When it comes to your sweaters and coats, it’s best to treat a stain right when it happens and I personally have had the most success removing stains by applying The Laundress Stain Solution directly on the stain and letting it sit overnight so it dries.
This typically works best for food related stains but some more stubborn stains I like to use a Stain Brush so you can really work the solution into the fabric. You should always use the warmest possible water for your fabric type. For some stains, pouring hot water from a height will do the trick. The force of the water and the heat combined can work magic.
For really stubborn stains, you may need to repeat a few times to completely remove the spot. You can also try applying The Laundress’ All-Purpose Bleach Alternative on top of the Stain Solution and then gently working it into a paste. Let it sit for a while and then rinse out completely until you see the stain lift. The nontoxic, biodegradable formula is a an alternative to chlorine bleach and is color safe.
Cashmere is by far my most favorite material and one that actually gets better the more you wear and wash it. Most people are surprised to learn that not only can you launder these textiles at home without dry cleaning but it’s actually much better for the piece!
Home care means less strain on the material so the garment lasts longer. I like to use a pH-neutral cashmere specific wash like The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Shampoo so it gets even softer. I typically hand wash one at a time, but at the end of the season I’ll do a load of them on the gentle cycle and use a mesh bag so they don’t get misshapen from the washing machine.
This technique also works well for hats, scarves and other accessories.
To hand wash or to machine wash, that is the question
I never put my sweaters in the dryer and typically if I wash them in the washer, it’s on a gentle or delicate cycle with warm water (technically, knits should be laundered in warm water). Then, I lay them flat on a towel (never hang since it will cause them to get misshapen) and let them air dry. Or you can invest in a fancy sweater drying rack like this one.
If you do hand wash, I like to lay my sweater out on a towel and fold it up, then squeeze gently to remove as much water as you can! Twisting can stretch the material. And of course lay flat till dry.
Silk is one of my most favorite fabrics to wear year round. It keeps you cool and the summer and makes an amazing layering piece that keeps you insulated in the cold.
I have two silk tanks that I rotate in the winter & summer so it’s good to give them and end of season soak. I use a Delicate Wash in the sink and use cool water making sure I don’t soak for longer than 30 mins. The Stain Brush comes in handy here too as I do not use my usual let-it-dry-overnight technique. Letting the soap sit can stain silk so you need to wash off immediately.
After you silk is clean I use the same towel fold and roll technique then air dry. Silk is fine to let hang on a rack and I prefer the fold out wooden type. I also always find a sunny spot in the house since I find they dry a bit faster there!
Coats are one of those things that are a bit tricky to wash without dry-cleaning but I have a few tricks up my sleeves that I want to share!
First, I like to only wash when needed and do spot treatments using a bit of Stain Solution or a Wash & Stain Bar and a Stain Brush to really work out the stain. Typically the cuffs of my sleeves are where I need to treat stains the most so that’s what I end up washing before I pack them away. If you do spot wash you can either hang to dry or lie flat.
Second, if the whole coat needs a wash I like to do it in the bathtub. Fill with lukewarm water and Wool & Cashmere Shampoo and agitate the coat with your hands and let it sit for 30 minutes and rinse till clean. Use the same fold and roll towel technique and lay flat to dry!
If your coat or sweater is stain free I like to give it a little refresh before I pack It away. I spray mine with some cedar scented Wool & Cashmere Spray that removes odors, plus the cedar helps deter any moths from nibbling on your prized sweaters!
I like to de-pill all of my sweaters before I pack them away so they look new when I bring them out next fall. I also can’t believe I lived most of my life not knowing about Sweater Stones! If you too suffer from pills on your clothing then this is your answer! It’s basically just a pumice stone that you use almost like sandpaper to easily remove pilling. You can see
in the pic above how well it worked on my beloved squiggle sweater! Simply glide across the pilled area in one direction.
The Sweater Stone is best on chunkier knits. If you have a more delicate, finer gauge pieces to depill, the Sweater Comb is the best option. Honestly this is such a satisfying fun thing to do! Also works on many other pieces that pill just test a small area first to make sure it doesn’t snag.
By the time fall hits, you will be so happy you spent a little extra time taking to care for your clothes. It’s almost bittersweet packing away these pieces but I live for the summer anyway!
Thanks for reading and I hope you found these tips helpful!