The Basics of Properly Washing Knitwear

KDC-Pile of knitted winter clothes

Knits and sweaters were formerly considered luxury items, but today they are an essential part of every man and woman’s wardrobe.

The best thing about knits is that they can be worn all year round. Typically, knits will include garments made from warm, cozy wool perfect for the cold winter months and light, breezy silk garments perfect for the spring and summer, making knits a wardrobe must-have.

Knits and sweaters, like any other luxury item, require a little additional care if you want them to last as long as possible and survive snagging, spilling beverages, stubborn stains, and everyday wear and tear.

Don’t worry; washing knitwear and maintaining its pristine appearance and cleanliness is relatively straightforward. Thankfully, it doesn’t involve a lot of effort on your part. Let’s get started by learning how to wash knitwear properly.

How To Wash Knitwear 

You may save money on dry-cleaning by learning how to wash, dry, and reshape knitted clothing at home. Your knitwear may look fantastic, smell amazing, and feel soft to the touch for years with a bit of time and patience. You can wash nearly all knitwear at home, but first, you must identify whether the knitwear should be hand or machine washed.

Overcrowding the washbasin can prevent dirt from being extracted; thus, washing one sweater at a time is recommended. When handwashing one or more knitted clothing, remember that you will need to allow at least two days for drying time. Most synthetic fiber knitwear, as well as some cotton knits, can be machine washed. However, when machine-washing cotton knits, apply caution because natural fibers are more prone to shrinking or stretching.

How Do You Hand Wash Knitwear

 Handwashing is the most gentle at-home cleaning option and it’s not as difficult as you think! Knits are delicate garments that might shrink due to the heat and agitation of a washing machine. Carefully follow these knitwear washing instructions when handwashing:

  • Fill a small basin or clean sink with cool water.

  • Add a small amount of mild detergent.

  • When washing your knitwear, turn it inside out and gently swirl it in the water.

  • Allow your knits to soak in the liquid for 10-15 minutes.

  • Rinse your knitted clothing in clean water.

  • Refrain from wringing out your knitwear.  Pat the sweater gently and lay it flat to dry. Do not hang it because this will cause your sweater to stretch.

How Do You Machine Wash Your Knitwear 

Place knitwear in a mesh bag before washing; this will prevent rubbing and agitation from occurring during the washing process. It is also a good idea not to mix delicate knitwear with heavy items like trousers or towels. Here are the knitwear washing instructions if you opt for machine washing.

  • To clean your knitwear, place it in a tiny mesh laundry bag.

  • Place delicates and other knitwear in at the same time.

  • When washing knits, use a gentle or permanent press cycle to minimize damage.

  • Check that the water is cool.

  • Select a mild detergent.

  • Check that the cycle is quick and slow and that the spin speed is moderate.

How Do You Dry Knitwear 

To preserve the shape and integrity of your knits, you must dry them thoroughly. When you’re done washing your knitwear, resist the urge to wring them out. The fibers could be stretched and warped as a result. Instead, use a towel to lay your clothing flat before gently squeezing out any excess water. After that, gently squeeze the towel and clothing as they are rolled up one at a time.

Remove any remaining water and carefully rework your knit back in shape. After that, you’ll be able to dry your knit on a rack. Always lay your knitwear flat when drying it instead of hanging it to dry. Laying knitwear flat when drying will help avoid stretching.

While it may be tempting to place your knitwear near the heater to speed up the drying process, do not do so. The fibers can be damaged by heat, and it may cause them to shrink.

Can You Dry Clean Knitwear 

Dry cleaning can be a great way to get rid of tough stains; however, it is always advisable to first check the care label before bringing your item to the dry cleaner. Refrain from dry cleaning knitwear frequently because the chemicals used in dry cleaning can damage the fabric’s fibers.

How Often Should You Wash Your Knitwear 

Unless it is stained, it is generally recommended to clean your knitwear every two to five wears. Furthermore, knitwear made of durable fibers like wool and synthetics requires fewer cleanings.

How Do You Store Your Knitwear 

Store your knitwear in a drawer or cabinet to keep it looking new and fresh. You may prolong the life of your knitwear and sweaters by storing them in a cool, dark spot and out of direct sunlight. Be sure to fold them properly and keep the drawer from becoming too stuffed.


To maintain the durability and the shape of your knitwear, wash it only after wearing it two or three times. Most individuals wouldn’t want to take the time and effort to engage in hand washing knitwear, especially if they have a busy schedule. However, you’ll see that knitwear is worth your attention because of its sensitivity and worth. Remember that knitwear that’s been properly cared for can last for many years, thus maintaining your unique style and helping you build a classic fashion statement.

Let Kelly’s Dry Cleaners Do The Job of Taking Care of Your Valuable Knitwear. 

If you have any doubts about washing your clothes at home, we recommend taking them to the dry cleaners. Our expert cleaners from Farmington Dry Cleaners will check the care label on each item to identify the best washing knitwear procedure without causing damage. With our years of expertise and use of specially selected products, you’ll have peace of mind that your valuable garments will be in good hands. Call us now for more information.