A Partridge Insight: How to Clean the King of waxed, cotton jackets

how to clean a wax jacket

We’d first of all like to welcome you into the Partridge Family, and congratulate on your wax jacket wardrobe addition. It’s important to keep your wax jacket in good health, our jackets our timeless and we want to make sure you get the most out of them.

You’ve most likely had your jacket for a long while, it has seen you through some very dreary British weather, or maybe even experienced a few hay bales, cow pats or mucky gundogs!

Your coat probably looks in great condition but like a vintage car, care is needed to make sure you do not over wax it before use. A little often is better than one big coating. We delved into our 50 year experience and have formulated the perfect partridge solution to cleaning and caring for the King of waxed, cotton jackets.

What you’ll need: A sponge, water, white wine vinegar, Nikwax Cotton Proof, a lint free cloth, a coat hanger, some sunshine and a little bit of patience.


waxed jacket

First and foremost, use a well ventilated area. Secondly, do not get it dry cleaned, this will remove all of the wax, taking away the lubricant from the cotton fibres. When this happens the fibres begin to rub together and will eventually wear each other out leaving holes and tears.

If it is clean inside it means you can skip the process of sponging and drying, allowing you to go straight onto re-waxing the outer fabric.

To clean the insides turn the coat fully inside out. For a ‘home-remedy’ cleaning solution we suggest lightly infusing water with white wine vinegar. The vinegar helps remove dirt and odours. Use a sponge to gently dab away any dirt or stains, do keep the sponge almost dry. There are plenty of biodegradable sprays you can use to help freshen a very dirty or ‘sweaty’ lining, but under no circumstances get the lining too wet! The better cleaners use pine essence to both clean and fresh your lining. A good one is Dr Bronners Sal Suds.

Now, let the coat dry naturally away from direct heat source.

The spray wax you have is perfect - Nikwax Cotton Proof.

If the outside of your coat is already dry you should try to get som hard wax, in a tin, to smear across the seams. Not only does this make the seams waterproof, it also keeps them waxed, bear in mind that it is the seams that get the most wear - especially under the arm and at the cuff.  

Now, using the hard wax on the seams may not suit you. You may prefer an all over look rather than where the seams are highlighted. If so, go very gently over the seams first with your spray wax.

When using the spray wax, cover approx and A4 sized area, then simply spray a light coating of wax over the coat. If it’s dirty, go for the sponge option just to really work it into your jacket, if it’s nice and clean, we’d suggest using a lint free cloth.

As you’re re-building the wax base make sure to keep an eye on how much you’re putting on, some areas may dry out quicker than others. Think of your coat as a fine, classic car. Allow each thin layer of wax to work into the fabric before even thinking about adding a second or even third coat.

The coat’s look is in your hand, the finish is entirely down to when you feel it has coherent finish.  Our recommendation is just enough so the fabric feels like silk as you run your hand over it. Each to their own!

If you have any queries at all then please get in contact with us so we can help you every step of the way!

The Partridge Family