stack of various woolen sweaters on a white wooden background

From vintage styles to office attire, acrylic sweaters are a sturdy, fashionable and cost-effective wardrobe staple. The one hang up is that acrylic is man-made, which means it can be itchy when worn on bare skin. Here are some hacks that can soften up any acrylic sweater and make it more comfortable to wear.

Read the care label to make sure your acrylic sweater can be washed in a machine. If so, place it in a protective mesh laundering bag before adding it to the washing machine. Make sure to set the wash to the cold setting.

During the final rinse cycle, add one tablespoon of hair conditioner or liquid fabric softener. If using conditioner, choose a thick, creamy conditioner to give the sweater extra softness.

When drying, set the dryer to the delicate setting. Add fabric-softener dryer sheets just until the sweater is damp on the edges, seams and cuff. This additional softening will further help make the sweater soft and not itchy.

Try the sweater on. If it's still itchy, run the dry sweater through the clothes dryer once more, using the air-fluff setting. Add one or two dryer sheets before turning on the dryer.


Use care when manipulating a wet acrylic sweater as the fabric can become stretched out and misshapen.