6 Sweater Hacks That Will Save Your Knits From Shrinkage, Stains, & Pills

Sweater weather is officially upon us, which means that it's time to address some sweater hacks that everyone should know. Because, if you love something, you should take care of it, right? And since we all basically live for (and in) sweaters this time of year, there are certain tips and tricks that will help not only prolong the life of your favorite sweaters, but also the shape and wear of them. Because as warm and snuggly as sweaters are, they can also be a bit of a pain to care for.

This is because, unfortunately, sweaters are prone to easily shrinking, stretching, shedding, smelling, and of course, pilling. So to help more easily prevent and correct those dreaded shoulder bumps, a musty smell, and even the effects of your favorite sweater accidentally spending a little too much time in the dryer, there are some hacks you need to know (especially if you've already spent a considerable amount of time and/or money finding the best sweaters to keep your perpetually cold self warm this winter). Here are six tips and tricks to get the most and best wear out of your sweaters this winter.

1. How To Hang A Sweater

The proper way to hang a sweater will take up slightly more space in your closet, but it's totally worth it to prevent those shoulder bumps (you know the ones). All you have to do is fold your sweater in half length-wise, and then just drape it around a hanger. The arms should fall around one side of the hook, and the body around the other. And don't worry, there won't be any weird dents in your sweater hanging it this way either.

2. How To Kill Odors

For anyone who wants another reason to keep vodka stocked, it can help kill stale odors from older sweaters or ones that have been in storage. Just pour some into a spray bottle and lightly spritz over your sweater (after first testing a small, unnoticeable area). Then just make sure to hang the sweater to dry in a well-ventilated area.

3. How To Stretch Out A Shrunken Sweater

If you accidentally gave your sweater too much time in the dryer, and it's a little too tight now, don't fret. You can still stretch it back out. All you have to do is mix a solution of two cups water and one teaspoon baby shampoo or conditioner. Soak the sweater in the solution, and then gently squeeze out excess water. Lay the sweater flat, and gently stretch it out to the desired size. Use heavy objects like paperweights to hold the sweater in the new shape while it dries. Then it should be good as new!

4. How To De-Pill A Sweater

The best way to prevent pills is to properly wash your sweaters. That means turning them inside-out, washing them on the gentle cycle, and not leaving them in the dryer for too long. But if those pills still pop up, there are a few options. One of the most popular is to gently sweep a razor over the sweater to remove any pills. However, you could also comb over your sweater or even go in with a pair of scissors and cut off individual pills if there aren't too many.

5. How To Stop Shedding

If you have a particularly fuzzy sweater that has a tendency to shed, all you have to do is put your sweater in a gallon-sized sealable bag and leave it in the freezer for a few hours. Not only will this keep your sweater from shedding, but freezing your sweaters will also help eliminate odors.

6. How To Make A Sweater Fluffy

If your sweaters seem to have fallen a little flat and just aren't quite as cozy as you remember them anymore, a little vinegar can help. Just throw in a capful or two of white vinegar during the rinse cycle, and prepare to yell, "IT'S SO FLUFFY I'M GONNA DIE!"

Images: Miki Hayes