What’s the best cashmere detergent for your scarf

We love cashmere. It’s one of the softest and finest fabrics on Earth. It’s light, yet warm, and clothes made from it feel just perfect. We want to maintain this feeling for as long as possible.

Properly washing your clothes is important. But the number of cleaning products available on the market may feel overwhelming. Let’s take a look at what makes a good or bad detergent for cashmere, as well as compare the most prominent cashmere detergents available on the market.

Why you should use specialist detergents instead of homemade soap

You may think that soap is as good as any other product for doing laundry, after all, its purpose is to clean things. While it’s true, we need to realize what soap is good for. When we use soap, we do it on non-porous surfaces, like our hands, the dishes, or the kitchen floor. Soap is perfect for these.

But why not clothes? The answer lies in the chemical composition of soaps. Most are oil-based substances and oil has a tendency to get stuck in hard-to-clean areas.

That’s exactly what happens when we use soap to clean our clothes. The oily product gets stuck in the delicate fibres and refuses to get washed away. You may not feel it at first, but the amount of soap residue on our clothes builds up over time. In time, your clothes will start to feel… wrong, and you may have to strip your clothes off of the built-up grime chemically. If you’re lucky, your clothes may be salvaged this way.

So, the better way to go about things is to never allow such a situation to happen in the first place. That’s what specialist detergents are for. Unlike soaps, laundry detergents are soluble in water, meaning that they will not build up in between the fibres of your clothes. Especially after rinsing, any residue is washed away.

In hard water, detergents work much better than soaps. They don’t catch the magnesium and calcium particles from hard water. Unless you use a water softener when washing with soap, you’ll not only catch buildup from the soap itself but also the minerals and dust in hard water.

Also, don’t believe in the magic of homemade laundry soaps. They are still just soaps. With soapy ingredients, and soapy problems. Stick with a specialised wool and cashmere laundry detergent, and your clothes will thank you for it.

Can you wash cashmere with regular detergent?

Now that you know why soaps are a no-go, you may think that any detergent will be able to do the job. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Why? It all comes down to the ingredients present in detergents. Standard detergents are too strong for cashmere. Washing cashmere in one can destroy the fabric, causing pilling, bristling, and desaturation of your clothes.

This means there are a few points to consider when choosing the right detergent. Let’s take a look at that.

What to look out for when buying a cashmere detergent

Are you sensitive to certain ingredients, which ingredients are toxic, and do you want to have a zero-waste and environmentally friendly lifestyle? All of these are valid questions, and as a conscious consumer, you deserve to know the answers.

Cashmere detergent ingredient lists can be overwhelming. All of their long and scary-sounding names don’t usually tell us anything. Let’s check some of the ingredients that are common in detergents, and determine why we might want to avoid them in our products.

Toxic and dangerous substances:

  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) – They are some of the safest preservatives, but they have been linked to lung toxicity and neurotoxicity.
  • Phenoxyethanol – Particularly dangerous to infants, may cause damage to the nervous system.
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QATS) – They may cause asthma and are also not biodegradable.
  • Polyethylene Glycol Compounds (PEGs) – Classified as potential carcinogens.
  • Phthalates – They may interfere with hormone mechanisms in women.
  • Synthetic Colors & Fragrances – These may be a cause of skin irritation and skin sensitivity.

Common allergens:

  • Silicones
  • Triclosan
  • Lanolin

On top of allergens and toxic substances, we need to mention one more ingredient. Sulphates (sulfates). They are surfactants – compounds essential in the cleaning process. But, sulfate surfactants are just too strong cleaners. They can destroy protective barriers of hair and fabrics, and will also make them fizzy and curly.

The best cashmere detergents

Let’s take a look at a few most well-known brands and their cashmere detergents. All of the following are suitable for doing laundry both by hand and in a delicate machine cycle.

The Clothes Doctor doesn’t only care about your clothes, but also about our planet. It has the most unique, 100% aluminum bottle and a compostable label, making the product plastic-free. However, it’s not just about the bottle, but also about what’s inside. The detergent is pH neutral, which will boost your cashmere’s longevity. The natural fragrances of orange oil and Himalayan cedarwood are great moth repellents. The Clothes Doctor formula does however come with the addition of phenoxyethanol. It comes in three different bottle sizes. Their largest 500ml bottle should last you 32 wash cycles.

This wash has been specially crafted to nourish and rejuvenate fabrics. Just like your cashmere makes you feel cozy, The Lab Co.’s product will also give you a warm feeling. The warming scent of cinnamon, the relaxing fragrance of myrrh, and the woody note of cedarwood all work in unison to create a fantastic blend. Cedarwood also works as a natural repellent for moths. This wash does use phenoxyethanol as its preservative ingredient. Its 500ml bottle will last you about 32 washes.

The Laundress wool & cashmere shampoo is a concentrated formula that keeps your fabrics nice and fresh. It’s a dermatologist-tested, safe product, which helps preserve the longevity of your woolens. It is cedar-scented, which gives the product a traditional, natural, woody fragrance. In addition, cedar, together with limonene and linalool are all moth repellents. One bottle of this product should last you 32 wash cycles.

Take care of your cashmere products with the respect they deserve. The HUMDAKIN detergent is hypoallergenic and comes in a large 750ml bottle which should last you 50 washes. The mild, fresh fragrance of buckthorn and chamomile is sure to please your nostrils for a long time after the wash. However, the product does contain phenoxyethanol.

This wool and cashmere wash formula is devoid of any unwanted substances and all its ingredients are 100% natural. The addition of conditioning agents helps keep your fabrics fluffy and soft. Limonene and linalool repel moths, while fragonia and sandalwood grant the detergent its signature fragrance. The product is safe to use around children and on top of that, fully biodegradable. The large 500ml bottle will last you 50 hand washes or 25 machine ones.

Now that you’ve chosen your favorite cashmere detergent, you’re ready to start washing. And if you’re wondering how to properly wash cashmere, you’re in luck. Check our guide on how to wash cashmere for all the information you need.

Also, we have a bonus tip for all you cashmere lovers. We often get asked the question “Should I use fabric conditioner on cashmere?” And the answer is no. You shouldn’t leave any form of a chemical layer on your cashmere clothes. Keep them as natural as they come. Happy cleaning!