How To Wash A Sweater

You love your favorite sweater and want to make sure it stays looking great for years to come. But washing it can be a bit tricky. How do you make sure it doesn’t shrink, stretch, or fade? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to wash a sweater.

Step 1: Check the Label

Before you wash a sweater, always check the label. It will tell you if it’s machine washable, hand wash only, or dry clean only. If the label says it’s machine washable, you’re in luck. If not, follow the instructions carefully.

Step 2: Prep the Sweater

Before you toss your sweater in the wash, there are a few things you should do. First, make sure all the buttons are fastened and any zippers are closed. This will prevent them from snagging on other clothes. Next, turn the sweater inside out. This will help preserve the color and texture.

Step 3: Choose the Right Detergent

Choosing the right detergent is key to washing a sweater. Look for a gentle, wool-specific detergent. Avoid using regular detergent or bleach, as they can damage the fibers.

Step 4: Wash the Sweater

If your sweater is machine washable, use the delicate cycle and cold water. Add the detergent to the water before adding the sweater, and don’t overload the machine. If your sweater is hand wash only, fill a sink or basin with cold water and add a small amount of detergent. Gently agitate the sweater in the water, being careful not to stretch it.

Step 5: Rinse the Sweater

After washing, rinse the sweater thoroughly in cold water. If you’re using a washing machine, use the rinse cycle to make sure all the soap is removed. If you’re hand washing, rinse the sweater until the water runs clear.

Step 6: Remove Excess Water

To remove excess water from the sweater, gently press it against the side of the sink or tub. Don’t wring it out, as this can damage the fibers. You can also roll the sweater in a towel to remove excess water.

Step 7: Reshape the Sweater

Before laying the sweater flat to dry, reshape it. Gently stretch and pull it back into its original shape. This will help prevent it from stretching out of shape as it dries.

Step 8: Lay the Sweater Flat to Dry

Never hang a sweater to dry. This can cause it to stretch out of shape. Instead, lay it flat on a clean towel or drying rack. Make sure it’s in its original shape and not bunched up.

Step 9: Don’t Dry in Direct Sunlight

Direct sunlight can cause colors to fade and damage the fibers. Make sure your sweater is drying in a shaded or indoor area.

Step 10: Don’t Use a Dryer

Never put a sweater in the dryer. The heat can cause it to shrink or stretch out of shape. Always air dry your sweater.


Q: Can I wash my sweater in hot water?

No, always use cold water when washing a sweater. Hot water can cause it to shrink or stretch out of shape.

Q: Can I use regular detergent?

No, always use a gentle, wool-specific detergent. Regular detergent or bleach can damage the fibers.

Q: Can I hang my sweater to dry?

No, always lay your sweater flat to dry. Hanging it can cause it to stretch out of shape.


Knowing how to wash a sweater is key to keeping it looking great for years to come. Always check the label, use a gentle detergent, and air dry it flat. With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite sweater for many winters to come.