The answer depends on a few factors, including your personal comfort level, how much you sweat or exert yourself while wearing the item, and whether you wear an undershirt. Experts at The Laundress generally recommend laundering cashmere knits and wool pieces approximately every three to four wears. If you have a pile of sweaters in your closet that you don't wear too often, then once or twice a season is perfect to keep them feeling fresh. It's also especially important to launder natural fibers like cashmere before storing away items for the summer season, as residue from sweat or body oil (even if it doesn't smell!) can attract bugs. (source)


Hand-wash, unless the label specifically says not to. "A Frenchwoman taught me to never send cashmere to the dry cleaners," says Tina Craig, cofounder of the website Snob Essentials and a collector of high fashion. No matter what type of wool or cashmere you are washing, you can follow the same steps outlined below (source):

  1. Fill a sink, tub, or basin with cold water—but not ice cold—and add a squirt of a cleanser that's specially formulated for wool
  2. Submerge your sweater in the bath. Separate beiges and whites from any colors
  3. Gently swirl your garment around for about 30 seconds, and let it soak for up to 30 minutes before rinsing out the soap with cold water from the faucet (Note: if there is color in the water, don't worry! It's normal. The yarn dye is simply releasing color and you will not notice any loss of color after the wash is complete. Always wash only like-colored items together)
  4. Drain the dirty water and rinse with cool, clean water


  1. Sweaters should never be tumble dried. Instead, gently squeeze the water from your garment by pressing the sweater into a ball but do DO NOT WRING THE SWEATER. Wringing manipulates the fibers, and when the yarns are wet, they're weaker," our The Laundress expert says. "You might end up disfiguring your sweater." (source)
  2. Once it's no longer sopping wet, lay it out on a dry towel and manipulate the sweater so that it conforms to its original shape
  3. Fold the towel in half over your sweater; then roll the towel with the sweater inside (like a sleeping bag!) until most of the moisture is gone
  4. Place it onto a fresh towel to finish the drying process


  1. Never Hang. Although sweaters can be space hogs, it's important to fold (not hang!) them. Preserve their shape by keeping them in drawers or on shelves, folded or rolled. If you do need to hang it, fold it over the hanger but ideally over a sheet of tissue paper to prevent a crease (source)
  2. Store in Breathable Clothing Storage Bags or Boxes. For long-term storage, avoid plastic bins or vacuum storage bags, where moisture and bugs happily thrive. Cotton, muslin, or canvas are great, breathable options. Note: Bugs hate cedar and lavender, so toss a small satchel filled with either in with your sweaters for added protection (source)
  3. Wash at the End of the Season. Before you store your knits away for the season, make sure to give them a wash. The main reason? Moths. Even if you only wore the item one time, you might attract bugs, which consider body oil, products like lotion, and perfume food


  • Pills - The unavoidable truth is all sweaters will pill just by wearing or cleaning them. You can remove pills easily by holding the sweater flat with one hand and slicing off pills one at a time with a simple razor, like a Bic. You can also buy a manual pill remover
  • Wrinkles - Ironing can crush or flatten the natural pile of the yarns. Instead steam to remove wrinkles and odors. You can also spritz a fabric freshening spray between wearing and washing