LAUNDRY 101: How to Wash Woolens and Sweaters

As long as the manufacturers’ labels don’t forbid it, there’s no reason not to wash sweaters at home. Keep these tips in mind for best results.

Machine washing: Many knits made of synthetics, cotton, or blends are fine for your washer. Use cold water on a gentle cycle and a detergent that’s safe for machine-washable delicates. Wool, delicate knits, or embellished items should be washed in a zip-up mesh laundry bag—the item should fit loosely in the bag for best cleaning. To dry, lay flat on a mesh sweater rack or a towel.

Hand washing: Start with cold water and a tiny splash of delicates-friendly liquid detergent. Squeeze the sudsy water through the fabric. Never rub or twist, doing so can stretch the shape. To rinse, drain the sink then gently squeeze water from the sweater. Refill the sink with clean water and gently swish the sweater to rinse away the detergent; repeat until water runs clear and then gently squeeze excess water from garment. Lay the sweater flat on a clean towel and roll it up to press out excess moisture. Then lay the sweater flat on a fresh towel until dry, away from sunlight and heat.