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How to Wash and Care
for Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Blog Title Shape
December 6, 2021

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From office Christmas parties to family get-togethers, the holidays just wouldn’t be the same without ugly Christmas sweaters. So where did the ugly Christmas sweater tradition begin?

Ugly Christmas sweaters started way back in the 50s and were known as “Jingle Bell Sweaters.” The designs were festive and colorful and were often adorned with ornaments, bells, and sequins. Fast forward to today, and ugly Christmas sweaters have become all the rage—there’s even an Ugly Christmas Sweater Day.

But just because your sweater is ugly doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve a good washing once in a while. Knowing how to wash sweaters is pretty standard, but when you want to know how to wash an ugly Christmas sweater, you have to learn the ropes to protect that one-of-a-kind sweater. We can take care of the holiday cleaning, but only you can keep your sweaters clean!

How to Wash an Ugly Wool Christmas Sweater

Wool is super warm, and it’s a known fact that some of the ugliest Christmas sweaters ever worn were made with wool! It’s a terrific fabric for any winter sweater, but this natural fiber isn’t always as easy to clean as some other fabrics. Thankfully, wool is an antibacterial material, so it shouldn’t need frequent washing.

It’s also easy to learn how to clean an ugly Christmas sweater between washes to keep it in good shape. Just dampen any soiled or stained fabric with a damp cloth and add a drop or two of mild baby shampoo. For large stains, you may want to put a towel on the other side of the fabric to keep the stain from spreading while you clean. Finally, use a clean damp cloth to dab up the soapy residue and dirt, then lay the sweater flat and let it air dry.

When you’re learning how to wash an ugly Christmas sweater, check the label first. Many wool garment labels recommend dry cleaning, but learning how to wash sweaters made with wool is easy.

  • Fill a clean tub with lukewarm water.
  • Add a few drops of wool detergent or mild, natural baby shampoo.
  • Swirl the sweater around to get it completely saturated.
  • Let the wool sweater soak for 20 minutes.
  • Rinse the sweater with lukewarm water until the water runs clear.
  • Rinse the sweater again with cold water.
  • Lay the sweater flat in the tub and squeeze out excess water.
  • Remove the sweater, lay it flat indoors, and let it air dry.

How to Wash an Acrylic Ugly Christmas Sweater

Unless you’re an ugly Christmas sweater purist, there’s a good chance your sweater is made with acrylic. Here’s how to keep it clean.

Even though acrylic and other synthetic fabrics are typically machine-washable, it’s best to check the label first. Your ugly sweater may hold up fine, but sequins, tiny ornaments, and other adornments don’t do well in a washer. When in doubt, consider hand washing your sweater or taking it to the cleaners.

  • Pretreat stains and heavily soiled areas with a natural stain remover like distilled white vinegar before you head to the washer.
  • Use a heavy-duty detergent and add a small amount of fabric softener in the final rinse to eliminate static.
  • Wash your acrylic sweater with like fabrics in cold water and use the permanent press cycle.
  • Select a low spin cycle setting if your washer has this feature.
  • Machine dry the sweater on low and remove it when it’s still slightly damp, then hang it to air dry.

If your sweater has all the bells and whistles or the label is missing, hand washing is the way to go. Here’s how to get your ugly Christmas sweater clean and ready for the holidays:

  • Fill a clean tub or sink with cold water.
  • Add a few teaspoons of heavy-duty detergent and a teaspoon of fabric softener.
  • Swirl the sweater around in the soapy water for 30 seconds.
  • Let the wool sweater soak for 5 minutes.
  • Rinse the sweater with cold water.
  • Roll the sweater up to remove excess water.
  • Machine dry the sweater and hang it up while it’s still damp.

Knowing how to wash sweaters is a great skill for anyone, but only ugly Christmas sweater aficionados can truly appreciate the art of washing a sweater with lights.

How to Wash an Ugly Christmas Sweater With Lights

For those of you who’ve gone all-in, you’re going to need to know how to wash a light-up Christmas sweater. The first thing to do is check the label and any instructions that came with the sweater. Most manufacturers of these holiday favorites will include information on how to wash a sweater with lights, but the chances are good that your washer is a no-go.

Follow the label for the best outcome, and if you absolutely must wash your light-up Christmas sweater, here are some tips that should help:

  • If your light-up Christmas sweater has a battery pack, you may be able to remove it along with the attached lights. Tread lightly, and don’t remove anything that isn’t removable!
  • Sometimes the lights on a sweater may be waterproof, but not the battery pack. If that’s the case, you can use a plastic bag and a rubber band to wrap up the battery case.
  • If you can’t remove the lights and battery pack or keep them dry, you’ll have to make do with some spot cleaning.
  • Use a mild, natural cleaner and a damp cloth to spot clean your sweater and let it air dry.

When the holidays are over, dust off the lights and battery pack and store the sweater in a breathable bag to protect the lights and keep dirt out.
With your Christmas sweater ready for action when the holidays roll around, you’ll be the envy of all your friends and neighbors. And when you let The Maids get your house clean for the holidays, that ugly Christmas sweater will shine even brighter in a beautifully clean home. Get your free estimate today for a range of residential cleaning services, and you’ll be ready for the holidays in no time.

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