Have you spilt something down the front of your favourite woollen sweater? Stains are an inevitable part of wearing clothes and wool can be a tricky prospect to clean. Wool sweaters need extra attention to retain their shape and colour – it is not just a matter of throwing them in a washing machine. Applying heat to a stain in wool will leave a permanent mark, so you will need to know the best ways to handwash your wool before you fill your wardrobe with cosy sweaters.
Let’s take a look at how to remove a stain from wool.
Get rid of excess
Remove anything chunky from the stain with a spoon or a blunt edge. Mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and soft wool soap with one litre of warm water to blot the stain from the outside. Don’t be tempted to use a biological detergent – according to the experts at Persil, a bio-detergent will just eat away at the wool.
Handwash your wool
A washing machine is too powerful to prevent woollen garments from getting damaged or knocked out of shape, so handwashing is the way to keep them looking fresh. Fill a sink with an equal mix of hot and cold water and add soapflakes. Once these have dissolved, place the wool sweater in the mix and allow it to soak.
If you have a mens Irish Aran sweater in white, cream or beige, perhaps from a stockist such as https://www.shamrockgift.com/mens-irish-aran-sweater, add two capfuls of ammonia to keep the colour crisp. Once this is done, rinse the sweater until the soap is removed and add one-third of a cup of white vinegar to the remaining water. Swirl the sweater in the vinegar solution. A little dye might come out, but the vinegar should make sure the dye stays fixed in the fibres and prevent bleeding.
Letting a wool sweater air dry on a line or putting it in a dryer will ruin the wool, making it shrink or warp; instead, wrap the sweater in a towel. Twist the towel until it is sopping wet, repeat with dry towels until the excess moisture is gone, and let the sweater dry naturally on a flat surface.
Follow these steps to make your wool last for many years to come.