Learn All The Tricks On How To Clean A Barbour Jacket

Barbour Bedale or  Beaufort have been on-trend for many years. They’re known for their durability and weather resistance. Whether it’s a new one or you have purchased it from a stockist, you need to clean it. However, cleaning these jackets isn’t as straightforward as cleaning any other type of jacket due to the wax coating that makes them waterproof.

A man in the countryside holding a vintage camera and wearing a Barbour jacket (1)

Things would be much easier if you could just throw your waxed cotton jacket into the washing machine like the rest of your garments. Unfortunately, This isn’t the case.  A solution would be to send it to Barbour’s repair service and clean it, plus fix any rips and holes and reproof it. Another way is to DIY. That’s why we have prepared a step-by-step guide to learn all the tips and tricks on cleaning a Barbour jacket and maintain it in pristine condition. 

How to clean your Barbour jacket

Usually, the jackets of this brand are made water-resistant by coating the outer sides with special oils and paraffin-based wax. They may have a removable soft tartan lining, a detachable hood, corduroy or leather collars. But how can you clean such a jacket? Let’s have a look first at the materials you’ll need.

Needed materials:

  • A clean, dry cloth
  • Cool water
  • A sponge

Steps to follow:

  1. Start by wiping down your jacket with a cloth to remove any dust and dirt.
  2. Then, soak a sponge in cool water, wring it very well and wipe over the exterior part.
  3. Finally, let it air dry completely.

EXTRA TIP: Instead of using a soaked sponge, you can place the jacket in the shower and spray it with the showerhead.

How to get smells out of the Barbour waxed jacket

Cleaning the jacket isn’t only removing dirt and dust. There are also bad smells that might be lingering on your precious piece of clothing. White vinegar is all you need to remove foul odours. It is well-known that vinegar can remove bad smells from appliances, like the fridge and the washing machine, from shoes, the closets, the damp smell, and the list goes on and on. Therefore, you can use it to clean your stinky jacket, as well.

A close up of the zip on a Barbour jacket

Needed materials:

  • ½ cup of white vinegar
  • Water
  • A spray bottle
  • A sponge

Steps to follow:

  1. Fill a spray bottle with water and add ½ cup of vinegar. Shake the bottle very well to dissolve the vinegar.
  2. Next, spray the outside of the jacket with the vinegar solution and wipe it with a sponge. 
  3. Then, let it dry completely.

NOTE: This vinegar method is also the perfect way to remove mildew from the jacket.

How to re-wax a Barbour jacket

Beyond cleaning your old Barbour jacket, you also need to re-wax it to reproof. This is something you have to do at least once a year, especially if you wear it regularly. It isn’t a difficult task. You just need to get a specialised product and apply it over the old wax. 

Needed materials:

  • A sponge
  • Hot and Coldwater
  • A tin of Barbour Wax Thornproof Dressing
  • A clean cloth or sponge
  • A hairdryer
  • A hanger

Steps to follow:

  1. The first thing you should do when you start reproofing your jacket is clean the outside of the jacket. Use a sponge soaked in cold water to clean it, and then wipe it down with a dry, clean cloth.
  2. Get a tin of Barbour wax Thornproof Dressing and place it in a bowl filled with hot water.
  3. Let it stand in the bowl until the wax softens. It should take about 20 minutes until the wax becomes liquid.
  4. Get another cloth and dip it into the melted wax. Then work it into the jacket focusing on seams, creases or dry patches.
  5. When you’re done, wipe excess wax.
  6. For an extra smooth finish, blow the jacket with a hairdryer. This will help the wax spread evenly. Just don’t keep the dryer too close. Otherwise, it will heat the wax leading to dripping.
  7. Finally, place the jacket on a hanger and let the wax dry. Leave it in a warm place overnight, away from the rest of your clothes and upholstery to prevent wax drips.

EXTRA TIP: While applying wax on the jacket, keep the tin in the container with the water. This will keep the wax softened. If the wax starts to soften, refill the container with more boiling water.

DO’s and DON’Ts on cleaning your Barbour jacket

When it comes to cleaning your jacket, there are a few things you should do and avoid as well.

A man wearing a wax Barbour jacket

Here’s a list with all the DO’s and DON’Ts to maintain your Barbour wax jacket in tiptop condition:


  • Always start the cleaning process by brushing off any loose dirt or mud.
  • Use cold or warm water when cleaning your wax jacket.
  • Hand wash it only and wipe off any marks with a cloth.
  • Air dry your jacket to preserve its wax coating and waterproofing.
  • Reproof your jacket to prolong its life and maintain the waterproof qualities of the coating. You can either DIY using specialised wax dressings or send it back to a specialist to do it for you.
  • Always check the care label to ensure the best cleaning process and the suitable materials for the type of jacket you own.


  • Whether you have wax cotton or quilted jackets, avoid hot water. It can damage the waterproofing wax and oils, and you won’t be able to re-wax it.
  • Don’t machine wash your jacket. Even the gentle cycles may damage the layers of wax.
  • Don’t use a tumble dry to dry your jacket. The high heat of the machine will remove the coats of waterproofing wax and oils.
  • Avoid bleach and other detergents as they could damage the coating of wax.
  • Don’t dry clean it. The process of dry cleaning will remove the proofing.
  • Avoid keeping it in direct sunlight and other direct heat sources to preserve waxing.
  • Don’t iron the jacket. High temperatures will damage the coating.

A close up of a man wearing a wax Barbour jacket

Easy, right? You have nothing to be afraid of from now on. You can clean and re-wax your jacket on your own simply and safely. Cool water is enough to remove dust from the jacket. If you want to refresh it and remove any bad smells, then vinegar will do the trick. According to the frequency you wear it, you need to do reproofing at least once a year. These are all you should do—nothing more, nothing less. Follow our guide and keep your Barbour jacket brand new for years to come.

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