Sweater Care: How to Properly Take Care of Your Sweaters

Source: Alaina Kaczmarski for The Everygirl

When the weather is cold, you know exactly what you want to reach for when getting dressed in the morning—not your silky camisole, not your trendy blazer, and not your fancy work top. No, when the weather is freezing, you want to reach for a trusted, comfy, so-cozy-you-never-want-to-take-it-off sweater. From early fall to the end of winter, a sweater is undoubtedly your best friend. And like any other best friend, sweaters require love and care. While they’re extremely delicate, they can last through many wears and many seasons if you treat them the right way. Here are eight sweater care tips to help you properly take care of all your knits so they can last as long as you want them to:


1. Remove pills the right way

Is there anything as annoying as pilling on a favorite sweater!? A perfectly fine and pretty wool cardigan can start to look like an ungroomed dog after a while. Unfortunately, all sweaters pill—it’s caused by rubbing during wear and is more apparent around the elbows, under armpits, and on sleeves, but it can occur anywhere on the sweater. To remove pills easily, hold the sweater flat with one hand and slice the pills off (one at a time) with a razor. You can also buy a pill remover. Do not pull at them or else the pilling will become worse.


2. Turn noticeable snags inside out

Snags (AKA when the stitch comes out of the sweater) are the worst because they seem unfixable, and you risk the sweater unraveling if the snag gets caught on something. Snags are not completely fixable, but luckily, they can be placed on the inside so that they’re no longer an issue on the outside. Simply turn the sweater inside out, insert a crochet hook into the same stitch as the snag, and carefully pull the snag through (a safety pin will also work in a pinch). You’ll no longer be able to see the snag, and you won’t run the risk of the snag getting caught on something. 


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3. Regularly remove dandruff, hair, and lint

Thanks to the soft wool, knit, or cashmere that we all know and love, the fabric of sweaters can sometimes act as a magnet, attracting and sticking to dust, lint, dandruff, or strands of hair. A child’s soft hairbrush or a soft toothbrush will help you quickly brush off anything on the sweater (looking at you, dog hair!) for an easy fix, but make sure not to brush too harshly on the sweater or it will loosen the fabric and create pills. You can brush through after every wear, but a quick TLC for all your sweaters once a month is sufficient to prevent lint, dandruff, dust, or hair pile-up. 


4. Know how to wash (and when)

PSA: Washing your sweaters doesn’t have to be a pain. Most sweaters should be hand washed so they last longer and the fabric stays intact. To hand wash, fill a bucket or sink with cool water, add a few squirts of gentle laundry detergent, submerge the sweater, and let it soak for about 30 minutes. Then, rinse it under cool water. To dry, gently squeeze water out the sweater (never wring it out) and roll it up in a towel (like a sleeping bag or sushi roll) to suck up all the excess water. Finally, lay it flat on a drying rack or clean towel to dry.

Cotton and cashmere typically need to be washed after two to three wears, while wool or polyester can withstand about five wears. But make sure to follow the directions on the label, and don’t wash more often unless the sweater has a stain (like sweat or a spill). And if it says dry clean only (as it does with most wool), then you know the drill: dry clean only.


5. To extend washes, wear a T-shirt underneath

Even gentle hand washing can wear down the quality, fabric, or softness of any sweater over time, so if you wear your sweaters frequently, consider wearing a T-shirt underneath to extend the time in between washes. Wearing a T-shirt acts as a barrier between the sweater and skin, limiting the amount of outside forces and smells the fabric interacts with. Since things like sweat, body odor, oils on the skin, and deodorant can cause wear and tear, the sweater stays intact longer when you wear a layer underneath that acts as a barrier. Now all you have to worry about is spilling your latte. 


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6. You can  save an itchy sweater

Is there anything worse than a sweater so itchy, it loses all its coziness? In order to turn itchy back to soft and cozy, add liquid fabric softener to the cold water when you’re hand-washing your sweater. Allow the sweater to thoroughly swirl around the water and let it sit. You can also try adding half a cup of hair conditioner instead of fabric softener for extra softness. Just make sure you avoid 2-in-1 conditioner/shampoo combinations or heavy hair masks and stick to hydrating or standard conditioner (not other formulas meant for volumizing or thickening). After one to three treatments, your sweater should be back to its soft and cozy self. 


7. Store sweaters properly

Repeat after me: Never hang sweaters. Hanging will cause sweaters to stretch out and create peaks in the shoulders. To store them in a way that maintains their shape and quality, keep sweaters folded or rolled in drawers or on shelves. Properly fold them by laying them front-down on a flat surface and fold each arm (from the sleeve seam diagonally across the sweater’s back). Then, either fold it horizontally in half or roll from the bottom hem up to the collar. If you must hang them, fold the sweater over the hanger, on top of a piece of tissue paper to prevent creases.


8. Pack up sweaters after winter

Yes, all good things must come to an end, and when sweater season is over, your sweaters deserve to be stored the right way for extra protection and to help hold shape through the spring and summer months. Don’t just throw them in bins as is and hope for the best. Take the time to properly clean them, fold them, and put them in clothing storage bags (that are breathable) or boxes (as long as they’re made out of cotton or canvas). Add in a small satchel filled with lavender to prevent bugs (and keep them smelling fresh!). Hot tip: Do not put sweaters in vacuum-sealed storage bags. It might seem like it’s saving space, but locking in moisture can cause yellowing or mildew.


The Best Sweaters From H&M This Fall




How to Get Your Pumpkin Spice Fix This Season

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Source: Alaina Kaczmarski for The Everygirl

The most magical time of the year has finally arrived: pumpkin spice season. Forget iced coffees and matcha; our Starbucks baristas know we’ll only be ordering off of the fall menu from here on out (there’s a lot more than PSLs, BTW). A pumpkin spice latte on the Starbucks menu announces fall like the groundhog announces spring, and the PSL has officially spoken. However, the best flavor of the season isn’t just for your Starbucks coffee. You can bet all of our candles, home decor, and even beauty products will also have a little sprinkle of pumpkin spice until winter. Get out your fuzzy sweaters, start raking leaf piles, watch When Harry Met Sally three times in a row, and stock up on our favorite pumpkin spice products if you can’t get your fix from just the latte.


Califia Farms

Almond Milk Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

Sorry, Starbucks. We love you, but sometimes we just want to stay at home and snuggle up with a homemade PSL. This creamer is dairy-free and flavored with real pumpkin purée, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, so you can indulge in pumpkin spice totally guilt-free.

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Summer Fridays

Overtime Mask

PSA: Pumpkin not only tastes and smells delicious, but it’s also a super ingredient for your skin too. With pumpkin exfoliates, this exfoliating mask from one of our go-to clean skincare brands smells like your favorite fall candles (but the insane post-mask glow is a major bonus). Pumpkin is packed with enzymes, vitamin A, and vitamin C, which help smooth and brighten the skin. Now if only our PSL did that!

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Pumpkin Chai Candle

This autumn-favorite candle has a cult following and for good reason. The iconic scent smells as good as a PSL tastes (if not better—and you can @ me on it). If you want a candle that’s a little more spicy than sweet, this one’s for you.

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Pumpkin Pie

This healthier version of snackable marshmallows offers a delicious pumpkin pie flavor that PSL-lovers cannot miss. They’re good enough to be the finishing touch on a pumpkin pie or, you know, to eat the entire bag in one sitting while watching a horror movie.

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Peter Thomas Roth

Pumpkin Enzyme Mask Enzymatic Dermal Resurfacer

Peter Thomas Roth is known for amazing products (loved by dermatologists and celebrities alike), and this exfoliating mask is extra good, with alpha hydroxy acid and pumpkin enzymes. If you’re a pumpkin lover with a dull complexion or just want to bring the flavor of the season into your at-home spa day, this mask is a game-changer.

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Etsy | dMartgear

“Pumpkin Spice” Mug

So you are not fully into the taste of pumpkin spice but still stan spooky season? Sip on your coffee drink of choice while still getting your fall on, thanks to this adorable mug that highlights the best things of the season: witches and (obviously) pumpkin spice.

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P.F. Candle Co.

Spiced Pumpkin Soy Candle

Of course, here’s another favorite pumpkin-scented candle (because you can never have too many). This one is so good, we stock up on them at the office (and here’s a secret: We light them all year long—they’re that good!). Do yourself a favor and try this for the season. In terms of scent notes, this one smells exactly like you have pumpkin bread cooking in the oven, thanks to hints of butter, nutmeg, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

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Purely Elizabeth

Ancient Grain Pumpkin Cinnamon Granola

Granola is a breakfast favorite and go-to snack, so why not have a pumpkin spice version of this pantry staple? This variety is gluten-free, non-GMO, and made with organic quinoa, amaranth, and chia, so you don’t have to ruin your health goals by indulging in that pumpkin spice craving.

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Aluminum-Free Deodorant

While a deodorant that’s pumpkin spice-scented might seem a little, well, different, this product has a cult following to back it up. With reviews like “best safe deodorant ever” and “heaven in a bottle,” this safe, natural deodorant not only prevents you from dreaded body odor but also doubles as a warm, cozy, fall perfume for your underarms. Who wouldn’t want that?

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Etsy | HamlinRowShop

“Hey There Pumpkin” Doormat

Why can’t your pumpkin obsession carry over into your home decor too? You’ll want to be greeted by this festive reminder of your favorite season every time you come in or out of your home.

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Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day

Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner in Pumpkin Scent

Yes, our favorite home cleaning supplies (made with essential oils and plant-derived ingredients and doesn’t contain all the bad stuff like parabens and phthalates) also comes in the best scent of the season. Forgo the candle and just clean the counters next time you want your home to smell like fall.

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Pumpkin Powerhouse Resurfacing & Exfoliating Enzyme Mask

If you haven’t caught on yet, pumpkin not only smells good, but it’s insanely good for your skin too. This one is also made with prebiotics to help protect skin and packs up fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Win, win, and win!

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Dental Dog Chews

For those who are as obsessed with their dog as they are with fall, here’s something for your furry friend, who deserves pumpkin spice too! Not only are these delicious snacks perfect for your pet, but they also clean teeth and support gum health.

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Etsy | Sweet Water Decor

Pumpkin Spice Candle

If you love fall but don’t like super in-your-face pumpkin smells, this is the candle for you. The main notes are woodsy like cedarwood and cypress, so there’s just a hint of sweetness in an otherwise smoky and woodsy scent. Just a warning: This candle will make your house smell so good, you won’t want to leave it.

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Pumpkin Spice Blend

For health nuts who want to get in on the flavor while working on your wellness, this blend uses pumpkin spice for a multitude of health benefits. Simply stir into hot water or a cup of coffee for a velvety PSL of your wellness dreams.

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Crate & Barrel

Pumpkin Spatula

So maybe there’s no “spice” involved in this adorable spatula, but how cute is this? Use it to bake your go-to pumpkin cookie recipe (don’t forget the orange frosting!) or save it as a gift for all your autumn-obsessed loved ones.

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Simply Organic

Pumpkin Spice

Of course you need the classic ingredient that started it all. There’s a lot that can be topped with pumpkin spice: Add it to yogurt, baked goods, ravioli, coffee, tea, or just about anything else (’tis the season!).

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Gold Pumpkin Decorative Accent

Why settle for boring Halloween decor when you can upgrade to chic, show-stopping, and festive options? Place this gold pumpkin on your coffee table, by your front entrance, or next to the candle of your choice for bonus pumpkin-spice power.

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Etsy | Emma & Anna Apparel

Crewneck Sweatshirt

Love pumpkin season? Let everyone know by wearing this adorable crewneck that will keep you as warm and cozy as it will look festive. Trust me, it will be your favorite loungwear item through Halloween.

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Williams Sonoma

Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Quick Bread Mix

And finally, the old faithful, classic, makes-you-think-of-your-childhood-when-your-mom’s-baking staple: pumpkin bread so good and so quick that you could make it every day until Thanksgiving is over.

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Our Complete Guide to Fall’s Best Candles
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