How To Clean and Care For A Wool Sweater

It’s about time to store wintry knits for the season. Here’s your pestproof plan.

Wash Carefully

“Clean sweaters before storage, because moths, carpet beetles, and silverfish feed off sweat and stains,” says Brian Johnson, the director of education and analysis at the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute, in Laurel, Maryland. Dry cleaning works well, but can be expensive. In most cases it is advisable to wash wool by hand (including blends), but let the care label guide you. Add 2 squirts of a delicates wash such as Wool & Cashmere Shampoo to a basin of warm water. Turn the garment inside out; submerge, stir, then soak for 10 minutes. Rinse twice pressing out the water. Never twist or hang-dry as wet wool stretches easily.

Dry Flat

Lay the garment on a clean towel and wrap it like a jelly roll to remove the water. Unpack and let dry on a new towel or mesh rack. Reshape or "block" the knit. You can adjust the fit slightly larger or smaller and it will be inplace as the garment dries.


Shave off fuzz balls with the Gleener, a safe fabric device with various blades for coarse, medium and fine fabrics.

Stach Safely

Creepy insects can work their way through the cracks in a cedar chest; also, the effectiveness of cedar wears off. Instead, fold knits and place them in an airtight plastic container, says Michelle A. Lee, the country manager for the American division of the Woolmark Company. Finally, throw in a sachet filled with ½ cup dry lavender (bugs hate the stuff) and store in a cool, dry place.

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