In a perfect world we’d all have the space to lay sweaters down to dry. But the reality is that most of us don’t have the space to devote to up to three days of drying time for a sweater. It’s usually recommended that you not dry sweaters in a clothes dryer. So where does that leave us? Often the best solution is to hang a sweater to allow it to dry. Knowing how to hang sweaters to dry is important to prevent having your sweater stretch out of shape while it dries. With a family of five and two daughters, means I’ve had a whole bunch of experience hanging sweaters to dry.
I’ve shared how to fold and hang sweaters in your closet. If you want to hang a sweater on a hanger, it’s important to fold it and then hang it correctly. Simply hanging a sweater on a hanger like you do a shirt will result in a stretched out sweater with hanger bumps on the shoulders. And no one wants that. It’s just as important to know how to hang sweaters to dry so that they don’t stretch out of shape.
How to Hang Sweaters to Dry
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Before you wash or dry any sweater you need to determine if you should dry clean it, hand wash or wash it in the clothes washer on the gentle cycle:
- Read the care instructions for that specific sweater
- Assess the fabric and weave of the sweater
- Assess the quality of the sweater
- Assess the weight of the sweater
When I wash sweaters in the clothes washer, I use a mesh dedicates bag to protect the sweater from stretching and snagging.
After you wash the sweater, try to remove as much water as you can. Always read the directions on your particular sweater. Be careful not to twist or pull the sweater out of shape in an effort to remove water. To remove excess water, depending on the sweater, the fabric and how sturdy it is, I:
- Gently squeeze the water from the sweater
- Blot the water from the sweater with thick bath towels
- If I washed the sweater in the clothes washer on gentle, I sometimes run the spin cycle to remove excess water
- Run the sweater, still in the dedicates mesh bag, on the gentle cycle of the clothes dryer for a short period of time to remove excess (drip on the floor) water, but not completely dry the sweater
Once I’ve removed excess water, I use two sturdy plastic hangers (these are Made in the USA!) to better support the weight of the wet sweater. I hang the middle of the body of the sweater across the two hangers.
I have installed a fold down drying rack (similar) on the wall in my laundry room. This makes it possible for me to dry multiple items at the same time out of the way. My daughters each took a folding wood drying rack with them to college (and these are Made in the USA!).
I fold each sleeve, one at a time, over the top of the hanger. I take the time to straighten the sleeves and smooth out any wrinkles. Bringing the sleeves up this way helps keep them from stretching out with the weight of the water.
I slip the cuff of the sweater sleeve through the two hangers to hold it in place. Depending on how long the sleeves are, I pull more of the sleeve through the two hangers. You want to have the sweater evenly weighted as it hangs over the top of the hanger. If you leave too much of the sleeve hanging down, the weight of the water, working with gravity, will pull on the sleeve and stretch the sweater out of shape.
I lay a thick towel on the floor under the sweater to absorb any dripping water. Depending on how heavy your sweater is and how much water you were able to remove, the sweater can take one to three days to dry. I adjust the sweater and change its position on the hanger several times a day to speed the drying process and reduce the the possibility of stretching the sweater out of shape.
I’ve been using these tips for how to hang a sweater to dry for years and it’s worked well for me. I have four sweaters hanging to dry right now. How do you dry your sweaters?
More Laundry Tips:
- Tips to Wash Smelly Workout Clothes
- DIY Laundry Bag
- Recycled Laundry Scoop
- Laundry Scoop Craft
- How to Hang a Sweater