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Lori, Internet Researcher
Category: Medical
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I need to know how to clean my mink stole.

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I purchased a used mink stole. There is no one in my town who cleans furs. I don't feel that there is some magic to cleaning furs--it is probably hand done and that is why it costs so much. I am willing to spend the time but do not want to ruin my mink by doing something wrong to clean it.Can you tell me what to use and the best way to clean it myself? I only paid $35 dollars for the stole and would rather not pay an equal amount to clean it--especially if I can do it myself. Thank you


Wow! Seems no one wants you to clean your mink stole at home! I have searched dozens and dozens of sight to no avail. I even called a local furrier and they said, in no uncertain terms, Leave it to the PROFESSIONAL!! Seems they do a lot more than we thought. Apparently furs are cleaned by abrasion rather than immersion. It is recommended that they are cleaned once a year. During this time, furriers will also add back essential oils that the fur has lost over the year. Professional storage is also recommended during hot summer months because even an air conditioned house is considered too humid for the fur. Here is a list of the things the professional will do to clean the fur:

1. They are examined for age and condition, to see if there are any rips or tears that need repairing and to see if they are strong enough to go into the fur-cleaning drum.

2. Linings are hand-cleaned, and spots are removed from the fur.

3. Coats are placed in a large drum with sawdust and tumble treated with an environmentally safe cleaning solution. Sometimes instead of sawdust, walnut shells or pumice are used.

4. They're placed in a cage with a vacuum attached, to tumble the furs and remove the sawdust.

5. They're removed from the cage and hand-steamed to remove further sawdust from hems and other hiding places.

6. They go through a process called ironing, glazing or electrifying. They are placed by hand into a machine that irons it with rollers. Instead of flattening the fur, as it would appear to, the hairs are lifted, separated and returned to a uniform direction. Think of what static electricity does to your own hair.

7. Finishers examine the coat, checking it yet again for any problem spots, which are repaired.

8. Coats are steamed and linings checked one more time before they're handed over to their owners.

Now, all that being said--I did find one person who buys old, inexpensive furs to make stuffed animals with. She says that you can gently rub cornmeal into the fur and then brush it out with a cat brush. I really have no experience with that process, so I can't said definitively that it will work. But I can understand your not wanting to pay an arm and a leg to get it cleaned. However, regardless of how much you paid when you purchased it, if you would like to enjoy it for years to come, you just might have to. In the meantime, when you wear it make sure your perfume is dry before you put it on so the alcohol in it doesn't dry it out. If you get some water on it from rain or snow, it's best to just shake it out and let it air dry. Fur, by it's nature, is best adapted to cold weather. And never store it in plastic wrap or anywhere that it can't breathe. Good luck!

Lori and 20 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Relist: No answer yet.
I received an E-mail saying that I had an answer however I cannot find the link to get to the answer.Please Help!!! My question is How do I clean a mink stole? I bought a used one and no-one in my town cleans mink--so I only paid $35 for the stole and would like to clean it myself.I did have a response to which I tried to get to but cannot .
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
I very much appreciate the response to my question and thank you for your dilligence. It seems that my computer for some reason was skipping over the answer and confused me as to where on the page I was reading. I do appreciate the concern that the "answerer" expressed on my cleaning the fur myself and will indeed probably in the summer--send it to the "big city" to be cleaned.I do however feel that I can clean it for my immediate use as it has no odor and just doesn't seem dirty. Again thank you I trust I have done the proper thing for you to get your money.