How To Wash Sweater Dresses Properly So They Don't Shrink — PHOTOS

Sweater dresses are a winter staple. They're warm, comfortable, and inherently stylish. The only problem with sweater dresses, and sweaters in general, is that sometimes they can be difficult to wash and dry without shrinking them or destroying the shape. There are a few things you can do, however, to learn how to wash sweater dresses properly so they don't shrink.

The first thing you should do is read the care instructions on the tag. Now, the problem with this is that a lot of sweater dresses probably say that they need to be hand washed or dry cleaned, and let's face it, no one has time for that, not to mention that dry cleaning can be expensive. In my experience, you can wash a sweater dress in the washing machine (although if it's super expensive, you might want to hand wash it, just to be safe) as long as you use the gentle cycle. It's not really going to shrink in the wash, especially if you use cold water.

The trick to keeping sweater dresses from shrinking is to avoid putting it in the dryer — that's where the damage happens. Instead, after you've washed your sweater dress gently and with cold water, don't put it in the dryer, but rather, lay it flat to dry. Now you may be wondering "why can't I just hang it up to dry?" Well, you can, but by laying it flat, you don't have to worry about your sweater dress becoming misshapen, which can sometimes happen if you hang it.

Once your sweater dress is dry, run a dryer sheet over it to get rid of static (which is a problem I frequently encounter). Voila! You now have a clean sweater that has not changed sizes. What a relief.

If you're still unsure what you should do and are looking for specific instructions based on the type of material your sweater dress is made of, look no further than these YouTube tutorials.

1. How To Wash A Cotton Sweater Dress

essortment on YouTube

Unless you have a heavily soiled stain, wash your cotton sweater inside out to preserve the integrity of how it looks.

2. How To Wash A Cashmere Sweater Dress

LEAF on YouTube

Cashmere can be tricky, but whatever you do — do not wash it in the washing machine. Opt for hand-washing and hanging it to dry.

3. How To Wash A Wool Sweater Dress

Conni Jespersen on YouTube

Washing your wool sweater dress will be similar to that of a cashmere sweater dress — hand-washing is key, as well as using a mild detergent and tepid (not too hot and not too cold) water.

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Bustle on YouTube