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How to Wash Cashmere at Home (Hand or Machine Wash)

Last Updated: August 6, 2021

Owning cashmere sweaters (or other garments) is exciting and will make anyone feel luxurious, until it comes to wash the garment. Dry cleaning can be expensive and washing at home can seem intimidating – what if you ruin it?

Lucky for you, we’re here to share how to wash cashmere at home without ruining your favorite sweater.

Can you wash cashmere at home?

Yes, you can absolutely wash your luxurious cashmere garments from the comfort of your home (even if they say dry clean only). You just need to proceed with caution and make sure to follow recommended steps and tips for washing cashmere. 

Note: Keep in mind that you never want to “shock” cashmere fabric. This means keeping it away from hot water, handling it gently when hand washing, using a gentle soap, keeping it away from hot areas, and avoiding anything else that could shock the fabric. 

RELATED: What is Cashmere? Ultimate Guide

How to Hand Wash Cashmere

We *highly* recommend hand washing cashmere as some washing machines can be too rough on cashmere, even on a gentle cycle. Here are our recommended steps for hand washing cashmere. 

  1. Pretreat any spots and stains using a gentle soap or wool cleaner. 
  2. Fill a bucket or tub with lukewarm water (always make sure the water isn’t too hot). 
  3. Wash the garment gently with a wool or cashmere cleaner (Woolite or the Laundress Wool & Cashmere Shampoo
  4. Gently massage the wool cleaner into the cashmere and leave to soak in the tub for an hour.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.  
  6. Squeeze out the water gently, but don’t wring the garment. 
  7. Place on a dry towel and pull the cashmere garment into shape.
  8. Roll the towel up all the way, making sure to keep the shape of your garment
  9. Place somewhere warm to dry.
  10. Once it’s nearly dry, take out the garment and let it air dry away from heat sources. 
  11. Steam your garment to get any wrinkles out. If you don’t have a steamer, you can use an iron. Hold the iron 0.5–1 inch away and direct bursts of steam onto any wrinkles. Make sure not to touch the garment with the iron as it can shock the fabric.

How to Machine Wash Cashmere

If you absolutely must use your washing machine, here are some tips to follow. We can’t guarantee this will prevent any damage, but these steps can help minimize it. 

  1. Always use a mesh bag to protect the delicate cashmere fabric when machine washing.
  2. Optional: Pretreat any stains with a gentle formula (the Laundress Stain Solution is formulated for cashmere and other delicate fabrics) 
  3. Add a gentle wool shampoo to the washing machine.  
  4. Use cool water, delicate cycle, and low spin settings. 
  5. Do not use a machine dryer. Dry flat away from heat sources

Bottom Line

Overall, washing your cashmere garments at home is fairly simple and will result in like-new garments as long as you follow the steps above. Again, we recommend going with the hand wash method to ensure you don’t damage the delicate cashmere.