I’ve been meaning to do this post for so long and after a ton of requests it is finally here. Clearly, I’m not an expert but this is how I have been taking care of my sweaters for years and it works.
I love sweaters of all kinds and have accumulated quite a few over the years. And some of my favorite ones are years and years because I take care of them.
One of the biggest complains I hear about sweaters is “it pills” which immediately makes it a terrible sweater. No, it doesn’t. There are many reasons sweaters pill. Like things rubbing against the sweater which will create those slightly-annoying-fuzzballs-thanks-to-the-short-fibers-in-your-sweater. But they’re so easy to remove. Put on your favorite Netflix show and removing those fuzz balls will be your new favorite relaxing activity.
- Remove pills
Whether we like it or not, most sweaters will pill. And those annoying pills do make the sweaters look old. One of my cashmere sweaters showed major pilling after only a few hours of wear, which surprised me a little as my other cashmere sweaters don’t pill much or it takes a long time for them to show any pills. But it’s so easy to remove pills mess free. I say mess free because there are multiple options to remove pills but the easiest, fastest way is to use a battery operated shaver. I love this pill remover or this one (I’ve been using them for years). This little gadget works like a charm. It removes pill fast and easy. Make sure you lay your sweater nice and flat as some pill removers can be a tad aggressive and make a hole in more delicate sweaters. And don’t press down hard on the sweater. Start light and easy (I used to have a pill shaver years ago that did that, but most have improved to prevent accidents like that. But still be careful).
- Hand wash
I hand wash many of my sweaters, especially cashmere and wool.* I know, it’ not fun. But I prefer that over taking them to dry cleaners. For one, they’re expensive and two they use chemicals. While hand washing is not my favorite thing to do, it makes them last longer and keeps the fabric in tact. I love Laundress Products (free shipping) and use this detergent for most of my sweaters. If I’m washing multiple sweaters at once, that are similar in color, I fill the bathtub (a small plastic bin works too) with water and detergent, swirl the sweaters around a few times and then let them soak for about 20-30 min. Otherwise sink will do if it’s just one sweater. Rinse them and gently squeeze out the water. You can also roll the sweater into a towel to absorb the water. Then I dry them on this Laundry Drying Rack (you can put a large towel under the sweaters). Or lay them flat on your dinning room table with a towel underneath if you prefer that. I love the drying rack and use it even more for my other items of clothing that I don’t want to give a chance of getting ruined in the dryer (delicates, certain jeans etc.).
- Always check the label for washing though. Usually any sweaters that require dry-cleaning I will end up hand washing. The only thing I dry clean are coats and some dresses.
- Other sweaters I wash on gentle cycle. Some that might have any jewels on them I’ll throw in one of these mash bags (which come in handy for other delicate pieces too or anything you don’t want to get caught on a zipper in the wash…like your favorite tees!).
- Use appropriate laundry detergent and avoid using fabric softeners (the above mentioned Laundress products are my go-to for all my delicate laundry.
- Know when to wash
Unless you’ve been sweating or have a stain, there is no need to wash your sweater after just one or two wears. Even if it’s a small stain, it’s a good idea to spot treat instead. It is ok to wear it a few times especially if you wear a tee underneath. I think that’s much easier done during cold months. But a thin tee will protect the sweater from sweating, body oils etc. and extend the life of your knits.
Easy as that to extend the life of your sweaters. And when you’re ready to store your sweaters make sure they’re clean and preferably in a breathable box. These cedar storage boxes already has month protection. At least use these to store your favorite sweaters. Some of my random sweaters, that I wouldn’t be overly sad about, I store in a plastic bins and they are fine. I do throw in a moth repellant in there just in case.
Share some of your tips with me in the comments below.