Cotton sweaters are a versatile clothing piece that can be worn in both warm and cold temperatures. The cotton material breathes but also soaks up sweat and stains quickly, which is why it's essential to keep your sweater clean. Knowing how to properly wash a cotton sweater will extend its life and keep it stain free. If your sweater is a bright, rich color such as red, pink or blue, wash it alone the first time to ensure any dyes that may come out don’t tarnish other clothing.
Put the sweater into the washing machine with other cotton pieces of similar color. For example, wash a dark navy sweater with other dark pieces or a white sweater with only other cotton whites.
Use cold water and mild, bleach-free detergent. Never wash cotton with hot water. Cotton is susceptible to shrinkage, and heat is a quick way to destroy a sweater’s size and shape.
Pour in a cup of distilled white vinegar during the machine’s rinse cycle to help brighten cotton, fight stains and further remove any smells the sweater may have soaked up.
Lay the sweater flat on a clean towel once the wash cycle is done, and place another towel on top of it. (Hanging it to dry can cause the sweater to droop and sag.)
Roll the sweater up between the towels and gently press down to squeeze out excess moisture. Unroll and smooth the sweater flat out on another dry towel, removing wrinkles.