A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Wash Your Vest and Keep it Looking Good

It’s no secret that vests are a great way to add style and personality to your wardrobe. The ballistic nylon and quilted detailing give it a unique look that’s sure to get noticed. But if you want your vest to stay looking good, you’ll need to know how to wash it properly.

Fear not! We have all the information you need to make sure your vest comes out looking like new. Read on for a guide on how to wash a vest and some additional tips for keeping it looking its best.

How to Wash a Vest?

The key to washing a vest is knowing the right cleaning method and taking the proper steps to ensure it’s properly cleaned.

Preparing the vest

The first step to washing your vest is to prepare it. Remove detachable items like buttons, pins, or patches, and turn the garment inside out before putting it in the washing machine. This will help protect the fabric from damage caused by abrasion during the wash cycle.

You’ll also want to check the manufacturer’s care instructions for specific information about how to clean your vest. Some vests may require specialized cleanings, such as dry cleaning or spot treatment. Knowing these details in advance will help ensure you get the best results when washing your vest.

Choosing a cleaning method

Once you’ve prepared your vest, it’s time to decide on a cleaning method. There are two main options for washing a vest: a washing machine and hand washing. Both methods have their advantages, so selecting the one that best fits your lifestyle is key.

Washing machine method

If you’re short on time and have access to a washing machine, this is the way to go. To start, set your machine to a gentle cycle, add any detergent or fabric softener you may want to use (see below for more details), and then carefully place your vest into the drum.

Once it’s in there, close the lid and let the machine do it. The key here is to make sure you select a cycle that’s gentle enough so that it won’t damage your vest.

Hand washing method

For a more delicate approach, you can always hand-wash your vest. To do so, fill a sink or tub with lukewarm water and add any detergent or fabric softener that may be required.

Gently swirl the vest for about 10 minutes, then rinse it off with clean, cool water. Finally, gently squeeze out any excess water and lay it flat on a clean towel to dry.

This method is great for those with sensitive skin, which may be prone to irritation caused by harsh detergents and fabric softeners. Plus, it ensures that your vest gets the tender care it deserves. The time it takes for hand-washing will depend on the size and fabric of your vest, so make sure you plan accordingly.

Adding detergent and fabric softener (if applicable)

Depending on the type of fabric your vest is made from, you may need to add a detergent or fabric softener to the wash. For most vests, a gentle detergent will do the trick.

However, if your vest is made from a delicate material like silk or cashmere, you’ll want to use a specialized cleaning product designed specifically for those fabrics.

Likewise, some vests may require a fabric softener to keep the material looking its best. If this is the case, follow the product instructions carefully and only use it in moderation.  Too much fabric softener can make your vest feel heavy and greasy.

Drying the vest

Now that your vest is all clean, it’s time to dry it. There are three main methods you can use to dry your vest: air drying, machine drying, or hanging it up to dry.

Air drying method

For air drying, lay your vest flat on a clean towel and leave it in a well-ventilated area. If you’re uncomfortable with laying it directly on the floor, you can hang it up on a clothesline or place it over the back of a chair. This method is great for delicate fabrics that may be damaged in a machine dryer.

Machine drying method

To use the machine drying method, select a low or delicate heat setting on your dryer and add a few clean towels to the load. This will help cushion the vest and protect it from any damage that could be caused by the tumbling of the drum. Once your cycle is finished, check if the vest is dry and repeat as necessary.

Hanging the vest to dry

For this method, simply hang your vest up in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight or other heat sources. This works best with lightweight fabrics, like drying towels, that don’t require additional protection. 

You now have all the steps to clean and care for your vest properly. You can keep it looking its best for years with a little effort.

How to Wash Your Vest

Addition Tips on Washing a Vest

To ensure that your vest is properly cared for, there are a few extra tips you should keep in mind.

Reading the label carefully

The label of your vest will tell you what type of fabric it is made of, so make sure you read this closely before washing. It’s also a good idea to check for specific instructions on how to clean the garment.

Check for holes before washing

Make sure you inspect for any holes or tears before you put the vest in the washing machine. Any unrepaired holes may become larger when exposed to water and detergent. This will also prevent you from losing any buttons or other small items in the machine.

Avoid bleaching

Always avoid putting bleach on your vest, as this can damage the fabric and fade the color. If you need to lighten stains, try soaking them in lemon juice or vinegar before washing them. This will help to remove any dirt and grime without damaging the fabric.

Use cold water

The cold water setting on your washing machine is best for delicate fabrics. This will help ensure the color doesn’t run and won’t damage the fabric. Hot water should be avoided, as this can cause shrinkage or discoloration.

Tumble dry on low heat

When you’re ready to put your vest in the dryer, make sure you use a low-heat setting. This will help to prevent any shrinkage and protect the fabric from damage. If possible, it’s best to just hang the vest up to air-dry instead.

Maintaining the color of your vest

Regularly washing and air-drying your vest can help it stay vibrant and look new. However, if you’re worried about fading, try using a color-safe detergent and fabric softener to help keep the colors bright.

Rolling up the sleeves when washing

If you have a long-sleeved vest, you’ll want to roll it up before washing it. This will prevent the fabric from getting stretched or ripped in the machine. It’s also a good idea to fasten any buttons on the garment so they don’t get lost in the process.

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How to Wash Your Vest

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you wash a suit vest?

Start by reading the care label on your vest; some fabrics may require special attention, such as hand washing or dry cleaning. If the material allows, you can usually machine wash it in cold water on a gentle cycle with a mild detergent and like colors.

How often do you wash a vest?

Wash your vest only when necessary to extend its life. However,  if you wear it often, plan to wash it after every few wears. Also, consider the environment in which you’re wearing your vest. A dusty or smoky atmosphere may require more frequent cleaning.

Should vests be dry-cleaned?

Dry cleaning is a gentler process and can help preserve the original color and shape of your vest.  If the care label indicates that dry cleaning is required, follow these instructions to avoid damaging your vest.

Does the vest soak up sweat?

Vests can be breathable and absorb sweat like any other clothing item. However, synthetic fabrics such as polyester are less likely to retain moisture and odors. You may also consider using a specialized undershirt or sweat pad if you sweat more than usual.

Can I wash a vest that says dry clean only?

Some fabrics labeled “dry clean only” can be hand washed. Always consult the care label and test a discreet area with cold water and mild detergent before submerging your vest in the wash.  If you decide to proceed, use a gentle cycle on your machine and make sure to dry with low heat.


In conclusion, knowing how to wash a vest properly will help keep it clean and looking good for years! For best results, always use cold water when washing a vest and avoid using too much detergent. If you’re dealing with dirt or stains, treat the area with a stain remover before putting it in the washer.

To ensure your vest is fully dry, hang it in a room with good ventilation. Make sure to read the care instructions on the tag of your vest before washing it, and you’ll be good to go.  Now you know how to wash a vest like a pro, so go forth and keep yours looking great.

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  1. […] Wash the clothing item according to its care instructions, and let it air-dry or tumble dry in a low heat setting. […]

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