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How to Remove Stains from Hand Knit Wool Sweater

Submit an Entry: Your Laundry Questions and Answers

By paola1959

My Laundry Question

I have a cream colored hand knitted woolen sweater which has a few yellow/light orange colored stains.

Share a Little Background Info

The yellow stains are quite old and was possibly food stain that was not washed when it was put away. I last wore it about 25 years ago and have only just noticed the stains now that I want to wear it again.

Lessons Learned

  • I have washed with wool wash to no avail. I have also dabbed with bleach but I am afraid to persevere as the fiber goes fuzzy and it looks like the stain gets brighter.

Fabric Content of Item (if appropriate)

Pure wool hand knitted - cream colored wool.

Mary Marlowe Leverette, About.com Laundry & Laundry Rooms, says:

Since we don't know exactly what caused the stains - could be sugar, fat or even a bit of dye transfer, you need to treat them carefully. Please do not use any more bleach. Chlorine bleach can destroy wool fibers. I hope you rinsed the area well after dabbing with the bleach. If not, do it now with cool water.

To remove the stains, fill a sink or bucket with cool water. Add some OXYGEN-based bleach (OxiClean, Clorox 2, Country Save Bleach, Purex 2 Color Safe Bleach) following the package directions. Completely submerge the sweater and allow it to soak for 24 hours. Check the stained areas. If the stains are gone, hand-wash the sweater and dry flat. If the stains remain, mix a new solution and soak for another 24 hours.

Good luck!

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