Barbour jacket

How to Clean a Mouldy Barbour Jacket

Barbour jackets are comfortable to wear, are made from durable materials, and can last a lifetime, if cared for properly.

However, if you don’t look after and maintain your jacket, mould will start to run rampant over it. This really isn’t going to enhance the appearance of your Barbour jacket!

In fact, the fungal growth could cause irreparable damage to the material if it isn’t removed in time.

It’s imperative that you remove mould from a Barbour jacket, and you can find out how to do this below.


What Causes Mould on Barbour Jackets?

Before you start cleaning your mouldy Barbour jacket it’s good to know why your Barbour is tarnished by fungal growth in the first place.

So, why do you get mould on Barbour jackets?

The main reason is that the jackets are exposed to moisture. However, unsuitable care and storage also play a role in the development of mould on a Barbour jacket.

And it can also be a combination of all three of these factors as well! Let’s take a look at these points in more detail below.

mouldy Barbour jacket

Moisture and rain

One of the main reasons why mould grows on Barbour jackets is because these coats are often exposed to lots of moisture, namely rain!

Given the fact that Barbour jackets are generally worn outdoors, they’re going to be exposed to all the different elements that we experience here in the UK.

While you’d expect the coat to protect you from said elements, you must make sure that you dry the jacket when you’re done wearing it, or else mould will set in.

Not cleaning the jacket well enough

As a follow on to this, not caring for a Barbour jacket can also encourage mould growth. And although drying the jacket properly is key, it’s also imperative that you remove and clear away any debris that might’ve fallen onto the coat while you were wearing it.

For example, you should take out stains, chunks of food, and general dirt that are clinging to the material. If you leave this grime on the Barbour’s surface it will only encourage mould to grow.

Not storing the jacket properly

In addition to this, failing to store a Barbour jacket properly when you’re done wearing it can also attract mould.

 A Barbour jacket should be stored in a well-ventilated area, but if you store said jacket in a damp-riddled room or a humid one, you’ll just create a breeding ground for mould!

As mentioned above, a combination of all three of these factors will definitely spur mould on, which is why you need to make sure that you dry your Barbour jacket after wearing it, continuously maintain your jacket, and store it in a suitable space.


Why It’s Important to Tackle Mould on Jackets

Mould not only makes Barbour jackets look rather yucky and can damage the material, but wearing a jacket that’s covered in spores poses a health risk to the wearer.

For example, mould can cause severe allergic reactions and respiratory issues, which is why it’s incredibly important to remove the mould as soon as possible.


How to Clean a Mouldy Barbour Jacket

close-up of a Barbour jacket

Barbour jackets are known for their longevity and durability. But their extraordinary lifespans can be curtailed by mould. Find out how to clean the pesky visitor off your Barbour jacket before it ruins it!

In order to keep your faithful Barbour jacket fresh and fungal-free you need to clean it. But as is the case with many materials, a Barbour needs to be cared for in a specific way.

“Dos and don’ts” of cleaning a Barbour jacket


  • Check the care label on your Barbour jacket before you treat or clean it.
  • Make sure you keep your Barbour jacket in a well-ventilated room.
  • Make sure you dry your jacket properly before storing it.
  • Clean obvious dirt off your Barbour jacket (applies to all types of jacket).
  • Thoroughly clean your jacket every year to keep it fresh.
  • Only use cold water to treat the jacket.
  • As long as the care label states it is safe to do so, you can clean a waterproof jacket in a washing machine.
  • Make sure you use a suitable detergent to clean waterproof and quilted jackets, something like Nikwax Tech Wash Wash-In Cleaner. This particular product doesn’t destroy the weatherproof coating that’s on the coat, and instead, helps to protect it.


  • Don’t clean a Barbour wax jacket in a washing machine (the washer will remove the wax coating on the jacket and you cannot reapply it).
  • Do not dry clean a Barbour wax jacket, this includes using a DIY kit too (the chemicals will damage the wax coating).
  • Don’t use hot water.
  • Avoid using soaps and detergents on Barbour wax jackets.
  • Don’t tumble dry a wax jacket.
  • Don’t iron a wax jacket.
  • Don’t leave your Barbour in direct sunlight as this can impact the coat’s coating.
  • Avoid cleaning waterproof, wax and quilted coats in fabric softener.

How to clean a waxed Barbour jacket

waxed jacket

Tools you need:

Steps to follow:

  1. Clear and clean a wide flat surface (this’ll be your workspace).
  2. Pop your Barbour wax jacket front face down on the surface.
  3. Feel the jacket to make sure it’s absolutely dry (if it’s wet, wait a little longer before cleaning and treating it).
  4. Grab the bristled brush and brush all of the debris from the jacket.
  5. Turn the coat over and continue to brush the grime off the other side of the jacket.
  6. Pop the coat front down on the surface again.
  7. Pop one part white vinegar and one part cold water in a bowl.
  8. Soak a sponge in the mixture, wring it out, and dab the sponge along the mouldy patches on the jacket (flip the coat over, so you treat both sides).
  9. Cover every fungal patch with the vinegar and water solution.
  10. Wait ten minutes.
  11. Soak a fresh cloth in cold water, wring it out, and then wipe the entire jacket down (rinse the cloth frequently during this time).
  12. Pay attention to cleaning all the nooks and crannies, but don’t get the corduroy collar/inside the pockets/inside of the jacket wet.
  13. Hang the wax jacket up to dry in a well-ventilated area, but out of direct sunlight.
  14. You can reproof the jacket when it is completely dry (follow the steps below).

How to clean a waterproof or quilted jacket

rain jacket

To clean a waterproof or quilted type of jacket you can follow the steps above if you like.

Or, if the care label on your coat permits it, you can machine wash the jacket. But remember to use cold water and avoid using harsh detergents and chemicals to clean the jacket.

Tools you need:

  • Non-detergent cleaner
  • Washing machine

Steps to follow:

  1. Read the care tag on your coat and find out how you care for the jacket.
  2. If the tag states you can machine wash the item you can do so. If not, stop what you’re doing and use the method above instead or ask a professional for help.
  3. Choose a suitable delicate setting and select a water temperature that is below 30℃ on the washer.
  4. Add a dose of non-detergent cleaner to the washer, like Nikwax Tech Wash Wash-In Cleaner.
  5. Start the wash.
  6. If you can dry the jacket in a tumble dryer, do so. But follow the drying instructions on the care tag (you usually have to use a very low heat).
  7. Hang the jacket up after it’s been dried so it keeps its shape.

Tip: You can also hand wash these jackets if need be. Follow the steps above, but clean the coat in a large, clean bucket or tub instead.


How to Re-Wax and Care for a Barbour Jacket

re-wax and care for Barbour jacket

Re-waxing a Barbour wax jacket is something you need to do at least once a year. And you really should make an effort to wax your jacket after you’ve cleaned it too.

Coating your jacket in specialised wax is going to protect it from the elements, and in turn, it should look like new and stick around for longer!

Here’s what you need to do:

Steps to follow:

  1. Follow the steps above under ‘Waxed Barbour jacket’ to clean your jacket.
  2. Fill a bowl with hot water and place your tin of Barbour Thornproof Dressing directly into the water (the hot water will melt the wax inside the tin and will make it easier for you to rub it into the coat).
  3. Wait 20 minutes while the wax melts (remember to take the lid off so you can witness the melting process).
  4. Leave the tin in the water, so the wax remains in a liquidy state.
  5. Make sure the room you’re going to be working in is toasty, but not overly warm.
  6. Make sure the coat is facing front down on a clean, flat surface (pop some newspaper on the floor to catch any waxy drips, if need be).
  7. Dip a clean cloth into the wax and start to massage the whole back side of the jacket.
  8. Gently work the wax into the seams, dry patches and any creases that may be present.
  9. Flip the Barbour jacket over and continue to massage the wax into the front side of the coat.
  10. Lift the pocket flaps up and massage the wax in here.
  11. Repeat the massaging process on the collar.
  12. Don’t get any wax on the corduroy collar, inside the pockets, or inside the coat.
  13. With a second cloth, wipe up any waste wax from the coat – you don’t want any clumps.
  14. When you’ve waxed the whole Barbur jacket, hang it up to dry.
  15. Leave the jacket to dry overnight.
  16. When you wear the Barbour jacket, make sure you don’t rub up against any soft furnishing as the wax may come off and stick to the soft surface.

Tip: If you don’t fancy doing the re-waxing yourself, you can always get in contact with Barbour and use their re-waxing service. They can also repair jackets too. For more information visit