How to Restore a Sweater

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Before you retire that old sweater as a casualty of wear and tear, there might be a few things you can do to salvage it. From fuzz balls to discoloration, you have a few options to restore your favorite sweater and have it looking and smelling almost brand new.

Restore a shrunken sweater by soaking in detangling hair conditioner or shampoo for at least an hour. These products contain special ingredients that can loosen up the fibers in the sweater so that you can easily flatten and gently stretch the sweater back into its original shape and size.

Repair holes in the sweater. In storage, moths may eat away at sweaters, leaving visible holes in the fabric. A small patch of fabric taken from another part of the sweater can be sewn in to make the hole appear invisible. This step may require the expertise of a seamstress or someone with the ability to stitch and sew, but this is an option if you absolutely want to restore your favorite sweater.

Remove fuzz using a fabric shaver. This device is inexpensive and may be found in stores like Walmart, Target or Kmart. A fabric shaver is perfect for removing those little balls of fuzz that tend to make a sweater look old and raggedy.

Dye your sweater. If the color has faded, there are specific dyes for fabrics such as wool that can restore the color of your sweater. Follow the instructions on the dye packaging and always allow the sweater to air dry to preserve its size and shape.

Remove oil and grease stains by dabbing troubled spots with cornstarch; allow the cornstarch to sit for at least 30 minutes. Once the stained areas have been treated, machine or hand wash -- depending on the care instructions -- with bleach-free detergent and allow the sweater to air dry.

Remove old and unpleasant odors from your favorite sweater by soaking it in equal parts vinegar and water. Once you’ve eliminated the unpleasant scent, add a fresh smell by soaking the sweater in fabric softener or spraying it with linen spray.