How to Wash Knitwear

Always opt for mild, liquid detergents and avoid anything with bleach or harsh chemicals to keep your knitwear in tip-top shape. You should sort pieces by colour and fabric type before deciding whether to hand wash or toss them in the machine inside a mesh bag on a gentle cycle. You never wring them out, but gently squeeze the water before laying them flat to dry. Trust us, it's not as daunting as it sounds, and we've got a few more tricks to ensure your knitwear stays cozy and vibrant for future seasons.

Choosing the Right Detergent

Selecting the right detergent is crucial for maintaining the quality and longevity of your knitwear. We've all faced the disappointment of pulling a beloved sweater from the wash only to find it's lost its shape or softness. To prevent this, you must pay close attention to the detergent you use.

First, you should choose mild, liquid detergents designed for delicate fabrics. These are gentler on knit fibres, helping to preserve the garment's integrity over time. You also make sure to avoid detergents with bleach or fabric softeners. Bleach can damage the fibres and cause discolouration, while fabric softeners can leave a coating that reduces the yarn's natural softness.

You've found that detergents labelled 'eco-friendly' or 'for sensitive skin' are usually safe. They tend to contain fewer harsh chemicals, which isn't only better for your knitwear and your skin and the environment.

Sorting Knitwear by Color

Before washing, you must sort your knitwear by colour to prevent any dye transfer that could ruin lighter shades.

Sorting doesn't have to be a daunting task. You start by separating your knitwear into distinct piles: whites, lights, and darks. It's a simple step, but it's the foundation of caring for your knitwear properly. Sometimes, you see items that bleed colour more than others, particularly new or richly coloured garments. You always test these by dabbing a wet cotton swab on a hidden area. If the swab picks up any colour, you wash these items separately to avoid accidents.

Moreover, you should consider fabric type when sorting. Wool, cashmere, and synthetic blends respond differently to water and detergent, and sorting by fabric type and colour ensures you're giving your knitwear the gentlest and most effective clean. This careful sorting lays the groundwork for a successful wash, keeping your knitwear vibrant and in perfect condition.

Hand Washing Techniques

Having sorted your knitwear by colour and fabric type, you'll now delve into the best practices for hand-washing these delicate items.

First, you must fill a basin with lukewarm water, ensuring it's not too hot or cold. Hot water can shrink or warp knitwear, while cold water mightn't effectively clean it. You should add a gentle, knit-safe detergent, stirring it into the water to evenly distribute.

Next, you must submerge your knitwear piece by piece, gently squeezing the soapy water through the fabric without wringing or twisting, which can misshape the item. Let each piece soak for about 10 minutes, allowing the detergent to penetrate and lift dirt.

After soaking, rinse each garment in clean, lukewarm water until the water runs clear of soap. It's crucial to support the item fully to avoid stretching.

Machine Washing Instructions

While hand washing is often recommended, machine washing knitwear can be safe and effective with the right approach. We've found that the key is in the preparation and settings. Always check the label for instructions before tossing your knitwear into the machine. Some materials mightn't tolerate machine washing well, but if it's safe, you proceed with the following steps.

First, you turn your knitwear inside out to protect the outer surface. You also use a mesh laundry bag to prevent snagging and tangling with other garments. Selecting a gentle cycle with cold water is essential, as heat can cause shrinkage and damage. You always opt for a mild detergent suitable for delicate fabrics, avoiding bleach or fabric softeners that can harm the fibres.

It Is best to wash knitwear with similar colours and weight items to avoid uneven abrasion. Lastly, don't overload the machine. Keeping the load light ensures the knitwear moves freely, allowing a thorough but gentle wash.

We've walked through the essentials of caring for knitwear, from selecting the perfect detergent to the nuances of hand and machine washing. Remember, sorting by colour prevents mishaps, and the right drying technique keeps your knits in tip-top shape.