How to use fluffy hand wash
Washing wool sweaters: the 7 most important questions answered
As little as possible and - if it has to be - as gentle as necessary: That is the golden rule when washing a wool sweater. But if the cozy piece smells too much, even has a stain, you can't avoid it: you have to wash the wool sweater. We have summarized for you what you need to consider when washing and caring for it - both in the washing machine and when washing by hand.
How often can you wash a wool sweater?
In order to be able to wear a wool sweater for a long time, you need to take care of it properly. In the case of the natural product wool, this means that the sweater must be washed as little as possible. That means: When you have worn the wool sweater, you should first let it air out in the fresh air on a sturdy, padded clothes hanger. Preferably overnight. The humidity also decreases the sweater at the same time. You should do this in the evening immediately after wearing it. So you can delay washing four or five times after wearing it.
Good to know: If you put on a thin piece of clothing under your wool sweater, such as a short-sleeved undershirt or T-shirt, the wool sweater has less contact with the skin where most people sweat throughout the day. This means you don't have to wash it. In addition, if you are someone who sweats faster, you can make sure that your wool sweater is made from merino wool when you buy it. This type of wool is more resistant to sweat and dirt - also to the edges, for example, which a body cream that has not yet fully absorbed can cause.
What happens when you wash wool?
Even if it looks robust at first glance, wool is a very sensitive material. Their fibers are surrounded by a layer of keratin that reacts to friction and heat. Like human hair, wool fibers can break if treated poorly, which among other things leads to so-called pilling. This is something you should always keep in mind when handling wool. Would you rub your hair together as hard as you do with a sweater? Probably not.
Why is the wool sweater matted after washing?
The cause of the felting of a wool sweater is excessive stress. In other words: it was moved too much during washing, which is why the fibers rubbed against each other too much and the wool got entangled or matted. Mohair wool sweaters should therefore also be combed regularly with a special mohair brush. This will keep them fluffy and shiny.
Can you wash wool at 40 degrees?
No, wool cannot be washed at 40 degrees Celsius or should not be cleaned at this temperature - unless you want to shrink the piece to the size of a doll and make it so unsightly that you can part with it with a clear conscience. Wool can be cleaned at a maximum of 30 degrees Celsius, cold wash is better. Rinsing after washing should also be done with cold tap water. Even with acrylic wool products.
Always read the sewn care label before washing your woolen products. If it is not 100 percent wool, the washing conditions may change. If your wool sweater is not allowed to be washed at all, you should bring it to the dry cleaner.
Which detergent is suitable for wool sweaters?
Since wool is a natural product, it should be cleaned with very mild, special wool detergents. These products are often called wool wash lotion. They should be free from enzymes, colors and preservatives.
For very sensitive or already heavily used wool products, there are moisturizing detergents. Even with older items of clothing, these detergents can still work wonders.
You can also use a mild hair shampoo to hand wash your fluffy garment. Definitely not one for colored hair. This could discolor the wool in some places.
How do you wash wool by hand?
Even if modern washing machines have a wool program and wash the garments entrusted to them as gently as possible, there are still woolen sweaters, cardigans, woolen socks, scarves or gloves that you should definitely not wash in the washing machine. Cozy items made of cashmere wool are part of it. Or vintage clothing made from mixed fabrics such as cotton, linen and wool. These garments should be hand washed. How? We explain that to you here step by step:
What you need for hand washing:
- a bowl or tub large enough to hold the entire garment inside
- some gall soap or dry shampoo in case you have a stain on your wool sweater
- suitable detergent
- a pair of household gloves
1. Put on your household gloves, as residues of hand cream can contaminate the wool fibers. Apply the stain remover directly and exclusively to the stain to be treated and proceed according to the product instructions. Under no circumstances should you rub the fibers of your woolen sweater hard against each other. Scratching wool clothing is expressly and strictly prohibited.
2. Fill the bowl with cold water. It cannot be warmer than 30 degrees Celsius. Add the wool detergent according to the manufacturer's instructions on the packaging and stir everything briefly with your hands.
3. Dip the wool sweater in the water and let it soak up. Use your hands to gently push the wash water through the fabric by forming a fist with a piece of wool in your hands under the water and then opening it again immediately. Similar to manually squeezing a lemon or reacting with an anti-stress ball. Don't rub, don't tear!
4. Repeat this until you have pressed the washing water through the whole sweater and finally, still under the water, tap the sweater out with the flat of your hand.
5. Take the woolen sweater out of the water, place it on a towel, discard the washing water, rinse the bowl or tub very well and fill it with clear, cold water. Now put the wool sweater back into the jar and press the clear water through the wool fibers. Until the water has turned milky from the detergent that escapes. Then pour the water away again and repeat the rinsing process for the wool sweater until the water is no longer milky. If the floor of your shower is clean, you can spread the sweater there too and gently rinse with the shower.
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How do you dry the wool sweater?
When you have hand washed and rinsed the wool sweater, place it on a large towel. If a shower or sauna towel is not enough, place a second towel on top of the first so that they overlap slightly. Fold in the long sides of the terry towels so that you already cover most of the wool sweater and wrap the rest of the sweater in the towels. Now, ideally in the bathtub or shower, you can firmly squeeze out the towel-sweater-wrap lying on the floor with both hands. Warning: do not wring out. So don't turn. Just push. When you have squeezed most of the water out of the wool sweater, lay it flat and spread out on the clothes horse. Ideally with another, dry towel underneath.
Flat clothes horse, towel and then the sweater - by the way, this is also a suitable method to dry the wool sweater after machine washing. Don't hang it up, that might borrow it.
Although modern dryers have a drying program for wool, there is still the risk of shrinking your woolen sweater, which can be quite expensive and can be worn for a few years with good care. In addition, beads or sequins can come off in the dryer and not only damage the device, but also pull threads out of your woolen sweater.
If you only want your sweater to be machine-dried because you want it fluffier and softer, you can simply put it in a plastic bag in the freezer for one night. With angora wool, it is enough to knead the wool sweater a few times in a plastic bag to statically charge it and restore the fluff effect.
How do you wash wool in the washing machine?
Some wool products can also be washed in the washing machine from time to time - but these should be exceptions. To do this, proceed as follows:
1. Check for buttons or scraps of tissue paper in the washing machine drum and remove them.
2. Only wash matching colors together and fill the machine up to a quarter full.
3. Close all buttons and fasteners. Turn your wool sweater or cardigan inside out and place the garment in a laundry net.
4. Pour the wool detergent into the main wash compartment of the washing machine according to the instructions on the package. Not in the pre-wash compartment, because that shouldn't be done at all with wool. We do not recommend using fabric softener as this can damage the wool fibers.
5. Select your washing machine's hand wash or wool program and make sure it does not spin. If this cannot be set, set the lowest possible spin level.
6. Once the machine has washed your sweater, you need to take it out and dry it. Do not leave wool products in the washing machine.
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