Removing Stains From Cashmere

No matter how careful you are, the occasional stain is unavoidable. Fortunately, there are several options for removing a mark from your favorite cashmere sweater. Keep reading to find out the best method for the type of stain you are dealing with.


General Stain

Try to treat your stain as quickly as possible. Avoid harsh substances such as soap and machine detergents. Instead, run your sweater under cool water and use a cashmere stain treatment such as this one ( from The Laundress. Rather than rubbing in the stain remover immediately, let the liquid penetrate for a little bit before gently working it into the fabric. Keep in mind that harsh rubbing can lead to further damage or holes. Repeat as many times as necessary, then wash the entire sweater under cool water with your regular cashmere wash. If you don’t have a cashmere stain treatment on hand, you can use a mild shampoo or a soft detergent such as Woolite.


Sweat Stain

You can use the same cashmere stain solution (or mild shampoo) directly on the affected area and rub the mark gently. Leave the garment in a basin of cold water and let it soak for some time. To get rid of odors, you can also use a cold water rinse with 3/4 cup of white distilled vinegar. This can help battle any yellowing in the underarm areas of the sweater.


Tannin Stain (Wine, Coffee, Fruits, or Vegetables)

For darker stains from food and drinks, quickly run your cashmere under cool water and use a dishwashing detergent that is unscented and pH-neutral. Gently sponge the affected area without rubbing and continue to run it under cool water until the stain has faded. If you have bits of food stuck to the stain, make sure to first remove it using a dull knife or a spoon without spreading it to other areas. Leave to soak for about 20 minutes before gently rubbing the stain to loosen the mark. 


Make-Up Stain

For powder beauty products such as blush and bronzer, soak your cashmere in cold water with a mild shampoo. Then hand-wash and run under cold water until your cashmere looks brand new.


Grease Stain

If you encounter any greasy make-up items such as lipstick, make sure to first blot away as much product as you can using a clean rag or a cotton swab. Make sure you are dabbing rather than rubbing to not further spread the stain. Next, use baking soda to cover the affected area and leave it on for 20 minutes or more. Brush off the baking soda and most of the stain should be gone. If there is still a mark left, soak the cashmere in a gentle shampoo in cool water.


Mud or Dirt Stain 

Gently remove as much excess mud or dirt as possible without rubbing it into the material. Let the cashmere soak in a stain solution for a little bit before dabbing the area with a cloth. Once the stain has been removed, run your garment under cold water and wash it with your regular cashmere solution. 


Stain Removal Don'ts

  1. Make sure to always use cold water instead of hot.
  2. Never use bleach when removing a stain, even if the mark is very dark. This usually removes the color of your cashmere and damages the fibers.
  3. Do not let your cashmere dry when the stain has not been completely removed. Keep washing until the mark is gone, as the stain will become permanent if you let your cashmere dry out.
  4. After washing your cashmere, make sure you leave your garment flat on a dry towel. Do not hang it up during the drying process as this will change the shape of your cashmere.