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How to hand wash and dry knits

How to hand wash and dry items

It looks like a lot. The short version is: soak the item in warm water with a gentle wool wash, lay flat to dry. If you’re nervous about ruining your item, follow the more detailed instructions below. Before you know it, it’ll be second nature. If you want to know more about why we use this process, check out our detailed post about caring for your knit items, including recommendations for detergents.

What you need:

  1. A bowl or tub large enough that your item can be fully submerged.

  2. An absorbent towel, about twice as big as your item.

  3. A clean, flat, undisturbed, dry location for your item to dry.


  1. A mild detergent or shampoo.

What you do:

  1. Fill the bowl or tub with warm—not hot—water to create a bath for your knit piece. The water should be around 100 degrees Fahrenheit: when you stick your elbow in, your elbow should feel warm but not hot.

  2. If you’re using a detergent, follow the instructions on the detergent. If you’re using shampoo, add a very small amount to your water (about ½ tsp of shampoo to 1 gallon water).

  3. Put your item in the bath of detergent and water, gently pressing it into the water until the piece is submerged and has absorbed water on every part of the item. Leave the item in the bath for about 15 minutes.

  4. If your detergent requires rinsing, rinse according to instructions on packaging. Using shampoo requires rinsing.

  5. Lay out your towel flat.

  6. Pull your knit piece out of the bath and very gently squeeze excess water out. Do not wring or twist item. Folding and pressing is a better method to ensure you’re not putting undue stress on the fibers.

  7. Lay your piece flat on half of the towel, then fold the towel over. Gently roll up the towel with your knit piece inside, removing excess water. Unroll, and remove your knit piece.

  8. Lay knit piece on a drying rack or flat place, gently reforming it into the desired shape. Let the item dry completely before wearing or storing (typically allow 24 hours).


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