How to Wash a Cashmere Sweater

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Always check the care label on your cashmere sweater for special directions.
Always check the care label on your cashmere sweater for special directions. (Image: shironosov/iStock/Getty Images)

Dry cleaning a cashmere sweater after every wear gets expensive, so save money by hand-washing it yourself. Use a small amount of delicates-only detergent, unscented dish soap or baby shampoo in place of regular laundry detergent, which may damage cashmere. If the sweater smells of body odor, add 3/4 of a cup of vinegar to a sink full of tepid water along with the soap and let it soak for a few minutes.

Washing the Sweater

Add a mild detergent or baby shampoo to a sink of lukewarm water, then swish it around with your hand to create some foam. Turn the sweater inside out, place it in the sink and work the soapy water through it. Squeeze the sweater lightly so you don't stretch or snag the cashmere. Remove the sweater, drain the sink, refill it with fresh water and put the sweater back in. Gently move the sweater through the water, lightly massaging it t until it's free of detergent.

Drying the Sweater

Removed the washed sweater from the sink and gently squeeze out excess water. Never twist or wring the sweater, as you may damage the fibers. If you like, place the sweater in a salad spinner and give it a whirl to remove more water. Otherwise, lay the sweater flat on a towel and roll it up into a tube, firmly pressing down on it as you go to absorb water. Unroll the towel, reshape the sweater by hand and smooth out any wrinkles. Lay it flat on a dry towel or a drying rack to air-dry.

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