The mink coat is a classic. A symbol of glamor, wealth and luxury, the mink is also known for its durability and versatility. Yet a mink coat does not take care of itself. In order to ensure a long life for your mink, it is vital to have it cleaned on a regular basis.
How often you should have your mink cleaned depends on a variety of factors, such as how many times you have worn it throughout the course of the year, as well as the climate and conditions under which it was worn. Mink tends to collect dust and other pollutants that may not be visible to the naked eye. In general, a mink coat, worn occasionally, should be cleaned at least once every other year, or once a year if worn more often.
There are steps you can take to properly care for your mink while at home. Store your mink in a room that is well-ventilated and low in humidity. Keep the mink away from any source of direct heat. Use a cloth bag, not a plastic bag, when bringing your mink with you on trips or to the furrier to allow it to breathe. Do not attempt to clean your mink coat at home. Ordinary detergents and other household cleaning agents can cause irreparable damage to your mink. Take it to a professional instead.
The Cleaning Process
Unfortunately, you simply cannot drop off your mink coat at your local dry cleaners. The chemicals used in dry cleaning will harm your mink. Fur cleaning is a specialized process requiring an expert hand. When your mink is cleaned, it is first looked over for any rips, tears or other flaws. If any are located, they are repaired. After the mink coat has undergone a spot treatment, it is laundered using sawdust, pumice or a similar substance. In addition, a fur-safe cleaning agent is added. The sawdust is later vacuumed from the coat. An additional procedure called glazing is performed which restores the uniformity of the fur, as well as its luster and sheen. If the mink coat has a lining, this is removed and cleaned separately. The mink coat is then steamed.
Most furriers and larger department stores will clean furs. If you are having trouble locating an establishment, websites such as fur-outlet.com provide a directory of fur cleaning services (See Resources).
The cost of having your mink cleaned varies depending on the type of coat, the establishment and location. In comparison to what your mink coat cost in the first place, however, it is relatively inexpensive. A cleaning can run anywhere from $40 to $60. Specialty furriers may offer a cheaper cleaning service, while department stores may charge more as they routinely send the furs out to be cleaned at a separate facility.