Tallit and Tzitzit Washing and Care Guide

Tallit pertains to a traditional fringe garment worn by the religious Jews. Tallit is known for its unique knotted and twined fringes widely known as the tzitzit which is attached to the tallit’s four corners. The cloth is known as “begged” and usually crafted from cotton or wool though silk is sometimes utilized for the tallit gadol.

Tallit and Tallit Katan Washing and Care Guide
Tallit and Tallit Katan Washing and Care Guide

This term in an extent is ambiguous and can pertain either to tallit katan or small tallit item which can be worn under or over clothing referred to as the tzitzit or tallit gadol or big tallit, the prayer shawl worn by Jews during Shacharit or morning prayers. This can also be worn during the entire prayers on the Yom Kippur.  

Washing and Care Guide of Tallit and Tallit Katan

If you are wondering why every Tallit appears worn out, well that is because it is seriously challenging to clean the Tallit due to the risk of unraveling of Tzitzit strings and the fringes and knots becoming tan gled in the sides. Cleaning the Tallit is essential, but many would agree that giving it a dry cleaning service more often might result in a Tallit that no longer looks like a real Tallit.

So here’s a guide for those who wanted to ensure that their Tallit and their Tallit Kattan are kept clean and looking brand new.

Instructions for Proper Care and Tallit Washing

big tallit
Big Tallit

When cleaning regular Tallit, it’s imperative to know the materials used. In the case of regular Tallit that is used by the Orthodox Jews, the materials are not an issue because it’s always wool. The Tallitot can be washed following a simple cycle of dry cleaning preferably within a particular type of bag to avoid unraveling of knots and strings. Nevertheless, in the case of the modern Tallitot like those made from Acrylan or organza or silk, there are essentially non-traditional materials used which can be easily ruined if not cleaned through special cycle.

Therefore, the ideal thing to do is taking the Tallit to a trusted dry cleaner, preferably to a cleaner trained and experienced cleaner who knows exactly how to clean the Tallitot. It’s not recommended that Tallit that contains water-based decorations like the silk Tallitot by Rikmat Elimelech or Yair Emmanuel should be dry cleaned because the paint may fade. So if your Tallit has Tekhelet Strings in the corners, it’s also not suggested that Tallit is placed in a dry cleaner, or be soaked as color might fade and it can dissipate altogether.

If you choose to clean by hand, you need to follow these steps:

  • Fill your skink with clean, warm water and mild detergent. Don’t use bleach because this can destroy the Tallit’s striped pattern. The Woolite detergent can be your best option
  • Soak the Tallit in soapy water for a few hours
  • Wash Tallit under running water, make sure to rinse it well
  • Dry your Tallit in a flat surface so it won’t suffer damage or shrink

Instructions for Washing Tallit Katan Properly

man puts on tefillin
man puts on tefillin

Though it’s possible just to stick the Tallit Katan inside the sealable mesh bag then toss it in the washer in a gentle cycle. Many individuals still choose to wash their Tallit Katan by hands. The instructions are the same as the ones mentioned above also works on regularly-sized Tallit.

Whether you chose to handwash or if possible through a dry cleaning service, the proper ways of washing your Tallit and Tallit Katan must be followed. By doing so, you can rest assured that your Tallit and Tallit Katan are kept clean, fresh and on top condition.  You can also search for more helpful information online focusing on washing and cleaning Tallit and Tallit Katan properly.

Tallit and Tallit Katan owners are committed to keeping their valuable possessions, and this is why they commit to cleaning them properly. This Tallit and Tallit Katan washing and care guide can be of great help for them to have an idea about the proper cleaning instructions and to follow these accordingly.  By doing so, you can now enjoy using your clean and most valuable Tallit and Tallit Katan. Remember that clean Tallit and Tallit Katan can serve yours for longest years.

Your tallit can also be dry-cleaned. In case your dry cleaner is not Jewish, there is a possibility that your prayer shawl gets damaged during the process so choose someone you can trust in this work (Jewish- not a goy).

A gentile can also mix your woolen prayer shawl with linen clothes – and then there is a problem of shatnez.

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