By the time winter begins to wane, you'll notice your sweaters don't look quite as lovely as they did at the beginning of the season. Between layering your favorite over everything you wear and rotating the same few because you love how they look with your leggings, the right laundry tips might be the only things standing between the "I love this" shelf and "time to donate" pile.
1. Take care of pilling
Even the best sweaters pill at least a little, no matter how careful you may be during wearing. You can purchase a product made solely for taking care of sweater pilling, but it’s not a must. One of the easiest ways to de-pill a sweater is to use a razor. You don’t need anything fancy, just an old-school plastic Bic. Pull the sweater taut and shave off the pills.
2. Break up with your hangers
Sweaters shouldn’t be hung in your closet. We know it’s tempting to line up all the colors of the rainbow, but a hanger is a sure way to get tell-tale pointy shoulders – not a good look for anyone. Fold or roll your sweaters and store them on a shelf or in a drawer. If you absolutely don’t have any other room for them, use a velvet hanger and fold them over the bar of the hanger. For an added layer of protection against the dreaded hanger crease, place some tissue paper between the sweater and the hanger.
3. Wash sparingly
Sweaters generally get layered over something, even if it’s only a camisole not everyone can see. You don’t have to wash them each time you wear them. Four wears between washing is a great rule of thumb. Of course there are exceptions, what we call the 3 s’s: sweat, spillage, and smoke. If you’re in a smoky location, start to sweat, or spill something on your sweater, don’t wait for an additional three wears. Cleaning it right away is your best bet for keeping your sweaters smelling as lovely as they look.
4. Wash with the right products
You don’t need to use a delicate wash on your sweaters – but it can’t hurt. We like our Ovación for our sweaters because of the restorative properties of the wash. We’ve tossed them in the washing machine on the delicate cycle, but truthfully prefer hand washing for our favorites. We use a small dish tub, lukewarm water, and a cool rinse.
5. Dry on a flat surface
Keeping sweaters flat while drying helps keep them in pristine shape. We love a mesh drying rack, like this one from The Container Store, for the job. To help the process move along a little more quickly, lay your sweater across an absorbent towel and roll it up like a sleeping bag for a few minutes. It helps get out some of the excess water without resorting to wringing – and stretching – out your sweaters.