Your closet is probably filled with sweaters suitable for each and every weather condition—wools for frigid winters and cottons for warmer months and air conditioning. Knowing how to care for sweaters and keep them in good condition doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.

how to care for sweaters- man in sweater looking out over a forest

10 TIPS TO CARE FOR SWEATERS

Read The Label

Silly as it sounds, you’d be surprised at how many people don’t read the label telling you how to care for sweaters. Read the label before purchasing a sweater! The manufacturer will tell you whether the sweater can be hand or machine-washed on a delicate cycle or dry-cleaned only. Dry cleaning means dollar signs so make sure your budget can handle it.

Less Is More

Sweaters, like suits, can be worn several times before it is necessary to wash or have them cleaned. Unless they are stained or not smelling fresh as a daisy, they’ll be just fine and last longer.

Remove Stains A.S.A.P.

Blot a stain—never rub it into the material. Rinse the spot with a little cool water then treat it according to the type of stain.

Scrape It Off

If you don’t catch the stain right away, use your fingernail or a butter knife to scrape away the excess. You may need a dry cleaner to remove the stain completely.

Separate Colors

This is a no-brainer. Similar colors should be washed together—darks with darks, light colors with light colors and whites separate.

Soak It Up

When washing cotton sweaters, allow them to soak in cool water and a gentle liquid detergent or baby shampoo for at least 30 minutes. Chemicals in harsh detergents will shorten the life of the knit fibers.

Don’t Wring It Out

After rinsing a sweater never wring out the water! Squeeze it out by playing it on a towel and rolling it up like a sleeping bag. Unroll it then lay it flat on a dry towel or mesh drying rack, “blocking” it into its original shape.

Skip The Hangers

Unless you want to stretch your sweater, fold it, don’t hang it up. Dry cleaners send them back on a hanger but they fold them lengthwise by matching the shoulders together and use tissue paper to prevent hanger marks. If you’re short on shelf space, here’s another method for hanging.

Store With Cedar

Knits make delectable meals for pesky moths. Mothballs do work but anyone within smelling distance will know you use them as soon as you put on your sweater. Cedar is a better option. It will do the job safely without the odor.

Shave it Off

There’s no getting around it—sweaters tend to pill with age. Fabric shavers solve the problem, won’t break the bank and keep your sweaters looking new.

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