How to make an itchy jumper soft: Seven hacks to soften scratchy jumpers

TikTok user shows off cleaning hack using fabric softener

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We all have that uncomfortable woolly jumper in our wardrobes that we never wear, and when we do we end up taking it off straight away. Luckily, there are a few simple hacks to stop your jumper from itching. Express.co.uk spoke to laundry expert Deyan Dimitrov, CEO of Laundryheap, to find out how to soften a scratchy jumper.

Check the label

A jumper might feel soft when you first try it, but you need to check the material before you buy it.

Laundryheap’s experts said: “If you are thinking about adding to your winter wardrobe, the touch-test is out of the question when it comes to ensuring your new addition is a soft one.

“Instead, you should pay attention to the label. Or, in the age of online shopping, the product description.

“Few ‘woolly’ jumpers are actually made from 100 percent wool. Often, they’re a mix of different kinds of fibres, some of which turn to scratchy frays more easily than others.”

According to Laundryheap, you should stick to natural fibres like cotton wherever possible and steer clear of synthetics such as acrylic.

They explained: “Natural fibres will last longer and provide a cosier feel!”

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Wash with care

Not all knits should be washed in the washing machine and you should avoid washing your woolly jumpers too often.

Laundryheap’s experts said: “Too many turns in the machine can loosen fibres, making for stretched out sweaters and potentially prickly threads.

“Wearing a vest underneath could avoid unnecessary washing, as well as maximising cosy layers.”

When you must wash your woollens, make sure you do so with care.

The experts said: “Check for any garments that must be washed by hand. Otherwise, use a gentle detergent and wash them in a net bag on a delicate setting.

“The net beg will prevent your clothes from rubbing against other garments too much in the cycle.”

Make your own fabric softener

Fabric softeners will relax rough fibres but store-bought products won’t do the best job.

Laundryheap’s experts said: “Natural alternatives are often more effective, certainly cheaper and you can avoid harmful chemicals.

“Since vinegar wards off mildew and is antibacterial, it’s also perfect for cleaning knits that have either been stored away or exposed to any germs.

“Mix equal parts white vinegar and water, and soak your jumper in the solution for around 20 minutes before gently wringing it out.

“Just be sure to lay woollens flat to air dry, to ensure that they stay in shape.”

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Hair conditioner

If you can’t stand the smell of vinegar, you can use a hair conditioner to soften your jumpers.

According to Laundryheap, hair conditioner stops clothing fibres from fraying and scratching by moisturising them.

They said: “Whilst damp, massage your favourite product into the fibres. Then rinse off with cold water, air dry and voila! A sweater as soft as your tresses.”

Freeze them

This may sound a little mad, but your freezer can totally transform scratchy sweaters.

The experts explained: “Throw any particularly itchy knitwear into a freezer drawer overnight.

“The chill will lock the fibres in place, so they don’t shed and poke your skin.

“Freezing is also a great way to rid your woollens from moths and their eggs. Just make sure that the clothes are completely dry before they go in, or you’ll be having to thaw out more than that loaf of bread!”

Shave piles and bobbles

The little bobbles that build up on jumpers aren’t just unsightly, they are responsible for making jumpers less comfortable and soft.

Laundryheap’s experts have a solution for this and it involves a fabric shaver.

They said: “Gently run the shaver over the surface of your sweater to lift off pills without damaging the material. This is sure to get older jumpers looking and feeling their best again.”

Layer up

As mentioned above, layering up helps to reduce the number of washes you put your precious jumper through.

Wearing a long-sleeve t-shirt under your scratchy jumper will also avoid that itchy feeling.

Laundryheap said: “ If you’re short on time, you can easily combat an itch by keeping a layer between you and the garment.

“A jumper and a shirt is a sure way to smarten up your working-from-home style for any Zoom meetings. Otherwise, lockdown calls for something a little more comfortable.

“Plus, the more layers the better if you’re looking to save on your central heating bill this winter!”

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