Having the knowledge of how to wash sweaters is a helpful skill. Whether you have a nasty stain on your sweater or are trying to store them as winter is coming to an end, you can deal with them in no time, and we’re here to show you how.
Why Is It Important?
There are many reasons why knowing how to wash sweaters is essential. Not only can it help you save money, but it can also help you prepare for all your future encounters with sweaters. This section will elaborate on these reasons.
- You can save more money: The first importance of knowing how to wash sweaters is that you can save more money washing them at home. Most people leave their sweaters for dry cleaning, and we can say that it’s too expensive, primarily if you only use a couple of sweaters. If you know how to wash sweaters at home, you can save yourself a trip to the dry cleaners and save money simultaneously.
- You can safely keep your sweaters after winter: Knowing how to wash sweaters will help you safely store them once winter ends. Before storing your sweater, it’s essential to ensure that they are all clean so that all sweaters will be fresh once you take them out again. Please do not keep them in cloth bags since moths can get into them.
- No need to stress out when dealing with stains: With the knowledge of cleaning sweaters, you won’t have to stress out when there’s a stain on your favorite sweater. You can act quickly and deal with it calmly, even if you are out and about.
By Hand Washing
The first method of washing sweaters is hand washing. This process is recommended for sweaters since hand washing prevents any stretching or deformation on the fabric. Check out the instructions below if you want to know more about this process.
Materials you need
- Stain remover
- Cold water
- Small tub
- Rubber gloves
- Absorbent towel
- The first thing you need to do is check for any visible stains on your sweater. If there is one, you need to pre-treat it with a store-bought stain remover. Grab a small piece of cloth and use it to dab the stain remover on the stained area. Make sure you don’t brush it too hard, and repeat the process until the stain is removed.
- Next, prepare the tub and fill it with cold water. Add half a teaspoon of detergent (or more, depending on the label). Be sure to add only a little detergent since it will be hard to remove the suds entirely later on. Then, grab a pair of rubber gloves and put them on.
- Once the water and detergent are ready, the next thing to do is submerge the sweater. Leave the sweater there for five minutes, completely soaked. Do not wring them as it can cause the fibers to be stretched; the same thing with scrubbing.
- After five minutes, replace the water with new ones and gently rinse the sweater. Do it repeatedly until the water is free of suds and completely clear. Once you’re done, drain the tub and squeeze the sweater until you can remove as much as possible. Again, do not wring the sweater.
- The penultimate step is to lay the sweater on an absorbent towel. Be sure that it’s flat to avoid piling. Next, firmly roll the sweater and towel together. After rolling, lay the sweater on another dry towel in a spacious area with its arms extended.
- Lastly, reshape the sweater by pushing the ribbing together and leaving it to dry for at least 24 hours. After that, flip it and leave it again for another 24 hours.
By Washing Machine
Another method you can try if you don’t want to do things manually is putting the sweater in the washing machine. Although it’s not much recommended because of its ability to stretch out clothes if you choose the wrong setting, it can still save you more time and energy. Read the instructions below for more information.
Materials you need
- Mesh bag
- Stain remover
- Cold water
- Absorbent towel
- As we did before in the hand washing method, you must start by pretreating the stain. Dab the stained area gently with a clean cloth and stain remover. Do it repeatedly until the color is not visible anymore.
- Once you remove all the stains from the sweater, take your mesh laundry bag and put the sweater inside. If you’re washing multiple sweaters at once, put them in separate mesh bags. This step will help your sweater retain its original shape and reduce piling.
- The next step is to put cold water and a small amount of detergent in your washing machine. Make sure that the temperature is set to cold. In terms of setting, choose either perm press or gentle wash. Then you can add your sweater inside. Let the machine run and stop it before it starts the spin cycle since it can stretch and reshape your sweater.
- The last step is to lay the sweater on a dry, absorbent towel to absorb excess moisture. Same as before, roll them together firmly before placing them on top of another dry towel where you can leave them to dry for 24 hours on each side. After that, your sweater is ready for storage or use.
Helpful Tips to Consider
Since we’ve already given a breakdown of the processes of how you can wash your sweaters at home, we thought about giving you guys some helpful tips along the way. These items below will help make the process easier for you so that you can finish the process, without any stress, in no time. Check out this video below for more information also.
- No matter how often we emphasize it, people must remember to use the proper temperature, especially when dealing with stains. As we have already said in the instructions above, only use cold water. Using anything warmer may result in the shrinking of the fabric, which causes reshaping.
- To prevent dye transfers, separate the colors of the sweaters you’re about to wash. Wash them in batches depending on their color.
- Invest in a sweater drying rack if you are too stressed about the time and space you need to dry a single sweater. This effectively reduces about 75% of the time you manually dry the sweater.
- Before you start the process, you can trace the outline of your sweater on a piece of plain or kraft paper. This way, you will know what the sweater should look like after the whole washing process. If the washing process reshapes and stretches your sweater, you can use the traced guide to help return it to its original shape.
- You may see your sweater’s label indicating it’s safe to put it inside the dryer. Whatever happens, please do not put it inside since the heat can make the fiber shrink and cause reshape.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we’ve discussed how to wash sweaters, let’s address some frequently asked questions. We’ve come up with three questions that some people might still want the answers to. Go ahead and check them out below.
How often should you wash your sweaters?
The best time to wash your sweater is every 2 to 5 weeks, but it will ultimately depend on how you use it and your environment. If you stay home and generally use the sweater to keep warm, you can use it for up to five weeks before washing it.
On the other hand, if you like going outside and using the sweater every time, we suggest washing it every week for safety. If your sweater is stained by any material, even though you passed it, do not hesitate to wash it immediately.
How to store sweaters properly?
Before you store any sweaters or knitwear, ensure they are spotless. They must be correctly folded before placing them into plastic tubs for safekeeping. It’s better to use plastic tubs than storage bags because the latter are more prone to moth bites which can eventually reach your clothes.
If you’re storing them to use later on, don’t hang them in your wardrobe. Heavy garments like sweaters can stretch out if hung, especially at the shoulders.
How to fix stretched cuffs on sweaters?
If you’re wondering how to fix the cuffs of your sweater, all you need to do is dip them in hot water. Blot the area before taking it out and placing it on a clean, absorbent towel. Next, set your blow-dryer to hot and dry it for three minutes. This process will tighten the fiber back and make them look okay again.
However, if you want something more permanent, you can purchase knitted elastic tape and stitch it inside the cuffs.
By the time you reach this point, you should already have mastered how to wash sweaters. No more worrying about dirty sweaters or how you will stash them away. Help your friends and family like we did with you by sharing this article with them.
Jessica Oliver is a fashion enthusiast with more than ten years of experience in the industry. She previously managed her own clothing store in New York before becoming a mother of three. With a passion for sustainability and a desire to share clothing care and recycling tips.