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How To Clean Cashmere

How to wash wool

Spot Treat

You can wash sweaters, jackets, blankets, winter accessories, and more from home, but if your cashmere item is structured or has a lining as a blazer, coat, or suit typically would, spot treat stains and odors instead of giving it a full wash.

  • Treat stains with a gentle stain remover for woolens with cool water and gently work into affected areas.
  • Remove excess soap with a wet lint-free cleaning cloth. Continue dampening the cloth with cool water as needed, and repeat process until satisfied.
  • Skip to the Dry & Finish step in your wool garment washing process, and finish with steaming. Cashmere shouldn't be placed in the dryer.

Whether hand or machine washing cashmere, always treat stains beforehand with a gentle stain remover for knits. It's important to always test out stain removers in an inconspicuous spot first to avoid accidentally damaging your garment, especially when dealing with a richly dyed item. We love our Stain Brush for helping gently coax out stains before laundering.

How to wash wool

Want to find the gentlest way to wash cashmere at home? Handwashing is your best bet. It's also great to avoid using enzyme-based detergents that can degrade yarns. Keep in mind cashmere is very sensitive to water temperature and agitation, and it can shrink if not treated properly.

First, add Wool & Cashmere Shampoo to a basin or sink filled with cool water.

Submerge your cashmere item and gently agitate the water with your hands to evenly distribute soap. If your cashmere has a lot of buildup, you can massage the cashmere as if you were massaging your hair to work in conditioner! However, take care to avoid over-working the fabric. Soak for up to 30 minutes.

Rinse well by running cool water through the item until the water is no longer soapy.

Do not wring. Instead, press the water out of the cashmere item.

Machine Wash

Many cashmere items can be machine washed using the right, gentle machine setting. First, turn your cashmere item inside out, and place it in a Mesh Bag.

Cashmere needs to be washed on a delicate or "hand wash" cycle to help prevent damage. After placing your cashmere item inside the mesh bag in the machine, select the delicate or hand wash cycle on the washing machine, and make sure the water temperature is cold and the spin is on low.

Add the appropriate amount of Wool & Cashmere Shampoo according to the machine and load size. Always remember to launder like colors and fabrics together to help avoid dye bleed or snagging.

Remove your cashmere promptly from the washing machine to reduce creasing.

How to wash wool
How to wash wool
Dry & Finish
  • Lay the item flat in its natural shape on a drying rack or clean towel. Do not put it in the dryer!
  • Expedite drying cashmere by laying the item flat on a clean towel. With the item in its original shape, roll it up in the towel (like a sleeping bag) to remove excess water. Never hang wet knitwear.
  • When drying cashmere, avoid direct sunlight and heat sources, such as the radiator, because they can yellow, shrink, or damage yarns.
  • To remove wrinkles from cashmere, we recommend steaming for the best and safest finish. Do not iron, as ironing will crush or flatten the natural pile of the yarns.

When wool fibers become loose, they form little balls or pills. Pilling is a direct result of friction (which naturally occurs with movement), so the more you wear an item, the more likely it is to pill.

  • Angora generally doesn't pill; if it does, remove pills on finer-gauge knits, such as lightweight sweaters, T-shirts, or pants by gliding the Sweater Comb across affected areas in one direction.
  • For heavier-gauge items, such as thicker sweaters, outerwear, or heavy upholstery, use the Sweater Stone.
How to wash wool

Always store knits folded to prevent stretching or distorting. Store jackets and suits using a solid structured hanger.

Cashmere is susceptible to insect damage. Always store items clean to avoid inadvertently providing a "food source" for bugs.

Storing in plastic encourages yellowing and can trap mildew-causing moisture, a prime environment for bugs.

All techniques are based on textile science. Not all garments perform and react as science would predict. For a deep dive into the ins and outs of cashmere care, keep reading. For even more fabric and home cleaning tips, check out the Clean Talk blog.