Cashmere jumpers, scarves, and blankets are winter staples here in the UK, and for good reasons!
Cashmere is a lightweight material, so it’s easy to handle and wear, and it keeps you really warm on cold days.
But how often should you wash cashmere items?
How Often to Wash Cashmere
There isn’t an exact timescale to follow when it comes to cleaning cashmere because there are a few variables at play. This includes personal preference and how dirty the item gets.
However, as a rule, you shouldn’t wash cashmere too often. For example, you shouldn’t wash it after every wear, as this can weaken the material, reduce its lifespan, and cause bobbling (pilling).
That being said, you should remove stains from a cashmere piece immediately to improve its longevity and appearance. Plus, old stains are a headache to remove, so get them cleaned off straight away!
In general, you should be able to wear your cashmere garment comfortably and without much trouble at least three to four times before having to wash it, particularly if you wear a top underneath a jumper, for example.
In some situations, you can extend this period to after every seven to ten wears if you air it out, brush, and treat stains on your cashmere item.
Some people, however, swear by only cleaning their cashmere items at the end of the winter season (before they swap to their summer clothes). This, of course, does come down to personal choice though.
You can usually leave blankets and scarves to go unwashed for even longer than sweaters because they might not make direct contact with your body and will not be exposed to sweat and the likes as much.
As noted above, personal preference does play a significant role in how often you should wash cashmere.
For example, if you’ve worn your cashmere jumper on a particularly warm day, you might’ve gotten a bit sweaty, and the item needs to be washed at the end of the day.
Similarly, if you tipped juice all over a cashmere blanket, you might have to wash the entire item.
There are, of course, ways you can refresh cashmere without actually washing it too. This includes de-piling it and airing the item out.
These alternative methods can help to improve the look, smell, and feel of the cashmere garment for you.
Why Do You Need to Clean Cashmere?
You may not need to wash cashmere very often, but you still need to clean cashmere items at some point.
Not cleaning cashmere properly makes it very desirable to moth larvae. The baby moths essentially lurk in your dark wardrobes waiting for a tasty feast to put in an appearance. The cuisine: your cashmere item(s)!
To stop the moths from eating and damaging your garments, you need to keep them clean and store them correctly when they’re not in use.
It’s imperative that you remove stains and old bits of food from your cashmere items when they’re still in use during the winter season.
So, either use an official stain remover to clean blemishes off the garment(s), or brush the item(s) to remove chunks of dirt from the surface. Be sure to make your garments undesirable to the moth larvae.
And ideally, you should clean your cashmere item(s) at the end of every winter season, regardless of whether or not you’ve worn the items. You must also fold and store the garments in sealable bags!
These are the best ways to protect your garments from insects when you’re not going to be using them.
Although, it’s worth pointing out that you must be very careful when caring for cashmere clothing as it’s a fine fabric that can be easily damaged. As a guide, you should read the care label on your cashmere garment and adhere to the washing advice that is outlined on the tag.
Cashmere is generally cleaned by hand, in cold to lukewarm water, and with a mild detergent. See our guide to the best detergents to clean cashmere with if you don’t already have a suitable detergent.
Sometimes you’ll need to take your outfit to a dry cleaners, but the care label will advise you on this.
In addition to this, drying your cashmere item is equally important. If you just bundle up and toss your cashmere garment into a dryer, you risk shrinking it and misshaping it. So, adhere to the ‘best drying’ practices, and your outfit will be fine.
This includes laying the item flat out on a neutral-coloured towel and rolling it up to remove moisture, and then laying the item flat out on another dry towel and pulling it back into its original shape. You should not hang the item up as this will misshapen the garment!
Bethan has a passion for exploring, reading, cooking and gardening! When she’s not creating culinary delights for her family, she’s concocting potions to keep her house clean!