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Washing wool sweaters in front-loading washing machine?

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    Washing wool sweaters in front-loading washing machine?

    I have a couple wool v-necks that I rarely wear because I don't want to hand wash them or pay for dry cleaning. And I'd like to buy one of these wool henleys I liked: http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse...=1714080220001 but not if I have to hand wash it.

    Has anyone tried washing Merino wool sweaters in a modern front-loading washer? My LG front-loader has a handwash/wool setting. I don't want to test it and ruin a sweater. I would use Woolite detergent, of course. Does anyone wash them this way?

    #2
    do they really need to be cleaned that bad? are you sure?

    they probably won't ever be the same.

    I've never had good luck washing them like that. Only bad luck.

    hand washing a whole bunch of them at once in your sink doesn't take that much work! you should do that.

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      #3
      I have three wool sweaters that I pretty much wear weekly through the fall and winter. I have them dry cleaned maybe twice a year. Being that they are worn over a long sleeve shirt, I don't feel the need to wash them more often than that. Do you wash your sweaters every time you wear them, [MENTION=6422]dappertert[/MENTION]?

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        #4
        Yeahhh just be careful when you dry them. Got lazy and was in a rush so I threw a J. Crew merino wool sweater in the dryer and it went from a medium to like a small for kids......

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          #5
          womp womp

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            #6
            Originally posted by evanparker View Post

            I've never had good luck washing them like that. Only bad luck.

            hand washing a whole bunch of them at once in your sink doesn't take that much work! you should do that.
            How do you dry them? Hang dry? Spread them out on an even surface? The problem with the latter is that if you do a whole bunch at once, drying them will take up a lot of room.

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              #7
              I pretty much never wash my wool sweaters (by hand, dry clean, or otherwise). I'm honestly not sure if any of them have ever been washed.

              I've got to say, though, I don't see why a wool sweater could be hand-washed but not washed in a front-load machine on gentle. Heavy duty cycle? Probably not good. Top-load with agitator? Also probably not good. Gentle cycle on a front-load machine? I'm not sure how that's any harder on a sweater than hand washing. Wringing out a sweater by hand seems to be as rough on it as the gentle cycle. I'm obviously not responsible for it if your sweater gets mangled, though.

              There's also the "at-home dry cleaning" stuff where you basically throw the clothes in the dryer with a sheet of oily detergent. Seems to be fine for freshening up garments if that's the issue, though if the garment is really dirty, it's obviously not going to do much, if anything.

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                #8
                Originally posted by dappertert View Post
                Has anyone tried washing Merino wool sweaters in a modern front-loading washer? My LG front-loader has a handwash/wool setting. I don't want to test it and ruin a sweater. I would use Woolite detergent, of course. Does anyone wash them this way?
                I have several GAP merino wool sweaters and I have washed them before in my front-loading washing machine. I use 'gentle' or whatever the least rough setting is. I lay them flat to dry afterward. Some of the oldest ones I have are going on two years old but I only wash them maybe once a year. I wear them all the time and I am extremely careful with keeping them clean so as to keep the need for washing to a minimum.

                If you've ever watched a front-loading washing machine do its thing, it basically sprays water on the garments and them rolls them around. Without splitting hairs, I can't imagine how much more damaging it is compared to hand washing.

                If you decide to do it, pick your least favourite one and experiment with it by itself. Otherwise--as mentioned above--hand washing it easy peasy.

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                  #9
                  I have merino wool BR sweaters which I washed once in using the gentle cycle of my LG front load washer. Like Amesbury said, lay them flat on a towel afterwards. I used generic woolite from the dollar general. They didn't lose their shape. Of course this is only once so I'm not sure about longer term.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by srlclark View Post
                    How do you dry them? Hang dry? Spread them out on an even surface? The problem with the latter is that if you do a whole bunch at once, drying them will take up a lot of room.
                    i spread them out on an even surface sometimes.

                    but ultimately, i have a drying rack that i can fold the centers of the sweaters over and they don't get ripped apart or stretched

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by dpark View Post
                      I pretty much never wash my wool sweaters (by hand, dry clean, or otherwise). I'm honestly not sure if any of them have ever been washed.
                      Same. Most of my wool sweaters have never been washed. If you don't spill on them and they are over another shirt, I don't really see a reason to.

                      The few I have washed are with cold water and woolite in the kitchen sink. I lay them flat to dry on a towel on my kitchen table.

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                        #12
                        I think it's wrong to wash wool clothes in the washing machine. This can damage them and also pollute your washing machine. I want my clothes and my washing machine to be in good condition for long time. Therefore, I don't take risks like this, only hand wash or dry cleaning for my wool clothes. And a good washing machine cleaner for my washing machine. Btw I choose the best cleaner thanks for article form this website guides4homeowners.co.uk.
                        Last edited by davisan; June 22, 2020, 01:29 PM.

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                          #13
                          My washing unit also has a handwash / wool setting that I use without issue. Nonetheless, I do take precautions by minimizing how often I wash them and using a laundry net when I do wash them. And of course, I absolutely do not place them in the dryer. We have a clothing rack to allow clothes to air dry.

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                            #14
                            The end results really depend on individual garments IMO. I use the same protocol (wool/cashmere detergent, delicate/hand wash cycle, lay flat dry) on all my wool sweaters where the care label says 'hand wash'. Some have come out absolutely no problem while others have shrunk half a size to a size.

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                              #15
                              Front loaders are gentle enough for wool, when combined with a mesh bag/net and an appropriate detergent. Problems usually come up with too much detergent (even a mild one), washing for too long, and drying incorrectly.

                              Lanolin is why wool rarely needs washing; just let it air out and the natural protection will take care of lingering bacteria. Washing once or twice a year with regular wear is probably sufficient.

                              Shrinkage is caused by felting, causing the fibres to squeeze together. It's not getting wet that is the problem, or sheep would shrink after rain. The problem is agitating the fibres while wet. To avoid this, roll the wool item up before placing it in the net. Less garment movement is better. Water running through the wool is all that's necessary. The detergent is only there to make the water slipperier, not to break down dirt or oils (that would strip the lanolin).

                              Drying is best done flat, on a horizontal rack. Roll the item up in a towel after washing, give it a few minutes to absorb excess water, then lay out on the rack.

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