The Right Way To Wash Your Wool Sweaters With A Touch Of Vinegar

Wool sweaters are a cold weather stable, and if you can get past their itchiness, the organic fabric makes for a cozy top. Rocking the warm garment is a highlight of the autumn season, but things get complicated when it's time to launder that sheep's sweater. You think it will be safe in the washing machine, but the neckline warps, or its sleeves shrink two sizes. The best way to wash your wool sweaters is by hand with a touch of vinegar to get them deep cleaned and prevent mishaps.

Adding white distilled vinegar to your wash cycle helps remove detergent residue, dissolves stains, and kills odor-causing bacteria. If you're out of white vinegar, you can also use apple cider vinegar to wash your dark-colored wool, as there is little risk for color transfer. However, avoid any substitutes with light and white wool. With the acid and detergent handy, you're ready to refresh your winter sweaters.

How to hand wash your wool sweaters

First, get a large container to soak all your sweaters (the sink or bathtub will also work). Next, fill your basin with enough lukewarm water to submerge the garments, and add your preferred wool detergent. Regular laundry soap will be too harsh for the natural fibers, especially if it is enzyme-based or contains bleach. Then, pour one cup of white distilled vinegar into the load and mix the solution.

Now it is time for your sweaters to join the party. Saturate the wool garbs in the soapy water and gently swish them around. If any have stains, softly rub the soiled spots with your finger to massage in the cleaner. Let the tops soak for 10 minutes if they are lightly soiled and up to 30 minutes if your pieces are heavily stained. After their bath, squeeze the excess water out of each sweater before rinsing. Be careful not to wring the garbs as it causes them to stretch and misshapen.

Dump the dirty liquid and refill the container with fresh water. The rinse water should be the same temperature as the water you washed with, as any temperature difference can make the wool fibers coil — then you'll have to worry about how to restore a sweater that shrank in the laundry. After rinsing, lay the clothes flat on a towel to air dry. You'll have a fresh wool sweater free from odors and stains thanks to the extra swish of vinegar.