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How to Clean High School Jacket Vinyl Sleeves

By Lisa Finn ; Updated July 18, 2017

Your high school letterman's jacket signifies a special time. No doubt, you wore it to sporting events, academic decathlons and parties-- among other places. But what if, one day, you pull out your jacket, only to find the sleeves dirty and soiled? The good news is that no matter how many years have gone by, you can easily clean its vinyl sleeves. With just a few, simple household ingredients, your coveted jacket will be refreshed in no time.

Assess the Jacket

Lay the jacket flat on a clean surface. If the jacket hasn't seen the light of day in years, dust it off. Start from the shoulder and wipe the sleeves clean using a dry, soft cloth. It's best to wipe in small sections as you move downward. Also note if the rest of the jacket could use some attention. The wool vest with chenille letter covering can be cleaned with a lint roller or soft-bristle brush.

Gather Your Supplies

Figure out what exactly soiled the vinyl sleeves -- such as a spilled drink, dried food or sticky hairspray, for example. If the sleeves are lightly dirty and there are no obvious, large stains, simply use a soft cloth, liquid dish soap and some warm water. Tougher stains may require a little bit of household bleach and a soft cloth. It's best to use a small bowl to mix the water and solution. Refrain from pouring anything directly onto the vinyl sleeves.

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Cleaning Techniques

Mix a dollop of dish soap with 4 cups of warm water. Dip a soft-bristle brush into the solution. Start at the top of the sleeve and work downward with small strokes. Repeat on the other side. Wipe the sleeves clean with a wet sponge. In addition, leather wipes are also acceptable to use on vinyl sleeves. If the stains, such as lipstick, are more difficult to remove, mix a solution of 10 percent bleach and 90 percent water. Dip a soft cloth into the solution and wipe the sleeves clean. Rinse the sleeves with a water-dampened cloth.

Storing Your Jacket

When it's time to store your jacket again, choose a cool, dry closet or room that has proper air ventilation and is removed from direct sunlight. Attics and basements, for example, tend to be vulnerable to moths, insects, mold and mildew. Make sure to hang the jacket, as folding can cause permanent creases and unsightly marks. If hanging is not possible, try rolling the jacket, starting at the neckline.

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