If you are in a suit and have to wear it all day, you might want to consider cleaning it. If you do not clean your suit jacket the oils from your skin will eventually start to break down the fibers of the jacket. Most suit jackets are made from polyester and should be treated with the same care as a dress shirt.

Here’s the most important thing that you need to know about how to clean a suit jacket: Machine washing a suit jacket can damage the fibers and make it unwearable. It is better to hand wash your suit jackets to preserve their shape, as well as keep their color bright. When it comes to whether you should have your suit jacket dry cleaned, the answer is yes. Dry cleaning a suit jacket is designed to remove all traces of dirt and oil from your clothing, so there is no need to wash it again by hand.

There are a lot of different ways to wash a suit jacket, but the best method is to dry clean it. Alternatively you can hand wash it with a gentle detergent and hang it to dry. You should avoid washing a suit in a washing machine, as this can damage the fabrics.

If you ever find yourself needing to wash a dressy suit, then follow these steps and you will know how to wash suit jackets.

How to Clean a Suit Jacket by Hand

If you want to keep your suit jacket looking new and crisp, you need to keep it clean. The easiest way is to put a bit of white vinegar in a spray bottle and mist that jacket so the dirt and grime comes off easily. 

Special care should be taken with wool jackets, as they can easily shrink. It may be better to have a wool jacket dry cleaned, especially if the jacket is very expensive. This method should only be used with cotton or polyester jackets for this reason, and even then be careful.

  • Step 1) Unbutton the jacket.
  • Step 2) Turn the jacket inside out.
  • Step 3) Gently hand wash the jacket in a tub of cold water.
  • Step 4) Hang the jacket to dry at room temperature. Don’t expose it to high heat or hang it near a radiator, furnace or other heat source as this will cause the fibers to shrink.

As a general rule, you should never machine wash a suit jacket, especially if there are any kind of plaid or stripes on the jacket. The colors can bleed easily and the threads damaged.

How to Get a Suit Dry Cleaned

Suit jackets and blazer dry cleaners can work wonders on clothing that’s been hanging in the back of your closet for years. You can get an old, dirty, stained blazer looking like it came off the rack at your favorite department store. You can request a free consultation with a dry cleaner near you and see what special services you can get.

Blazer cleaning or pressing can add a year onto the life of a tired, old blazer and give it that professional, like-new look that it deserves. Dry cleaners can often remove tough stain spots and give your garments a new lease on life.

When your schedule has opened up to give you time to go to a dry cleaner, you can pick up the phone and get your suit jacket and pants cleaned by a professional dry cleaner located near you, that specializes in quality dry cleaning. This way you can ask how long it will take to have the dry cleaning done ahead of time, and choose a location that is able to get your suit cleaned the fastest. You can also ensure the dry cleaner is still in business; sometimes defunct dry cleaner locations are still listed on Yelp and it can save you a trip to call ahead and make sure they are still in business.

Can a Suit be Dry Cleaned in a Day?

A suit can be dry cleaned in a day, but it will depend largely on what time of day you take the suit to the dry cleaner. They must have enough time in the day to be able to clean the suit in addition to all of the other customer orders for dry cleaning that they have received. While we’d all like to think that our suits and shirts can be dry cleaned in a day, the reality is they can sometimes take a little longer.

It’s best to take your suit to a dry cleaner as soon as possible when you know you need to have it cleaned. And don’t try to wash it with your regular laundry detergent at home, or you can damage its fibers.


Carey Martell is Editor in Chief for The Millennial Gentleman. A thirty something modern man who is politically independent, non-religious but a firm believer in ideals of chivalry and traditional family values. Carey lives his life as a vagabond digital nomad traveling and living life to the fullest while managing his businesses remotely with a laptop and internet hotspot connection.