5 Tips for Cleaning (and Maintaining) Your Sweaters

Sweater season has come and gone, and the summer sun is back out. With humidity levels rising, it’s time to pack away all your winter clothes. From petite sweaters to thick pullovers, it’s time to say goodbye to all your winter favorites. However, before you do, you have to clean them properly. Sweater care is essential if you don’t want to buy a new winter wardrobe every year. After all, with a little love and care, your favorite sweater can last forever.

Buying winter clothes off-season is a great idea. So, it’s crucial to know how to maintain them well until it’s the season to wear them. It’s essential to learn how to pack your sweaters properly too. So, don’t shove them to the back of your closet come summer. Sweater care doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task. You can get it done more efficiently if you follow a few simple tricks and tips. Read on to find out about proper sweater maintenance.

Get all the pills out.


Have you ever had to throw a petite sweater out because of loose threads? Or stop wearing your favorite cardigan because of all the pills? Your winter clothes are likely to go through a little wear-and-tear through the season. So, focus on maintenance once the cold weather dissipates.

A great way to get pills out of your knitted clothes is to buy a de-fuzzing comb. You can usually get one for a low cost—and it will save all your high-cost winter clothes. You can also get a battery-operated fabric shaver if you want a quicker option. However, be careful not to create more snags and pills when you’re using it.

Follow washer instructions.

You shouldn’t over-wash cardigans as that can ruin the material. However, you will want to wash your winter clothes before you store them. After all, you don’t want your closet smelling like dirty clothes all summer long. Hand-washing or steaming your cardigans is a great idea. However, if you must put them in the washing machine, follow instructions. If the label says dry-clean-only, don’t risk ruining it in the washing machine. It will help keep the sweater from shrinking or stretching out. Everything from water temperature to the type of detergent you use matters as well.

For some pullovers, laundry detergent can be too harsh. It can ruin the fabric or cause the material to wear down. A great way to keep your winter clothes in perfect condition is to use all-natural laundry soap. Try using laundry soap sheets or instead of liquid detergent. Detergent sheets are often hypoallergenic and made with natural ingredients like essential oils. So, they’re softer on sensitive skin as well as on your sweater.

If you need to remove a stain, use a light, paraben-free stain remover. And, research the type of material before you put any chemicals on your sweater. Read the instructions before adding dryer sheets—or putting them in a dryer at all. Some items fare better with a simple rinse and air-dry technique rather than in the washer.

Keep them soft.

You may reach for fabric softener to keep your sweater soft and fluffy. However, this is usually a terrible idea. To make sure a pullover or sweater stays soft, skip the fabric softener. It will also avoid chemical residue buildup and material damage. It’s also a good idea to air-dry the garment instead of putting it in a dryer. To save the material from snagging in the wash, turn it inside out before you wash it. It will help avoid tangles and keep them soft and fluffy.

Pack them properly.


It can be a hassle to pack individual cardigans. While you can roll up women’s petite sweaters, thicker pullovers are tougher to stuff into a closet. Storing thick winter clothes in an empty suitcase may seem like a good idea. However, is treating them like luggage suitable for the material? If you have to store winter clothes in a closed space, make sure you use cedar chips to keep moisture away.

It’s a great idea to store sweaters in a neat pile in an empty drawer. If you’re short on space, store them in a sweater bag before putting them in a container or suitcase. Don’t roll them up too much or stuff them into a backpack—this will ruin your sweaters.

Keep pests away.

All your careful maintenance will be of no use if your sweaters end up moth-eaten. If they’re in a dark, damp space for several seasons, they’re at risk of being pest-infested. If you don’t have any other room for them, get mothballs to keep moisture out. Mothballs smell terrible, so if you can’t stand the smell, use cedar chips.

You can also use an antibacterial sweater spray to keep pests away from the material. You get scent-free as well as scented options. You can even spray some on the sweater when you take them out of storage to get rid of that musty, boxed smell.