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How to Wash Wool and Cashmere Clothing at Home

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Wool and cashmere clothing—— so soft, so luxurious, yet so daunting to care for, right? When it comes to caring for our clothing at home and pairing down our wardrobe for the Spring and Summer, I think it’s important to know how to wash wool and cashmere at home, because who wants to pay all those dry cleaning bills anyway?

hands holding a pile of folded wool and cashmere sweaters

Tis the season for swapping out our winter knits, heavy coats, and lace up boots for something lighter, cooler, and maybe just a tad cheerier for the warmer months ahead! So let’s jump in, shall we?

How do I know which clothes I can hand wash at home?

The first step in learning how to wash wool and cashmere clothing at home is assessing what you actually can wash! A lot of garments say dry clean only, but don’t actually need to be dry cleaned, so they can just be washed very gently. I try to use my best judgement in these situations. For example, I can hand wash some delicate sweaters, but I’m probably not going to throw my wedding dress in the bathtub, ha! I also hand wash many other garments like cotton and linen, and don’t get me wrong, they can go in the washer if need be, but if I really love a piece, I’ll go the extra mile to ensure it stays in wonderful condition!

Prepping My Clothes

Once I know which pieces I am going to hand wash, I will separate them by darks, colors, and whites…and I primarily wear lighter colors anyway, so it’s usually one big neutral party for me! The preparation phase usually involves treating any stains, getting the wash bin or bathtub ready, and separating clothes! I start by using this stain solution from The Laundress. It works amazing! I have had one case where it actually ended up lightening the fabric, but that was because it was on a couch cushion cover, and I did not authorize that treatment. Never let anyone else do the spot treatment, ladies!

bottle of wool and cashmere shampoo sitting on a bathtub ledge

What should I wash my clothes in?

I have always just washed my clothes in our bathtub, and it works great, although if I had a utility sink or other sort of wash bin vessel, I would certainly use those as well. All you need is something to put the clothing in, running water, and some soap to get the ball rolling! I fill up the bathtub about halfway with cold to lukewarm water, and two capfuls of this wool and cashmere shampoo. If washing other materials such as cotton or linen, I love to use this soap because the scent is so lovely and makes the process just that much more enjoyable! Making sure to use a gentle, natural soap is key. So, now that this is all settled, here are the exact steps on how to wash wool and cashmere clothing at home!

girl hand washing wool and cashmere sweaters in bathtub

Step-by-step Guide for Hand Washing Wool and Cashmere

  • prepare by treating stains
  • fill the tub with water and a bit of soap
  • submerge like colors in water, gently “swishing” around with your hands
  • use hands to delicately scrub out any tough spots
  • let soak in water for about thirty minutes
  • drain tub
  • use cold water and rinse each garment individually, getting all the soapy suds out
  • gently squeeze water out, and be sure to never wring or twist the garment
  • for knits and delicates, lay flat to dry—— otherwise, hang dry
hand washing wool sweater

I’ve finished hand washing my clothes, now what?

Once I finish with hand washing and air drying my clothes, I begin with the finishing touches, which are personally my favorite part! I like to keep a fabric spray on hand to spritz my clothes with a refreshing scent before tucking them away because who doesn’t love a good smelling shirt? I personally use this wool and cashmere fabric spray, and I love the scent, however, another great option would be to create your own sort of fabric perfume with essential oils. Both are great options! Just a few sprays makes a world of a difference the next time I pull out my garments to wear! Also, be sure to give them a proper fold or hang them well to keep them from wrinkling, and to keep them in good condition.

How to Remove Sweater Pills on Wool and Cashmere

For my wool and cashmere sweaters, this is likely the most crucial step in maintaining their quality. Ever get those little fuzz balls that appear on the most high touch areas of your knits? Those little balls of fuzz are called pills, and while they are super pesky and can instantly make a sweater look worn down, they can actually be very easily removed! It’s quick and honestly pretty satisfying too. Just follow these simple steps below and you’ll be good to go!

hands using a depilling sweater comb on cashmere sweater
  • Lay the garment flat on a sturdy surface, like a table.
  • Grab a de-pilling sweater comb, like this one here.
  • Use one hand to gently pull taut the area you want to work on.
  • Gently glide the sweater comb over the area with pills, in one sweeping motion. Do this multiple times over the same area.
  • Repeat these steps on all areas of the sweater until all pills are removed.
  • You’re done! Good job!

The Final Step to Caring for Wool and Cashmere

Congratulations on making it this far into the process! I hope you have enjoyed learning this fun and valuable skill set. Now that you’ve successfully washed your wool and cashmere clothing at home, it’s time to properly store them! To keep sweaters and knits in their best condition, always fold, never hang, as hanging can cause the fibers to stretch! Nobody wants a loose sweater, right? I could chat forever about how to best store these delicate garments, and I don’t want to bore you with that. So here is a guide I like to refer to! Overall, keep your clothing in good condition and it will thank you with every wear!

hands spraying wool and cashmere spray on cashmere sweater

Thank you so much for reading! If you want to see a quick video on how to wash wool and cashmere, click here! If you try out your new skillset, take a photo and tag me on Instagram! I’d love to see your homemaking hand washing goodness! Until next time!


wool and cashmere fabric spray laying on top of sweaters, overhead shot

If you’re still in the Spring cleaning mood, check out my latest blog post all about cleaning, including the perfect Spring cleaning checklist!

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