How to clean a cashmere blanket

Cashmere blankets are great for the sofa. Done carefully, they can also be washed with soap and water. To protect your favourite cashmere blanket, here's advice on how to clean it.
Cashmere is a fabric made from the undercoat of cashmere goats. It’s incredibly soft, warm and surprisingly durable. Still, dry cleaning solvents are tough on the fibers, causing them to dry out and break. If you’re hoping to save that baby blanket for posterity, learning how to wash cashmere yourself could be key to preserving it.
Don't let stains sit

For the best success in removing stains, tackle them as soon as they happen with plain soda water and a clean rag. Blot the stain, don’t rub. If necessary, use a gentle laundry detergent or baby shampoo to spot clean the stain.

Machine wash gently

Don’t worry about washing cashmere sweaters and other cashmere apparel after each wearing. This will only put your clothes through unnecessary wear and tear.

  • You can put cashmere in the washing machine if you choose a delicate wash and spin setting with cool water.
  • Cashmere is sensitive to heat, so never use hot water.
  • Put sweaters and small items in a mesh laundry bag to prevent them from tangling.
  • If you're cleaning a cashmere blanket that has musty odors from storage, add a half a cup of baking soda to the wash.
  • Use only a small amount of laundry detergent designed for delicate fabrics.
  • Remove promptly once the cycle is finished. Do not put cashmere in the dryer. Lay flat to dry.

Hand wash to preserve quality

  • Fill a sink or basin with cool or tepid water and a few drops of gentle laundry detergent or baby shampoo.
  • Add the garment, gently swirling and pressing down to push the water through the fabric.
  • Don’t panic if the water releases the color of the garment. It’s not unusual for natural fiber yarns to release dye when wet, and you won’t notice any color loss once it’s dry.

Getting rid of musty odors

You can remove those musty odors when hand washing by mixing in a quarter cup of vinegar.

  • Let blanket soak for 10—15 minutes, then empty the basin. The fabric will be heavy now that it’s wet, so take care to prevent stretching.
  • Small items can be rinsed under cool running water, squeezing out the water until soapy bubbles disappear.
  • For sweaters and other large apparel, refill the basin with clean, cool water and press through fabric until all signs of soap are gone.
  • Gently squeeze out water but be careful not to wring or twist.
  • If necessary, roll the garment in a clean, dry towel to remove excess moisture.
  • Lay flat or hang to dry.

Wash cashmere prior to storing to remove body oils or perfumes—both are like catnip to moths. When storing cashmere, wrap folded clothes or blankets in tissue paper and place in a clear plastic box or in plastic bags. Mothballs or cedar chips are good moth deterrents. Store away from heat, light and moisture.

Washing cashmere blankets correctly will preserve their luxurious quality.

How to clean a cashmere blanket
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