One might ask, how do you clean a soiled tallit? It is crafted from wool and is often old and looks like it has never been cleaned.
Wool tallit needs to be cleaned hand preferably wash with the use of delicate soap such as the Woolite that is specially designed for subtle wool garments. Soak this for few hours or soak overnight then hand wash. Repeat this procedure if necessary.
The tallit can also be dry cleaned, but it may not be advisable to give tallit to a dry cleaning establishment in your area especially those that are not familiar with the tallitot. Most cleaners who are not situated in places with orthodox Jewish populations do not usually know how to deal and handle this and can result in damages.
Tallit worn mainly during morning prayers. Though this does not need to be cleaned more often, cleaning the tallit once at least every six months helps keep its top condition. Since the tallit contains plenty of knots and mostly made of wool, cleaning this in a washing machine isn’t advisable. Cleaning the tallit must be done with utmost care and with the use of gentle detergents.
The following are helpful tips on how to clean your tallit:
Upon following these steps, you can now wring your tallit, hang it and allow it to dry. Using the dryer can cause damage on the Tzitzit’s knots. Therefore, it would be best to use the clothesline and allow your tallit to dry naturally. In cleaning, you will need mild detergent and of course water.
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.
A gentile can also mix your woolen prayer shawl with linen clothes – and then there is a problem of shatnez.