The Fixer: What to Do About an Annoying, Itchy Sweater
We’ve all been driven utterly insane by an itchy sweater at some point in our lives. And we can all pretty much agree that it is the absolute worst. After all, isn’t winter in a northern climate already bad enough? It’s enough to make you want to pack a bag for a place where wearing wool isn’t even an option. Tahiti, anyone?
Luckily, there’s a fix for all those annoying, scratchy knits. And it’s pretty easy. All it requires is a little sweater TLC. Basically, you need to treat your sweater like you do your hair.
Turn the perpetrator inside out and soak it in cold water and a few tablespoons of white vinegar for 15 minutes, being sure all the fibers are thoroughly saturated. Drain.
While the sweater is still wet, gently massage a generous amount of hair conditioner into the fibers. Avoid stretching the fibers and don’t use a cheapy hair conditioner; those usually contain waxes that will cause a weird buildup.
Let the conditioner sit on the sweater fibers for 30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with cold water. Gently press excess water out of sweater, being careful not to stretch the garment out of shape.
Dry flat on a towel. Once fully dry, fold neatly and place in a large ziplock bag.
Now place sweater in the freezer and let it sit overnight. In the morning: No more itchy sweater! The vinegar and conditioner softens the fibers, while the freezer keeps the shorter fibers from sticking out, sort of like how a cold blast from the hair-dryer smooths your hair.
Some additional tips to keep in mind:
Check the fiber content of the offensive garment. It’s possible you may be allergic to its natural fibers; wool, alpaca, cashmere, and angora are common irritants for some people. If you are allergic, no amount of soaking and freezing will help. Donate the sweater to Good Will and look for knits made from acrylic instead.
Similarly, some fibers are just coarse and itchy no matter what. If you don’t feel like wearing a button-down or turtleneck under your annoying sweater all the time, donate it to Good Will.
And remember: Life’s too short to deal with annoying sweaters.
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