Can You Really Wash That Sweater?

Can You Really Wash That Sweater?


Yes, many of our sweaters can be hand-washed. 

Read the care labels and you'll find that, in most cases, merino wool, cashmere, alpaca, and mohair sweaters can be hand washed.

Step 1:

Fill a basin, sink, bathtub, or large container with cold water. Add a mild soap, preferably a nonpetroleum, eco-friendly detergent. I have been using True Laundry.

Step 2:

Turn the sweater inside out, cover it with water and swirl gently, taking care to avoid stretching the fabric. Soak in water for about 10 minutes.

Step 3:

Drain the basin and refill it with cold water. Gently swish the sweater back and forth in clean water to rinse out the soap. Repeat this step as many times as needed until the soap is gone.

Step 4:

Drain the basin and gently press the sweater to remove excess water. Do not wring or twist, as the fibers are very delicate when wet.

Obviously, if you are nervous about handwashing your sweater then don’t. Personally, I have not used dry cleaner in 25 years other than a few winter coats.



Dry Cleaning was invented in NYC in 1821. Thomas Jennings owned a Dry Cleaing business and was the first black man in the United States to be granted a patent.

The credit for being the first commercial dry cleaner goes to the firm of Jolly-Belin, which opened in 1825 in Paris, according to the Handbook of Solvents. In Paris, of course, fashion was an important part of society. They soaked the clothes in vats filled with turpentine. Next, they put them into a predecessor to the washing machine. They air-dried the clothes so the turpentine could evaporate.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.