Caring for Cashmere Guide: How to Wash Cashmere By Hand by 30Seconds Mom
The softness of cashmere in comparison to other wools is unrivaled, making it a popular luxury gift around the holidays. Breathable, comfortable and durable, it’s a staple item in any winter closet and so versatile that in terms of cost per wear, it may be worth investing in at least one.
There’s also nothing quite like celebrating sweater season with a few new cozy items to welcome in the chilly fall and winter days. Check out the cashmere collection from Quince; they have a sweater in almost every shape and size imaginable.
One of the main challenges of wearing cashmere is how to wash it. As cashmere is a delicate fabric, ordinary laundering can damage the natural fibers, sometimes shrinking the sweater to an unwearable doll-size. Here’s how to care for your cashmere so it stays in great condition:
Do I Need to Dry Clean Cashmere?
While the general advice on cleaning clothes is to always read the label, there are a few occasional exceptions. Many cashmere sweaters might read “dry clean only,” but you don’t necessarily have to, as long as you’re extra careful.
How Often Do I Need to Wash a Cashmere Sweater?
Frequent washing of cashmere or wool items isn’t a good idea, as this can damage the fibers that make up the yarn used to knit them. Instead, wash your wool items at the start of the fall season and toward the end of winter.
Measuring your sweater before washing actually gives you an idea of the size it should be after washing. Fabrics like cashmere can become distorted during laundering, so it’s important to make sure you know what size it ought to be once dry.
How to Wash Cashmere
Hand washing delicate items like cashmere is always safer, rather than throwing it in the machine and hoping for the best. Here’s how:
- Before you begin, separate out your colors as you normally would to avoid any dye being transferred onto other items.
- Next, fill a basin, sink or tub with cold (but not ice cold) water and add a few drops of a specially formulated wool detergent (baby shampoo can be a good substitute, as cashmere wool is technically hair, which means baby shampoo will be just as gentle to your sweaters).
- Submerge your sweater in the water and swirl around for about 30 seconds. Let the items soak for 30 minutes before rinsing with cold water from the faucet.
- Drain the dirty water and rinse again with cool, clean water.
How to Dry Cashmere
Never wring out a cashmere sweater, as this can also distort the shape of the garment. Instead, gently press your sweater into a ball to squeeze out excess moisture. Once it’s damp (rather than soaking), lay it on a dry towel and carefully reshape according to the measurements you took earlier.
Fold the towel in half over the sweater before rolling with the sweater inside. Gently roll back and forth until most of the water is gone, and repeat with a fresh towel and lay flat on another towel or flat drying rack until completely dry.