that is rugged and carefree. To ensure a long life of wear, specialized care techniques are required to properly clean the shearling.

Items you will need

  • Tweezers
  • Towel
  • Cloth or sponge
  • Scouring pad
  • Corn starch
  • Vacuum with brush attachment
  • Suede brush
  • Sturdy hanger
Step 1

Dry your shearling coat completely before cleaning -- as a winter jacket, this garment is often a bit damp from snow or rain. Thoroughly blot the entire coat with a towel and allow it to air dry at room temperature. To avoid damage, do not place the coat near heat sources, such as heaters or stoves.

Step 2

Remove any visible debris from the wooly side of your shearling coat with a pair of tweezers.

Step 3

Lightly dampen a clean cloth or sponge and blot small stains on the furry material to dissolve them. Sop up excess moisture with a clean towel.

Step 4

Sprinkle corn starch on tougher stains on the jacket's suede surface, such as grease, oil or beverages. Allow the cornstarch to rest overnight -- two nights in the case of stubborn stains. Vacuum out the corn starch with a brush attachment.

Step 5

Brush the suede material with a suede brush, working against the material's nap. In addition to restoring the nap of the fabric, the brush helps work out minor dirt stains and loose debris.

Step 6

Hang the coat in the bathroom while you take a steamy shower to remove any wrinkles. Use a sturdy, structured hanger to help the heavy coat maintain its shape.


  • When stains occur, address them with the blotting method as soon as possible.

    Treat the suede side of your shearling coat with a non-silicone spray-on rain and stain protector specially formulated for suede or sheepskin.

    During the off-seasons, store your shearling coat in a clean, dry and shaded environment. To ward off mold and mildew, keep the coat in a breathable garment bag, not a vinyl or plastic one.

    For a highly-soled coat, take it to a leather care center, fur care specialist or shearling specialty cleaner.

    While you can clean wooly side whenever it's dirty, it's best to clean the suede material sparingly, about once per year, to help preserve the coat.


  • Some shearling coats may feature shells made of other material, such as leather. Each material requires different care methods. Always consult the garment's care tag and follow the manufacturer's instructions before cleaning.

    To prevent serious damage, avoid putting your shearling coat in the washing machine or dryer.

Photo Credits

  • Chris Hondros/Getty Images News/Getty Images

About the Author

Dan Ketchum has been a professional writer since 2003, with work appearing online and offline in Word Riot, Bazooka Magazine, Anemone Sidecar, Trails and more. Dan's diverse professional background spans from costume design and screenwriting to mixology, manual labor and video game industry publicity.