Cashmere Care: On Hand Washing vs. Dry Cleaning
Hand washing is a great way to safely clean cashmere knits. It’s gentle on your clothes and the environment, doesn’t require a trip to the cleaners, and costs far less. Always use cold water and a mild detergent such as baby shampoo or our Cashmere Care. After soaking and rinsing thoroughly, squeeze out excess water, but never wring. Lay the sweater out flat between two towels, roll to dry, and place the sweater on a dry towel or drying rack. Getting out the excess water is important because- like other wools and cotton- cashmere should not be wet for long periods of time. If you must iron (though a nice flat drying surface should preclude this) check the garment care label for instructions. Taking care to hand wash properly is a good way to keep both your clothes and the environment in better shape.
Dry cleaning has long been a highly recommended way to clean without damaging garments. But what’s safe for your clothes isn’t necessarily safe for the environment. There will always be situations- such as with delicate silks, stained items, and tailored suiting- where dry cleaning is the best solution. However, dry cleaning has certain drawbacks that you may want to consider when an alternative method is available. Dry cleaning usually uses a non-aqueous solvent called perchloroethylene. Although most of this chemical is reclaimed in the process, dry cleaning can impact exposed workers and groundwater. Some businesses now offer alternative “wet cleaning” which uses water and detergents. Both methods have benefits and drawbacks. The best way to ensure that your cashmere sweaters are cleaned safely and responsibly is to wash them by hand.