Today I’ve been busy cleaning and packing away my Christmas sweaters to hide under my bed for another year. And yes, I do wear Christmas sweaters, not the tacky kind that would win one of the popular holiday Tacky Sweater contests. But I like them and enjoy wearing them.

Some are decorated with beads, some with ribbons, some with sequins. But how do you clean them without ruining them (or shrinking them to doll size)?


Always turn your sweaters inside out before cleaning to protect the decorations.

If you only wore your sweater once or twice, and it passes the armpit sniff test, then you can get away with tumbling your sweater in a dryer on cool or air temperature for just a few minutes.  Toss in a fabric dryer sheet to perk up the smell.

If you have a stain, pre-treat with a fabric stain remover.  I prefer Shout. Of course, it’s always best to treat the stain right when it happens with something like the Tide-to-Go pen, but that’s not always possible.  Don’t you know, it always happens at a party, right in front of someone!

If they need a more thorough cleaning, set your washer to gentle with a high level of water. Lay them flat to dry. I use a thick towel and lay them out, smoothing out wrinkles. After a few hours, flip it over to let the air get to the other side.

I would discourage putting them in the dryer, even on low heat, unless you’re certain no harm will come to it.  There’s nothing worse than trying on that beloved sweater and finding that it’s shrunk so much that it rides half way up your stomach and arms. Nothing like feeling fat after the Holidays!

Use a plastic razor blade to carefully shave off any pills after washing.

Pack Them Away

I have an under-the-bed plastic storage bin that holds my holiday clothes like sweaters, shirts, and socks. After completely drying, I carefully fold them, and pack them away. You don’t need to add any scented paper or liners, and moths can’t go through the plastic.  They’ll be ready to wear next year.