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anonguest

Un-Waxing A Wax Jacket

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I have a cotton waxed jacket (i.e Barbour style) that, for reasons that aren't important, I would like to wear/use as a non-waxed jacket.

What's the safest way to remove effectively all the wax, and thus leave the underlying 'breathable' cotton jacket undamaged ?

I assume, because solvents are used in the process, a thorough dry clean at the local dry cleaners will do the job perfectly (e.g no risk of colour fade/damage, etc) ?

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Standing in a car wash will probably do it.

I think not! How about soaking it in petrol in the bath?

It's how I clean carburretors. Obviously my house insurance, or the neighbours need not know this!

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I recently learned that petrol was originally marketed as a general purpose solvent, even before the invention of internal combustion engines capable of running on it.

It was even used to kill nit infestations in peoples hair.

Presumably, smoking was not advised during the process.

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While smoking a pipe?

I'm pretty sure you realise that was one of my dafter suggestions, as my current house has a plastic bath!

Please don't try this at home people! :wacko:

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I recently learned that petrol was originally marketed as a general purpose solvent, even before the invention of internal combustion engines capable of running on it.

It was even used to kill nit infestations in peoples hair.

Presumably, smoking was not advised during the process.

Gasoline was an unwanted product from the distillation process! Most people wanted kerosene for lighting! However I do have an unused "Coleman" lamp which claims to run on unleaded! Handy when camping, which obviously I'm not so keen on now after the 1966 court case!

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Why didn't you buy a non-waxed jacket in the first place? :huh:

A good question! There is always denim!

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Why didn't you buy a non-waxed jacket in the first place? :huh:

I've just decided that, for this particular one, I actually like it/its style/etc as a NON waxed (i.e ordinary) jacket. So, given that it aint new, I am prepared to do an 'experiment'. But obviously I want my experiment to be based on sound knowledge/reasoned judgment - to lessen the risk of ruining it.

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I've just decided that, for this particular one, I actually like it/its style/etc as a NON waxed (i.e ordinary) jacket. So, given that it aint new, I am prepared to do an 'experiment'. But obviously I want my experiment to be based on sound knowledge/reasoned judgment - to lessen the risk of ruining it.

One risk that occurs to me is that whilst dry claening may well remove almost or all of the wax from the outer skin, the solvents may well end up depositing wax residues in the otherwise clean/wax free soft fleecy lining - and so it will never have that same feel again?

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One risk that occurs to me is that whilst dry claening may well remove almost or all of the wax from the outer skin, the solvents may well end up depositing wax residues in the otherwise clean/wax free soft fleecy lining - and so it will never have that same feel again?

And another reason for doing this is......the jacket is just a wee bit on the large size. I simply also wondered IF, having removed the wax from it, it could then be machine washed at a high temp to deliberately 'shrink' it a wee bit.........

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I have a cotton waxed jacket (i.e Barbour style) that, for reasons that aren't important, I would like to wear/use as a non-waxed jacket.

What's the safest way to remove effectively all the wax, and thus leave the underlying 'breathable' cotton jacket undamaged ?

I assume, because solvents are used in the process, a thorough dry clean at the local dry cleaners will do the job perfectly (e.g no risk of colour fade/damage, etc) ?

Have you tried pouring boiling water on it?

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I would be surprised if this is even possible to do without ruining the jacket. The suggestion of soaking in petrol or diesel is good, although if you use a solvent you'll probably never get the stink out of it.

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No actually my suggestion was facetious!

I can't think of a dafter idea than filling the bath with petrol!

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I would be surprised if this is even possible to do without ruining the jacket. The suggestion of soaking in petrol or diesel is good, although if you use a solvent you'll probably never get the stink out of it.

yeah yeah yeah.......BUT, as per original suggestion, what about dry cleaning? I've asked the cleaners and they have no idea, just shrugged their shoulders.

Would one, or may be two for good measure, dry cleans remove all the wax and leave just the soft cotton jacket?

or.....as insinuated above, would there be some bad effect (e.g some 'reaction that might result in perpetual pong or such like, etc).

Any chemists here?

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There's quite a lot on the internet about how to re-wax a waxed jacket, or just how to care for it in general. I'd suggest reading these and then doing the opposite. For example, the Edinburgh Woollen Mill say

- Do not machine wash or tumble dry
- Do not iron
- Do not rub clean
- Do not use hot water
- Avoid soap and detergents
- Avoid keeping in direct sunlight / any direct heat source for too long
- Keep your jacket on a hanger to maintain the optimum shape and appearance


Belstaff say

• DO NOT dry clean

• DO NOT machine wash

• DO NOT tumble dry (no dryer)

• DO NOT use soap or detergent of any kind

• DO NOT use solvents or bleach

• DO NOT iron or starch

• DO NOT force dry or expose to a direct flame

• DO NOT expose to direct sunlight for a long period of time (such as rear car window).

Doing any of these will damage or remove the proofing and may void the garment’s warranty.

There you go! I suspect that if you try many of these things though, you'll just end up with a jacket covered in patchy wax. Maybe you should just wear it for a few years (perhaps including regular trips to the sauna) and let nature take its course.

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... or you could maybe try ironing it, with something in between the iron and the jacket. I seem to remember having wax on a pair of jeans once and managing to remove it by putting a sheet of paper on top and using a hot iron. It could be quite a job for an entire jacket though.

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yeah yeah yeah.......BUT, as per original suggestion, what about dry cleaning? I've asked the cleaners and they have no idea, just shrugged their shoulders.

Would one, or may be two for good measure, dry cleans remove all the wax and leave just the soft cotton jacket?

or.....as insinuated above, would there be some bad effect (e.g some 'reaction that might result in perpetual pong or such like, etc).

Any chemists here?

yeah, me and I gave you my opinion. Solvent is your best bet, but it's unlikely to leave you a nice wax free jacket. If you don't mind ******ing your jacket for the sake of an experiment get it dry cleaned and see what happens.

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yeah, me and I gave you my opinion. Solvent is your best bet, but it's unlikely to leave you a nice wax free jacket. If you don't mind ******ing your jacket for the sake of an experiment get it dry cleaned and see what happens.

I can now report that the results of dry cleaning are 'mixed'. The wax from the outer fabric is gone for certain, and now has a lighter 'looser fabric' feel to it and 'well worn' look to it - which was the objective. The inner lining does feel different. I think, maybe, another second dry clean may well complete the job.

Not a recommendation for anyone, just a report lest anyone else decide to do something similarly eccentric!

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