How to Wash Cashmere - A Complete Guide to Cleaning and Preserving Cashmere

How to Wash Cashmere | 27 Miles Malibu

There's nothing like the feel of cashmere. However, many can be deterred from purchasing cashmere pieces because they are unsure of how to wash them. The truth is, your beloved cashmere sweaters and scarves do need special care and attention to keep their softness and warmth intact. The wrong washing technique can cause shrinkage or even damage the fibers of your garment—a tragic fate for something so luxurious and comfortable. But keeping your cashmere pieces in top shape doesn't have to be a challenge. That's why we've put together this helpful guide on how to properly clean and preserve your cashmere pieces so they can stay looking (and feeling) great for years.

How to Wash Cashmere

To wash your cashmere pieces, we recommend starting with the handwash method. Start with a gentle no-rinse detergent and cold water. We recommend Laundress or your favorite baby shampoo. Never use bleach or fabric softener, as these can cause damage to the fibers in your garment. Soak for 15 minutes in water, giving the piece gentle swirls in the water every couple of minutes. This will help break up any dirt or oil that may be on your garment and make it easier to rinse them away later on.
Once 15 minutes have passed, take your garment out of the water and give it a few squeezes to release excess water. Be sure to never wring the piece out. This can cause the cashmere to stretch and lose its shape. If you used baby shampoo, you will need to rinse the piece in fresh water. To do so, simply empty your sink or basin and refill it with clean water. Be sure to never rinse cashmere under running water. Let the garment soak once more before taking it out to dry. If you used Laundress or another no-rinse detergent, you can skip this step.

Woman in Skull Cashmere Sweater

Can You Wash Cashmere in the Machine?

Yes, you can machine wash your cashmere. To do so,  be sure to wash in cold water on a gentle/delicate cycle in a mesh garment bag. While your garment is wet, lay it flat to dry and pat to desired shape. You can increase or decrease the size of the garment at this step if necessary. While it is okay to wash garments in the washing machine, it does come with the risk of damaging the fabric or unintentionally changing the shape of the piece. If you are short on time and handwashing isn’t an option, you can also consider dry cleaning the piece to minimize risk. 

How to Spot Treat Cashmere

If your cashmere garment encounters a stain, it is best to address it immediately so it doesn't set in. To spot treat your cashmere start by blotting the strain with a clean, white cloth and cold water. Then, apply your no-rinse detergent or baby shampoo to the area and let sit for 30 minutes. Then, blot once again with cold water and let it lay flat to dry.

How to Dry Cashmere

One benefit of cashmere is that it dries quickly and stays soft, so you don't have to worry about hanging it up or leaving it out in order for it to dry. To dry your cashmere after washing, simply lay the piece flat on a dry white towel and let it air-dry. Never place your washed cashmere in direct sunlight, use a clothes dryer, or place it on a hot surface like a radiator. The sun can fade the color of your garment and damage its structure, and high heat from a clothes dryer will cause shrinkage.

Woman in Blue Floral Print Cashmere Sweater on Couch

How to Iron Cashmere

To get the wrinkles and creases out of your clothes, we recommend using a steamer. However, you can also use an iron for your cashmere pieces. 
Once your garment is dry, you can iron it on a low heat setting. The fabric is so delicate that exposure to direct heat could cause irreparable damage. To protect the garment from burning and scorching, use a clean cloth between the iron and your cashmere item.
First, place your garment inside out on an ironing board or flat surface. Iron each side of the item separately: first one side, then flip it over and do another pass of ironing with care. Ironing will remove creases (not wrinkles), which is great for freshly washed garments that may have been folded up in storage or travel bags for too long.

How Often Should I Wash Cashmere?

Cashmere is not something that should be washed after every wear. If you want your cashmere pieces to last as long as possible, we recommend washing them after four to five wears or a few times per year. However, remember that if you are wearing the item frequently, you may need to wash it more often. For small incidents, spot treating cashmere is a great option instead of a full wash.

Woman in Cashmere Cardigan

How to Preserve Cashmere

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep your cashmere looking its best for years to come. First, make sure it is stored in a cool, dry place—you don't want the fibers to be exposed to moisture or mold. Be sure to fold and never hang your cashmere and store in a dust bag or other compartment to keep bugs and other dirt away from the garment during the off season. Cashmere is naturally soft and doesn't require much maintenance; however, it is important to remember that washing too often with harsh detergents can damage the fabric over time. 

Finally, one of the best ways to keep your cashmere looking like new is by using a cashmere comb between washes. This will help keep your sweater fresh and remove any lint or pilling.

Cashmere should be something you enjoy, not worry about. With these simple tips, you can enjoy your cashmere for years to come without the stress of damaging it in the wash. If you have any other questions about how to preserve your cashmere pieces from 27 Miles Malibu, be sure to reach out to us here.