Stains are almost an inevitable part of wearing clothes, so it is valuable to know beforehand how to remove stains from cherished garments made of wool. A few measures can be taken for eradicating fresh stains, using household materials. If the stain has already set in, however, then read the tag instructions for cleaning care. Most wool sweaters require hand washing or dry cleaning and should not go through a washing or drying machine.
Get rid of any excess or chunks of the stain with a spoon or blunt edge. Make a solution of half white vinegar, half soft wool soap and add a liter of warm water. Soak a cloth rag in the solution and blot out the stain from the outside in. This step generally works well for chocolate, beer, white wine, urine, vomit and ice cream stains.
Brush the stain off with a cloth soaked in dry cleaner fluid if any of these substances stain the wool sweater: butter, cooking oil, grease, shoe polish, furniture polish and oil. Try using lighter fluid or mineral turpentine if the dry cleaning fluid fails.
Hand-wash the wool sweater in a clean bathroom or kitchen sink. Fill the sink about halfway with hot water and add soap flakes. Fill with cold water once the soap flakes dissolve.
Place the wool sweater in the sink, allowing the water and suds to soak through completely. Search for the stains and rub gently. Use two capfuls of ammonia if the sweater is a white, cream or beige color. Rinse the sweater until all soap is removed, filling up the sink with another two inches or so of water.
Add one-third cup of white vinegar to the water and swish the sweater around in the sink. Rinse until the vinegar is out. Note that a bit of dye might leak out, but don't fret about this too much.
Wrap the sweater in a towel. Twist the towel gently until the towel is close to sopping wet and unwrap. Repeat with another dry towel. Iron the sweater if it is still damp, making sure it is completely dry. Letting it air dry will shrink the sweater significantly.
Take your sweater to the dry cleaner if all this fails. Stains such as nail polish, mascara, paints and dyes are very stubborn and will likely require dry cleaning. Let the attendant know of the stains you are trying to eradicate.