Here's how to properly wash your knitwear

Washing knitwear can be confusing. Machine cycle? Handwash? Dry cleaners? Here is how to finally get your jumpers clean.

Wash your delicate knit jumpers with these top tips
© Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on
Wash your delicate knit jumpers with these top tips

Do you also pause and hesitate each time you load laundry into the washing machine and come across a knitwear piece? Your instincts are right - the wrong type of care can completely ruin the knit garment by shrinking and deforming it. As it turns out, learning what materials your knitwear is made of and reading the labels with washing instructions is essential, but even that is not enough. Here is how to avoid the knit disaster.

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Knitwear from most high-street brands

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Unless you only buy expensive, dry-clean-only knitwear, chances are your sweaters are made of a mix of viscose, nylon or polyester, which are fairly easy to take care of. To preserve their shape and prevent bobbling, wash these synthetic fibres inside out. Avoid using a tumble dryer as they can shrink slightly. Carefully hang them on an airer.

Here is how to wash mohair knits

Mohair is always washed by hand. The easiest way to do it is to fill up the bath or sink with lukewarm water, add a hand wash solution, and soak it, gently rubbing the stains if there are any. Stay away from harsh washing powders as they are harmful to this fabric.

Here is how to wash wool

Wool will keep you warmer than synthetics but it is slightly harder to take care of. Though it can be machine washed, hot water will shrink the wool, so always use Wool mode with 30 degrees setting. Opt for non-biological washing tablets as the biological formulas can eat into the fabric and leave you with holes. Wash wool inside out, and if you're cleaning an expensive or much-loved jumper, invest in a special wool wash solution.

How To Wash Cashmere

Cashmere is very expensive, so you certainly don’t want to ruin it. Most pieces made of this luxury fabric will say on the label that they must be dry-cleaned, although some modern cashmere can be machine-washed. If you are particularly attached to your garment and don’t want to risk it, hand-wash it in 30 degrees warm waterwith cashmere shampoo.

You can protect this and other delicate fabrics from too much roughness and tumble in a net bag, or if you don’t have one, a loosely tied pillowcase.

Here is how to dry knitwear

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Air drying your knitwear is best. It won't just save on your electricity bill, it will also protect your jumper from turning doll-sized. Use your washing machine's spin cycle to drain excess water. Then peg jumpers upside down onto your airer so that you don't get any lines across the middle, or peg marks near the neck. Never hang up soaking wet knitwear - the weight of the water will drag it out of shape.

Here is how to remove stains from knitwear

Speed is key. Blot stains immediately, then use a stain remover bar. Apply, leave for a few minutes, and then delicately hand-wash or put on a quick wool wash cycle.

Sources used:

- Grazia: 'How To Wash Your Jumpers Properly, Without Having To Call Your Mum For Help'

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