Sweater Care: 10 Tips for a Long and Happy Life with Your Favorite Knits
It’s finally sweater weather!! Can you feel it? Time to pull out all those cute sweaters from storage or the back of your closet, you’ll be living in them for the next six months. The better you care for your pullovers and cardigans, the longer you’ll be able to snuggle with them. Here, our top 10 tips to extending their life. We’ve got you (literally) covered.
1. Wash your sweaters every 3-5 wears.
Sweaters are a little like jeans in this way. They can withstand a little more wear than your more delicate pieces, especially because they are often layered over tops and tees. Cotton, silk, and cashmere should be washed after three or four wears, while wool and wool blends can make it for five or more.
2. Follow the garment’s care labels.
Most cotton and cotton blends can be machine washed, while cashmere should always be hand washed or dry cleaned. If you choose to hand wash, use a mild detergent or soap like Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castille soap. Always dry clean wool or wool blends.
3. Let your sweaters air dry.
The trick to drying your sweaters quickly without throwing them in the dryer? Roll your sweater up in a towel like a sushi roll to ring out the water (never squeeze) and then lay it flat. Wet cashmere can take a couple of days to dry, so make sure you leave enough time before you want to wear it again. Another fun trick is to put your sweater in a salad spinner to spin off excess water. Then lay flat to dry.
4. Fold your sweaters to store them.
Ideally, you should always fold your sweaters and not hang them. Hanging them stretches out the shoulders and creates weird shapes. To save space when folding chunky knits, we recommend using the KonMari method. For more info on how to fold sweaters to minimize clutter and maximize space, check our tips here.
5. If you need to hang them, here’s how.
Fold the sweater in half. Place the hanger hook in the armpit, and fold the waist and sleeves over the hanger.
6. Make an itchy sweater impossibly soft.
Ever avoid wearing a gorgeous sweater because it’s just too itchy and uncomfortable? Soak it for 30 minutes in cold water with some liquid fabric softener.
7. Remove pilling like a pro.
Pilling is a pill. Shave your sweater with a cheap razor to show those little balls of fuzz who’s boss. We also love the Sweater Stone from The Laundress, which is a natural volcanic pumice stone that removes pills and renews the finish on heavier-knit items.
8. Fix snags or holes without going to the tailor.
Turn the sweater inside out. Using a sewing needle or crochet hook, pull the extra yarn through to the inside of the sweater. Knot the snag in place. Turn it right side out and it’s hidden from view!
9. Eliminate sweater moths.
The best thing you can do to prevent moth holes is to store your sweaters in garment bags. You can purchase them in bulk on Amazon or at The Container Store, or just use large zip-lock baggies.
10. Shrink up stretched cuffs
Place the misshapen cuff in a large cup of hot water. Reshape the cuff as needed. Dry with a hair dryer to help shrink back the cuff to its normal size.
Do you have any need-to-know sweater tricks? Let us know in the comments below!