Expert Tips to Make Your Winter Sweaters and Knits Last

The first thing we do when it starts to get cold in earnest is kick out all our beloved wool sweaters! It’s great the feeling of having them on and slowly warming up, especially on particularly frosty days, isn’t it? However, since they have surely accumulated a small amount of dust, you need to refresh and wash them before putting them in the closet. Let’s see together how to do a thorough washing of sweaters!

Washing in the washing machine

Some types of sweaters can be machine washed, partly because modern appliances allow for very gentle and light cycles. However, it is always a good idea to use ingredients indicated to not ruin the fabric, to refresh it and soften it so that it does not have the “sandpaper” effect when you wear it. Let’s see together which ones are the most suitable!

  • Baking soda

The first one could only be our dear baking soda, perfect in case of delicate garments! I recommend it especially for white or very light-colored sweaters as it can also give shine and color. All you have to do is put 1 scoop of the product inside the basket of the washing machine start washing. I recommend moderate temperatures and washing without excessive spinning.

  • Bar soap

If I recommend baking soda, I can’t help but also recommend bar soap! This old Grandma’s trick is ideal not only for having sweaters free of dust and dirt, but it is also great for spreading a nice scent. All you need to do is cut 1 tablespoon of bar soap into flakes and put it in the detergent tub. Start a wash at a temperature that allows the flakes to dissolve and see what a fantastic result!

  • Natural fabric softener

My last tip for having perfect sweaters before wearing them is to use a natural fabric softener! You can prepare it at home by dissolving 1/3 lb. of citric acid in 1 quart of water, then you will need to add 10 drops of essential oil to your liking and that’s it! Put ½ cup of the product at each wash in the special softener tub and you will see what a wonderful result! The alternative use 1 cup of white vinegar with 1 teaspoon of essential oil always in the softener tub and you will have a great method to use in the absence of citric acid.

  • Hand washing

Not all sweaters are suitable for machine washing, so let’s look at how to do proper hand washing and especially what ingredients to use! Many are also common to those for the washing machine, however you will need to adjust your doses well, so you don’t make a mistake and ruin the fabric. Remember to pre-treat any stains with baking soda before soaking.

  • White vinegar

White vinegar is great for hand washing because it not only cleans thoroughly but, as we saw earlier, also makes the sweater soft. So, you only need to fill a basin with cold water and soak the sweater with 1 glass of vinegar. If you have dark sweaters and want to brighten the color, use apple cider vinegar and the result will be amazing! Rinse the sweater several times and then lay it out without wringing it out too much.

Lemon juice

Similarly to vinegar, lemon also has many properties that will make you love it for hand-washing sweaters! First of all, we are talking about a very versatile citrus fruit that refreshes and gives an intoxicating scent, but it also has a softening action that is no match for industrial detergents. So, press and strain well the juice of one lemon, then put it in the basin with cold water and let the sweaters soak for a few hours. Afterwards rinse and let dry-they will be perfect!

  • Bar soap

We have seen it for machine washing, but bar soap is so valuable that we have to mention it here too! In fact, in ancient times it was the only ingredient that was used, especially for washing whites and making them shiny and spotlessly clean. You will need to soak the sweaters in cold water and 1 tablespoon of soap flakes. Always remember to rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue.

  • To soften

If your sweaters are particularly hard, then there is a need for a specific remedy to soften the fibers. What I suggest is to soak it for several hours in milk, you will need to cover it entirely with the drink and go and massage it occasionally. Then wring out gently and put in the washing machine or do a hand wash (even better, so you avoid the spin cycle). Alternatively, you can dampen the sweater with warm water and run some hair conditioner over it, massaging occasionally and soaking. Either way you will see that it will be softer!


For always thorough and effective washing, I recommend reading the labels sewn on the clothes with all the necessary directions.

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