Fall means it’s finally time for sweater weather. While there’s nothing better than wearing a cozy sweater on a crisp autumn day, there’s also nothing worse than being stuck in a scratchy sweater. However, you don’t have to give up on your favorite wool sweater just because it is causing you to scratch like crazy. Luckily, there’s a few easy ways to make wool less scratchy.
The most common way to soften wool is to use vinegar. Simply add two cups of white distilled vinegar in your washing machine rinse cycle and throw in the problem sweater. You can also turn the garment inside out and soak it in a mixture of cold water and a few tablespoons of vinegar. After it soaks for about 20 minutes, rinse the sweater and lay it out flat to dry.
I personally do not like the vinegar method because I am afraid the smell might linger on my clothing and I’ll smell like a salad. If you are someone that finds the smell of vinegar very off-putting, you can use shampoo and hair conditioner to soften wool. All you need to do is follow these steps from eHow:
- Fill a sink with lukewarm water and add about 1/4 cup of a mild shampoo (think baby shampoo). Submerge the sweater completely and let it soak for about an hour. The gentle cleansing solution in the shampoo should clean the wool effectively and relax the fibers. After an hour, drain the sink and rinse the sweater thoroughly with lukewarm water.
- Fill the sink up again with lukewarm water. This time, mix about 6 tablespoons of hair conditioner into the water. Submerge the sweater completely and let it soak for about 10 minutes. This will allow conditioner to fully absorb into the sweater and soften the fibers. Once it has soaked for about 10 minutes, rinse the sweater with tepid water.
- Once the sweater is completely rinsed, lay it flat on a clean towel. Gently roll the towel while the sweater is still laying flat on it. As you roll, lightly press down to remove the excess water. Be careful not to wring or twist the sweater because this will damage the texture and the fibers.