DEAR HARRIETTE: I have quite a few cashmere sweaters that I wear in the winter. Even as we have been at home, I keep wearing them, and it’s time to get them cleaned. But the dry cleaners near me are all closed. It is still cool enough where I live to continue wearing them, but they are soiled. I have heard that you can hand-wash cashmere, but I’m nervous. I would be so mad if they shrank or lost their color. Even if I’m not going to wear them anymore this season, I don’t want to put them away dirty -- they will be sure to be eaten by moths. What do you recommend? -- Sweater Cleaning
DEAR SWEATER CLEANING: I have good news for you: In most instances, you can safely hand-wash cashmere. In fact, by doing so, you may even prolong the life of the garment. Use cold water and a very gentle soap. Do not wring the item so that you avoid stretching it out of shape. Do not put the garment in the dryer. Instead, lay it flat and block it in its natural shape. While you do not need to wash sweaters frequently in general, you can keep cashmere clean by following this simple method. For more details, go to realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/clothing-care/how-care-cashmere.