how to wash a windbreaker in 6 steps

If you’re like me, you have a windbreaker or two that you wear all the time. They’re lightweight, breathable, and perfect for unpredictable weather.

But even the best windbreakers can start to look a little dirty after awhile. So how do you wash them without ruining them? Keep reading to find out!

I personally use method 2 which is handwashing which I discuss in the video.

If you are more of a visual learner, then check out the YouTube Video I made on this topic:

How To Wash a Windbreaker

As any avid outdoor enthusiast knows, a trusty windbreaker is essential for protecting against the elements.


But how do you wash a windbreaker and clean it so that it retains its waterproofing and breathability?

Method 1: Using Mesh Laundry Bag

  1. First, check the care label to see if the jacket can be machine-washed. If so, put it in a mesh laundry bag to protect it from getting tangled with other items.
  2. Wash on a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent.
  3. Hang the jacket to dry, or if it’s going in the dryer, use the lowest heat setting. If the care label says to hand-wash or spot-clean only, follow those instructions.
  4. To hand-wash, fill a sink or basin with cool water and a small amount of mild detergent.
  5. Submerge the jacket and gently agitate.
  6. Rinse thoroughly and squeeze out any excess water (do not wring).
  7. Hang to dry or lay flat on a towel.
  8. Spot-cleaning is similar to hand-washing, but you’ll use less water and focus on treating specific areas.

Remember, taking good care of your windbreaker will extend its lifespan and ensure that it continues to perform as intended.

Why Should I Wash My Windbreaker In a Mesh Bag?

Because windbreakers are often made with delicate fabrics, they require special care when washing.

One way to protect your windbreaker is to wash it in a mesh bag. This will help to prevent the fabric from snagging or tearing during the cycle.

mesh bag
mesh bag

Additionally, it’s important to use a gentle detergent and avoid bleach, as this can damage the fabric. By following these simple tips, you can keep your windbreaker looking like new for years to come.

Will There Be Residue on my Windbreaker After Washing? 

There are a few reasons why there might be residue on your windbreaker after washing. One possibility is that you didn’t rinse the detergent completely out of the fabric since some windbreakers’ water-resistant qualities make it hard to do so. If there’s still soap in the fabric, it can leave behind a film or residue.

Another possibility is that you used too much detergent. Using more detergent than necessary can also lead to residue build-up. Finally, some types of fabric softener can also leave behind a film if they’re not rinsed out thoroughly.

If you’re having trouble getting rid of residue on your windbreaker, try using less detergent and making sure to rinse thoroughly. You may also want to try a different type of detergent or fabric softener.

Can I Handwash My Windbreaker?

The short answer to this question is yes, you can handwash your windbreaker. However, there are a few things that you should be aware of when doing so.

Method 2: Handwashing The Windbreaker

handwashing a windbreaker with a sponge
  1. Before beginning the cleaning process, make sure to check the care label on your windbreaker and follow any special instructions provided.
  2. Gather a mild detergent or wool-specific soap, along with a soft washing brush or sponge. You should also gather a large plastic bucket or bin filled with cold water, plus a small amount of fabric softener if desired.
  3. To wash your windbreaker by hand, start by soaking it in the bathtub or basin filled with water and detergent.
  4. Next, gently scrub your jacket using either a soft brush or sponge to remove any dirt or stains. Avoid scrubbing too hard, as this can damage the fabric of your jacket and cause fraying at the seams.
  5. Thoroughly rinse out your windbreaker until all traces of soap have been removed, then hang it to dry in a cool place away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
  6. Once your jacket is fully dried and pressed, it should look as good as new!

Do Windbreakers Shrink in the Dryer?

Anyone who has ever done their laundry has probably had at least one item come out of the dryer looking much different than it did when it went in.

Whether it’s a pair of jeans that seem to have shrunk several sizes or a beloved t-shirt that’s now several inches shorter, clothes that don’t fit right after being laundered can be frustrating.

Windbreakers are a type of outerwear designed to protect against wind and weather. They are often made from synthetic materials that are tightly woven to withstand strong winds.

However, these same synthetic materials can also be susceptible to shrinkage when exposed to high temperatures. As a result, it is important to take care when drying a windbreaker to prevent shrinkage.

The best way to dry a windbreaker is to lay it flat on a towel and allow it to air dry. If you must use a dryer, set it to the lowest possible setting and remove the windbreaker as soon as it is dry.

By taking these simple precautions, you can help ensure that your windbreaker will retain its shape and size.

Which Detergents Are Not Safe to Use On My Windbreaker?

Most windbreakers are made from synthetic materials like nylon or polyester, which can be damaged by harsh detergents.


If you must wash your windbreaker, use a mild detergent and avoid any that contain bleach or fabric softeners. You should also avoid using hot water, as this can cause the fabric to shrink. Instead, opt for cool or warm water.

To be safe, it’s always best to check the care label before washing any piece of clothing. When in doubt, err on the side of gentler care; you can always wash it again if it’s not clean enough.

With a little care, your windbreaker will last for years to come.

Which Detergents Are Best For My Windbreaker?

Many types of detergents are available on the market, and it can be difficult to know which one is best for your windbreaker.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when making your decision.

First, consider the type of fabric your windbreaker is made from. If it is a synthetic fabric, you will want to use a detergent that is designed specifically for synthetic fabrics.

You can use a general-purpose detergent if it is a natural fiber such as wool or cotton.

Second, consider the dirt and grime that has built up on your windbreaker. If it is only lightly soiled, you can use a mild detergent. However, if it is heavily soiled, you must use a heavier-duty detergent.

Finally, consider any special care instructions that may be included with your windbreaker. Some fabrics require special care, and using the wrong type of detergent can damage the fabric.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you choose the best possible detergent for your windbreaker.

Final Remarks

In conclusion, there are a few key things to keep in mind when washing and drying a windbreaker.

First, you should use a mild detergent that is designed for synthetic fabrics, and avoid using harsh detergents or hot water.

Second, it is important to remove your windbreaker from the dryer as soon as it is done and to lay it flat to dry instead.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your windbreaker stays looking its best for years to come!