Shopping My Closet
January 25, 2017

How to care for sweaters: laundering, pill removal, storage

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How to care for sweaters: laundering, pill removal, storage | www.shoppingmycloset.com

Now that we’re in the thick of the winter season, sweaters are in full rotation. Whether you’re pulling out sweaters already in your closet or making some new additions, this post will be dedicated sweater care and maintenance, covering everything from laundering to removing pills to storage.

READ THE LABEL

Make sure you understand the care instructions for your sweaters. Is it machine wash, hand wash, or dry clean only? Reading the clothing care tag carefully will help you to prolong its wear.

How to care for sweaters: laundering, pill removal, storage | www.shoppingmycloset.com

LAUNDERING

If your sweater is made of anything aside from a wool-derivative or cashmere, chances are you’ll be able to machine wash it. Simply follow the care instructions to keep the sweater clean but also, fresh and new looking.

Wool and cashmere take a little bit more effort to care for but it’s not impossible. Here’s my breakdown of how to care for them:

Sanitize
If you’ve spent any time near a clothes steamer, you know how hot it can get. This makes it the perfect use for sweater care. The hot steam kills off any odor-causing bacteria or eliminates that “I’ve spent too much time at Starbucks” coffee smell that’s traveled home with you long after you’ve left the shop.

I use this steamer – it comes with an over-the-door steam pad and protects the door itself from absorbing any high heat and possibly damaging the wood.

Deodorize
Vodka isn’t only for consuming – you can use it to get the smell out of your clothes! The alcohol kills off bacteria and is odorless when it dries. In a spray bottle with an adjustable spray valve, mix 2 parts of cheap, high-proof vodka to 1 part water. Adjust the valve so it comes out as a fine mist as to protect delicate fabrics from drenching liquids.

If there’s either a lingering odor or stain, I turn to this in-home dry cleaning kit. I use the included spray to pretreat any stained areas. Then, I place my sweaters into the bag along with the cleaning cloth. Set the dryer on medium heat and 30 minutes later, I have clean and refreshed sweaters. To date, I’ve had no problems with shrinkage or malformation on my wool or cashmere sweater. It is an economic advantage compared to a traditional dry cleaning service. Also, the fabrics have less exposure to harsh chemicals that come with dry cleaning that can cause breakdown or fading.

Handwashing
I reserve handwashing sweaters when I have deeply involved stains. Fill up a bucket or sink with cold water and use this wool/cashmere shampoo. Gently agitate the stained areas and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Rinse the sweater with clean water, pick it up like a ball and squeeze out as much excess water as possible without wringing it. Never pick up wet (delicate) sweaters by the shoulders as the weight of the water will cause it to lose its shape. Place the sweater on one end of a clean, dry towel and open it up so that the sweater is laying flat. Then, roll the sweater up in the towel (like a pinwheel) to get out more water. Lay it flat to dry.

How to care for sweaters: laundering, pill removal, storage | www.shoppingmycloset.com

Black sweater (similar) // Cream turtleneck sweater // Navy cable knit sweater // Grey tie-cuff sweater (similar) // Pink sweater (similiar) // Tan split back sweater

 

EXTENDING TIME BETWEEN WASHES

Wear a base layer underneath your sweaters. Why, you ask?
1. Dressing in layers allows you to take off the sweater if you get warm(er) during the day
2. It serves as a barrier between your skin and sweater. This prevents direct contact of the skin on the sweater and lessens the transfer of body oils, sweat, and odors.
3. You probably don’t have to think twice about throwing the base layer in your laundry and as a result, extend the time between washes for your sweater.

My personal favorite base layers are these “heat-tech” ones from Uniqlo. The cut is fitted so it keeps the core warm. It’s available in a variety of cuts: tank top, camisole, short sleeve, long sleeve, and turtleneck. Note: the long sleeve is more like ¾ sleeve – perfect for layering underneath your sweater without showing the base layer.

How to care for sweaters: laundering, pill removal, storage | www.shoppingmycloset.com

Crop sweater with front pockets

 

PILL REMOVAL

I have a few tools in my arsenal when it comes to those pesky sweater pills: a sweater comb, sweater stone and fabric shaver. If possible, make sure to start in inconspicuous area and work your way towards the more visible areas. For either the sweater comb or stone, use one hand to hold the sweater and use the other hand to make short, unidirectional strokes to catch the fuzz. Personally, I prefer the sweater comb for delicate sweaters or loose knits. For the sweater shaver use a circular motion to catch the pills. Over time, pills can accumulate, so I find it’s easiest to do this after each wear. That way the task doesn’t seem so daunting to tackle and also, prevents your sweater from having a dull look.

STORAGE

You’ve probably heard it time and time again: never hang your sweaters. This causes them to lose their shape and can result in hanger marks at the shoulders. Folding is the best method to store your sweaters. If you absolutely have to hang your sweaters, try this alternative method.

How to care for sweaters: laundering, pill removal, storage | www.shoppingmycloset.com

This method is probably best for lighter weight sweaters. Bulkier ones can cause a strain on the hanger and weigh down a thin closet clothing rod.

For storage after the winter months are over, I use these canvas bags. The canvas helps the fabrics to “breathe” and decreases any disintegration. The zipper is perfect for preventing any bugs from coming in. If you opt to use plastic storage bins, get a large cut of cotton fabric and wrap the sweaters in that. The cotton helps to protect the delicate fabrics from condensation that may build up in the bins. If you’re storing for a prolonged period of time (i.e years), remember that plastic isn’t as permeable as canvas and can increase the rate of fabric break down. Also, you may consider adding some cedar blocks or lavender satchels to deter bugs from infesting your sweaters. Store any of these items in a cool place and away from direct sunlight.

Shopping My Closet

Welcome to the weekly Style Me Wednesday fashion link-up! The Style Me Wednesday fashion blog link-up goes live every Wednesday and is meant to be a venue for you to showcase what you’re wearing or a favorite look. It’s the perfect opportunity to discover new bloggers (and friends!) and styles.

Simply follow the steps below to join Style Me Wednesday fashion link up!

STYLE ME WEDNESDAY LINK-UP GUIDELINES
1. Follow your host, Shopping My Closet, on Bloglovin’, Instagram, and Facebook

2. Link up using the widget below to your specific blog post (i.e today’s post), not your blog’s homepage

3. Grab a button to share on your blog post about Shopping My Closet’s blog link up

Pin the image below for future reference

How to care for sweaters: laundering, pill removal, storage | www.shoppingmycloset.com

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January 18, 2017

How to clean & care for white sneakers

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How to care and clean for your white sneakers | www.shoppingmycloset.com

What’s the worst thing about wearing a pair of new, sparkly white sneakers? For me, it’s when they get dirty! Yes, sneakers are meant to be worn and will get dirty but I can’t help but to always want to keep them in their original condition. Here are some tips I have for keeping your white sneakers clean:

PREVENTATIVE CARE

When it’s leather or canvas, I always treat my shoes with a protectant to help repel future stains and make any clean up much easier. I use this multipurpose shoe spray from Cadillac – it works on leather, suede, canvas, nubuck, and other fabrics. I usually do this outside or in a well-ventilated area. Grab an empty box and place the shoes in there. Optional: stuff the shoe opening with paper. With an even stroke, spray the protectant on the shoe. Allow it to dry and apply a second coat to ensure any areas missed with the first coat gets protected.

How to care and clean for your white sneakers | www.shoppingmycloset.com

REGULAR CARE

Most sneakers have a rubber sole and those are usually be the areas that get dirty. A quick spray with an all purpose cleaner, like Formula 409, and dabbed with a paper towel or sponge will easy get rid of any unwanted dirt. If the dirt is stubborn, try spraying the area then using a toothbrush to agitate the area and wipe clean. For tougher stains, I rely on a some magic, namely a Magic Eraser. If you’re on the go or traveling and unable to get ahold of these items, these quick wipes are a great substitute.

How to care and clean for your white sneakers | www.shoppingmycloset.com

Shoes

INTENSE CARE

When my shoes are due for some intense cleaning, I prefer to hand wash. Some people like place their shoes in the wash under gentle/delicate cycle but I find that it doesn’t do as good of a job and at times, has cause some malformation to the shoe itself. This Jason Markk shoe cleaner, is to date, my go-to choice (if you’re in the LA area, they even offer drop off shoe care service!). I start off by unlacing the shoes and wiping away any dirt/stains with a paper towel. Wet the brush with warm water and then add some of the cleaner solution to the brush. Then, scrub down the entire shoe. Wipe away excess dirt and let the shoe air dry.

How to care and clean for your white sneakers | www.shoppingmycloset.com

How to care and clean for your white sneakers | www.shoppingmycloset.com

What about the laces?
I scrub the laces with detergent, paying extra attention to the area around the eyelets. Then, I let the laces soak in the detergent for about an hour to let it get fully clean. If the laces are exceptionally dirty, I add a bit of Oxy-Clean to help whiten them. Wash out any residue, wring out the laces, and let them air dry.

Don’t forget to reapply protectant after each wash and as needed!

Would love to hear how you keep your sneakers white – share in the comments below!

 
 
 

Don’t forget to check out my other how-to guides

Shop white sneakers

Shopping My Closet

Welcome to the weekly Style Me Wednesday fashion link-up! The Style Me Wednesday fashion blog link-up goes live every Wednesday and is meant to be a venue for you to showcase what you’re wearing or a favorite look. It’s the perfect opportunity to discover new bloggers (and friends!) and styles.

Simply follow the steps below to join Style Me Wednesday fashion link up!

STYLE ME WEDNESDAY LINK-UP GUIDELINES
1. Follow your host, Shopping My Closet, on Bloglovin’, Instagram, and Facebook

2. Link up using the widget below to your specific blog post (i.e today’s post), not your blog’s homepage

3. Grab a button to share on your blog post about Shopping My Closet’s blog link up

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January 10, 2017

How to read the symbols on your clothing tags + FREE printable!

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How to read the care symbols on your clothing tags (+free printable) | see all the details on www.shoppingmycloset.com

Pink silk blouse {this season’s} // Lace peplum top {under $30 with code MUSTSHOP} // Bow sweater

 

You just bought a new, coveted piece to add to your closet. You put new said item in the wash. Raise your hand if you’ve ever washed something in the laundry and once you pull it out find that it’s not the same shape or size anymore? I’ve been guilty of shrinking a sweater (or two) in my day! Sometimes, the directions for care are written on the tag but sometimes, they’re not and you’re left with only the laundry symbols to decipher. What exactly does that circle or square or triangle mean?

Today’s clothing is made from so many different materials or combinations of, that it’s hard to have a one-size-fits-all approach to the care. When I buy something, I want it to last so I can get the most wear out of it so it only makes sense to understand the care instructions.

How to read the care symbols on your clothing tags (+free printable) | see all the details on www.shoppingmycloset.com

I’ve gotten tired of having items no longer fitting properly due to laundering mishaps that I did some research and compiled a guide of how to read laundry symbols including: wash, dry, iron, and dry clean. Hopefully, this guide helps answer all your questions about those pesky symbols and you’re able to care for your clothes properly.

Feel free to pin the image below for reference, or if you’d like to print it out to hang in your laundry area, I’ve included a link below (can be as big as 16″x20″).

Deciphered: laundry tag symbols | www.shoppingmycloset.com

DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE:

Printable poster size (16″ x 20″)

 
 
 

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