Sweaters may just be the best part of winter: they’re like a beloved fluffy teddy bear that you get to wear. But, as is the case with regular teddy bears, you need to take care of them if you want them to last. Sweaters can be many things: cozy, warm, trendy – but also a bit hard to maintain. From accidental shrinkage to annoying shedding, these 10 clever hacks will save your sweater!
Skip the potentially carcinogenic moth balls and make a natural moth repellant sachet instead. Lots of lovely scents will keep the pests away, such as lavender, eucalyptus, cloves, dried rosemary, dried thyme, mint, lemon or bay leaves. Combine 1/4 cup of dried herbs and spices. If you have old sweaters with holes or that don’t fit, cut off a piece of the sleeve and sew up one end. Pour in the herbs, close the top and keep in your closet or drawers.
Sweaters, especially vintage ones, can develop stale odors. To get rid of the stench, spritz a treasured sweater with a bit of vodka to kill bacteria without leaving a scent. Then hang it up to dry in a well-aired place. Don’t forget to test it on a small, unexposed area before spritzing the whole sweater.
If your sweater is showing its age with plenty of pills, don’t throw it out just yet. A pumice stone works like a charm if you gently run it across the surface of your garment. You can do the same thing with a comb or even Velcro!
4. Shrink stretched cuffs with a blow dryer
You can shrink loose, stretched-out cuffs back to their initial shape with a hair dryer or even a steam iron (be careful of the heat level though!). When the fabric comes in contact with the heat, it shrinks! Alternatively, you can also dip just the cuffs in hot water.
After hand-washing a sweater you wouldn’t think of throwing it in the dryer (right?). But instead of waiting forever for it to dry you can speed the process by using a salad spinner. It takes out excess water without harming a delicate sweater.
More than just giving flavor to your salad, vinegar can also bring life back to your sweaters! Add a few caps of vinegar to the rinsing water to make a sweater fluffy and new.
Hanging sweaters can stretch them out and create ugly hanger bumps. Fold them instead to save space and reduce wrinkles. With the sweater face down, fold each arm straight across. Fold over each side to the middle so that the sleeve edges meet at the center. Fold up and flip over.
If an oversized sweater is feeling a bit too roomy, use a brooch to pin it at the back. It creates a narrower waist and gives a touch of sparkle too!
Losing a beloved sweater to a dryer can be tough! Turns out, you can revive a shrunken sweater if you soak it in a solution that’s made of 1 teaspoon baby shampoo (conditioner also works) and 1 pint of water. This will relax the fibers and make them more malleable. Remove excess water and place your sweater on a piece of paper, then gently stretch it to the size you want to achieve. Use paperweights or other heavy objects to keep it in place while it dries.
Fold your sweater in a zip-lock bag and keep it in the freezer for 3-4 hours. You can wear it immediately, shed free. This works especially well for Angora. Stick your sweaters in the freezer if you see moths too. The cold temps will kill any moth eggs.
What’s your favorite sweater-saving secret? Let us know!5