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Keep Your Sweaters in Good Shape with These Easy Tips

A closet organizer with sweaters; a hand using a defuzzing tool; a pile of cedar on top of red fabric
Zober/Bymore/Cedar Space

Colder weather means it’s finally sweater season. However, as you’re pulling your wool and cashmere out of the closet, you might notice some are misshapen or worn out in certain areas. But that doesn’t have to be the case! With a few care tips and helpful products, you can keep your sweaters looking brand-new for years to come.

Laundering and caring for sweaters requires a bit more effort than basics, like T-shirts. Because they’re made of heavier, more elastic materials, it’s easier for sweaters to get stretched out and misshapen, or worn out. But with these easy tips, and a few storage and care accessories, you can keep your favorite sweaters in excellent shape for years to come.

Always Fold Sweaters When Storing Them

A hanging closet organizer with clothes in it; a woman putting away a sweater

One of the best ways to keep your sweaters in good shape year after year comes down to how you store them. While some closet organization techniques focus on hangers and making use of thin, vertical “slices” of space, this is bad news for sweaters.

When hung upright on a hanger, sweaters, which are usually made of heavier and/or more loosely woven materials, will literally weigh themselves down. The weight of the lower body of the sweater will drag down the rest, pulling from the shoulders down and stretching it out of shape.

To avoid stretching out your sweaters, store them folded up. You can put them in a dresser, if you have one, or get a hanging closet organizer instead!

The Zober Five-Shelf Hanging Closet Organizer is surprisingly roomy, with five sturdy shelves that can hold folded sweaters, as well as other clothing or accessories. It’s a great way to save space while still taking good care of your items.

Zober 5 Shelf Hanging Closet Organizer

Save space and your sweaters.

Use Cedar Blocks in Closets & Drawers

Red fabric in a drawer with cedar blocks; a pile of cedar blocks
Cedar Space

Keeping cedar blocks in your closet might be old-school, but that’s because this time-tested trick actually does keep pests away. Cedar also absorbs moisture and prevents unpleasant odors from infiltrating the fabric of your clothing. Simply stick a few pieces near your sweaters in the closet or in the same drawer.

You can get cedar pieces in many shapes and sizes, but this 16-piece set from Cedar Space is a good, classic option. Each aromatic cedar block is approximately 10 x 4 inches, so they’ll easily fit in most drawers or boxes, or on closet shelves.

Cedar Space Cedar Blocks

Keep your sweaters pest-free and smelling fresh.

Wear a T-Shirt Under Your Sweaters

A woman wearing a white T-shirt; two white V-neck T-shirts
Amazon Essentials

One way to keep sweaters in good shape is by not washing them too much. If you don’t get overheated and sweat a lot or go somewhere with strong smells (like a bonfire) in your sweater, you can usually get away with just airing it out.

But there’s still one thing to consider: even if you’re totally sweat- and scent-free, deodorant is another no-no. It can damage or stain your sweaters if it’s left on the material too long, which defeats the whole point of skipping alternate washes.

To avoid this problem, when the weather is cool enough, wear a basic white T-shirt underneath to put a light layer between the sweater and your skin. Grab something simple, like this two-pack of V-necks, for a light layer between you and your sweater.

Amazon Essentials Women's 2-Pack V-Neck

An extra layer will protect your sweaters.

Always Lay Sweaters Flat to Dry

Sweaters drying on collapsible flat drying racks

Hanging sweaters up when they’re dry is bad enough, but hanging them while they’re still damp after washing is a recipe for stretched-out, deformed clothing! Throwing them in the dryer isn’t an option, either.

Instead, get a mesh drying rack, like this one from OXO, to ensure they evenly dry without stretching. The breathable mesh surface allows air to circulate through the fabric, so your sweaters will dry evenly. This will also prevent any damp spots that invite mustiness.

The stackable, foldable legs allow you to make the most of the space you have, and dry three sweaters at once!

OXO Good Grips Folding Sweater Drying Rack

Allows sweaters to dry while lying flat.

Remove Lint & Pilling with a Fabric De-Fuzzer

A hand using a gray lint defuzzer on the surface of fabric

Even with the best of care, sweaters eventually develop some fuzz and pilling. In many cases, a de-fuzzing tool can refresh the material without damaging it. They have guarded, stainless-steel blades that quickly and gently remove the pieces of fuzz or lint that are sticking out, while leaving the rest completely alone.

The Bymore Fabric Shaver is simple to use and battery-powered. The comfort-grip handle makes it easy to run the device over the surface of your sweaters. It will gently remove any pilled or fuzzy bits (just be sure to clean it out afterward to avoid a build-up of lint). It also comes with a pair of replacement blades.

Bymore Fabric Shaver

De-fuzz those sweaters and keep them looking brand-new.

These tips will work on any type of sweater, from heavy pullovers to comfy cardigans, and everything in-between. Gone are the days of stretched-out, fuzzy sweaters—just follow these easy tips, and you’ll keep them looking brand-new for years!

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »
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