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How Do I Care for a Mink Fur Coat?

By Janis Adams
Updated May 21, 2024
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A genuine mink fur coat is a valuable and costly addition to anyone's coat collection, so once purchased, you'll want the fur to last for many years. The key to caring for this type of luxurious fur is storing it properly. Improper storage can ruin it.

Cedar closets and regular coat closets are not the best place to store a mink coat during the spring and summer months. The odor from cedar closets will cling to the fur and prove impossible to remove, and a regular coat closet does not provide ample ventilation for the fur. Similarly, real fur should not be stored with moth balls because it will absorb the odor from the moth balls, making the coat unwearable.

During the warmer months or when not wearing the coat for extended amounts of time, professional storage is the best option. These storage areas offer a humidity- and temperature-controlled environment. The optimum temperature for a fur to kept at is 50°F (10°C).

Never place a mink fur coat in a plastic storage container or dry cleaner's bag. Fur must be allowed to breathe, because without proper air, the fur will begin to shed. If you are going to hang a coat in a closet during the months that it is being worn often, enclose it in a breathable cotton bag so that it is prevented from rubbing against any other garments.

A mink can be worn in the rain, though it should not be allowed to get soaked. If it gets wet, the fur should be hung carefully and allowed to dry naturally. Never put it in a clothes dryer, as the heat is not good for it.

When planning to wear the coat, it is best to avoid wearing perfume, but if you do wear a fragrance, apply it before putting the coat on. Wearing a scarf around your neck when you have your coat on is a good idea so that no oils or perfumes will come in contact with the sensitive fur.

It is best not to wear your coat when traveling. Sitting with the coat on for an extended amount of time can damage the backside of the fur. This can cause unsightly thinning in sections, and no one wants to mar the beauty of the natural mink fur.

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Discussion Comments
By anon999365 — On Dec 18, 2017

This is what not to do. One year, my mother didn't store her $8K female pelt ranch mink coat. Needless to say a mouse ate a little of the fur. Fine, but then Mom wouldn't let me get it cleaned and now, two-thirds of the coat has been eaten away by some tiny mite? Mom passed away and I sent the coat to the furrier 3 times with my personal fur coats and they would never clean it for me. Droppings are sticky and black and there are things that look like sand all over the lower half and in cuffs.

I have taken the coat (what's left of it) cut off the bad and have it hanging outside. I'm hoping to at least salvage enough of the fur to make a vest and add a collar and cuffs to a cashmere coat. I just have to decide how I'm going to clean the fur before I start. Outside temp is 50 degrees now in Denver so hopefully that will kill what might be left on the coat.

By anon322158 — On Feb 26, 2013

The way to care for a mink coat, is to leave it on the body of a mink. You're participating in one of the largest forms of cruelty.

By honeybees — On Jun 24, 2012

My aunt gave me a mink coat before she moved to a nursing home. I love this coat, but rarely ever wear it, and it just sits in my closet.

I don't know if my aunt did anything special to take care of this coat or not. Another reason I don't like to wear it is because it smells like mothballs and I haven't been able to get rid of that smell.

She must have thought she was storing it the right way when she used mothballs. I need to take it to a professional cleaner, but it still hangs in my closet.

If I thought I would wear it on a regular basis, I would probably be more motivated to get it done. I don't want to spend a bunch of money on it and then never wear it anywhere.

For those of you who own mink coats, where do you usually wear them?

By andee — On Jun 23, 2012

I almost ruined my mink fur coat and found out I was doing everything wrong. I stored it just like I did my other coats during the summer, and still can't believe how careless I was with this coat.

I had it stored in a plastic bag in a cedar closet. I had no idea these were two of the biggest mistakes you can make. When I took it to a special cleaner, he said he didn't know if he would be able to get the odor out or not.

He also said storing mink coats in a plastic bag was one of the worst things you could do. Even if they are stored in air conditioned homes, I was told there was too much humidity in the air. This makes the leather backing on the coat get dry and crack.

Once I realized the right way of taking care of my coat, I have been doing things much differently. I feel like a million bucks when I wear this coat, and would have been sick if I had let it get ruined.

By John57 — On Jun 23, 2012

I never realized it was best to store something like a mink coat in such cool temperatures. Keeping something at 50 degrees sounds almost cold to me, but it does make sense when you realize you dealing with real mink fur.

I have had a couple of faux fur coats, but have never been able to afford a real fur coat. With my faux coats, I have them cleaned once a year and just keep them at the back of the closet when I am not wearing them.

I think it would be a luxury to own a mink fur coat. Even when I put my fake fur coats on, I like how they feel. I can imagine how much nicer that would be if they were real fur.

By LisaLou — On Jun 22, 2012

I have never owned a real fur coat, but my grandma has a mink coat that was given to her as a gift many years ago.

This coat still looks brand new and I know she takes really good care of it. When she is done wearing it for the season, she will always have it professionally cleaned. She says this will make it look shiny and new again.

She doesn't store her mink coat at home during the summer season. She pays to have it stored at a special place. This sounds like a lot of work and expense to keep a coat looking nice, but I know how much she loves wearing this coat on special occasions.

It would be sad to have an expensive, beautiful coat like this and let it get ruined because you didn't take proper care of it.

By SteamLouis — On Jun 21, 2012

@ddljohn-- Oh boy! I never had an odor issue with my white, mink fur coat because I always use a special cotton garment bag to store it. It has its own spot in the closet. But I have made other mistakes and almost ruined the coat because of it.

Once I was stuck in rain with my mink fur coat on and it got completely soaked in the rain. When I got home, I hung it up in the open in my room and used a towel to remove some of the excess water. But it was still wet and I started to worry that if I left it moist, mold would grow in it. I made the mistake of drying it with a hair dryer!

Thankfully, I stopped after about ten minutes because I realized that in the areas I dried, the fur was losing its shape and becoming stiff! I'm still so angry with myself! I ended up hanging it in my balcony where it got more air. It dried by morning and I saved my coat.

By fify — On Jun 20, 2012

@ddljohn-- I had that same problem with my used fur coats as well. You definitely can't sell your mink coat with that musty smell! You have to do something about it.

With my fur coat, I followed my mother's advice which was the freezing and coffee bean method. I put the coat into a plastic bag and then into the freezer for three or four days. Apparently this kills mites and mites are one of the reasons for bad odor.

Afterward, I took the coat out, put it in a large box and then put a bag of coffee beans into the box. I left the bag open, but it didn't touch the fur. Coffee is great at absorbing odors and after a few days, the musty smell was replaced with the scent of coffee. Then, I aired out the fur coat until the coffee scent also disappeared.

You can try the same. But if you don't want to do this yourself and risk your coat smelling like coffee, you can always take it to a professional cleaner instead. Whatever you do, just make sure to store the coat nicely with enough ventilation afterward.

By ddljohn — On Jun 20, 2012

Is there any way at all to get odor out of a mink fur coat?

I have one that I stored at my grandparent's house a long time ago. I know that was a bad idea but I didn't even know that there is such a thing as a fur refrigerator.

Anyway, I was going through my stuff this weekend and found the coat. It still looks really nice and is in wearable condition. But unfortunately, it has absorbed the odor of my grandparent's basement. You know, the odor of an old house.

I'm not sure if I will wear it again since I live in a warm climate now. But I had paid a lot of money for it back in the day and I know that fur mink coats are in fashion again. I would like to re-sell it or if nothing else, donate it so that someone else can use it. But I can't do that while it has this odor.

I hope there is a way to get the odor out! Please help if you have any suggestions!

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