Help Save My Favorite Sweater!!!
October 21, 2007 12:51 PM   Subscribe

Help! I spilled laundry detergent on my dry-clean only sweater!

I don't know how serious this concern should be...but I'm worried its very dire!

I accidentally spilled a greater-than-insignificant amount of Tide laundry detergent on my favorite cable-knit wool sweater. Does hope exist? The dry cleaners are closed today...can they get laundry detergent out of dry-clean-only clothing? What should I do??

Help my beloved sweater!!
posted by jefficator to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What should I do??

Drink a beer. Your sweater is fine. You could rinse it out under the tap without damage, but if you dry clean it anyway, might as well just chuck it unmolested at the cleaners tomorrow. Good lord.
posted by kmennie at 12:59 PM on October 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

Liquid or powdered detergent?
posted by Good Brain at 1:03 PM on October 21, 2007

The sweater is likely listed as dryclean only because wool will felt with agitation and hot water. Handwash it in cold water, very gently, and lay it flat to dry. Don't worry!
posted by Madamina at 1:21 PM on October 21, 2007

I wash just about everything labelled "dry clean only" in the delicates program - don't panic! Madamina is right, swill it out in cold or tepid water, lay it flat to dry and it'll be as good as new.
posted by ceri richard at 2:36 PM on October 21, 2007

After you carefully handwash it in cold water, block it – lay it to dry on a cushy surface (covering your bed with some plastic garbage bags with a towel or two on top is a good way), and pin it into the correct shape and size. You can gently stretch it if it seems to have shrunk a bit, but it should remember its shape.

Don't panic – wool is handwashed every day by thousands of knitters without catastrophe. 'Gentle' and 'cold water' are the key words.
posted by lambchop1 at 2:39 PM on October 21, 2007

I agree with those who say don't panic. A note: if you're going to handwash the detergent out of the sweater, make sure to fill the sink with water first--don't let the full force of the water from the tap hit the wool, because that encourages felting (matting together of the fibres).
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:45 PM on October 21, 2007

I did that once. I just took it to a dry cleaner, told them what it was, and they got it out no problem. It's really no big deal. Don't wash it yourself; just take it to the cleaners when they open.
posted by boomchicka at 4:18 AM on October 22, 2007

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