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What is the best way to wash a tallit gadol?

Mine is a fairly traditional large black and white wool tallit with plain white (not techelet) tzitzit. After a few years in shul it's a little yellow around the atarah and there a couple of blood spots (not what you think, one of my kids managed to injure herself during Shabbat services once).

  • personally I remove the atarah and send it to the dry-cleaners. – eramm Dec 24 '13 at 10:43
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    Everybody I know dry-cleans, but the presence of a Jewish-owned dry-cleaner that does tallitot for free may be a factor. – Monica Cellio Dec 24 '13 at 13:51
  • As far as I know the best way is a delicate hand wash in cold water with a careful drying procedure. I would think that dry cleaning could be OK but there could be a problem with the tzitziot in the machines. – Epicentre Dec 25 '13 at 5:41
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A similar question was posted yesterday, regarding a talis katan.

To quote from ezra's answer:

The best way to wash a wool tallit katan is by hand washing it. Washing machines and dryers can severely mess up a wool tallit katan if you're not careful. I would suggest hand washing the tallit katan in a mild fragrance-free hypoallergenic detergent, in cold/warm (not hot) water, and then hang it out to dry.

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Buy something what is called WOOLITE. This is special detergent for wool, you can find it in every supermarket. Put your talis in the bucket, fill with warm, not hot water, add cup of Woolite and leave it for 3-4 days.

For better effect you can change water ever day and fill the bucket with fresh water, don;t forget to add some woolite.

After 3-4 or more days... Take Talis out Talis rinse with room temperature water and hang it on the drying line. Your Talis will be dry in day or two and clean !

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My wife has a large mesh zipper bag for her fine things like stockings. I put my Tallit Gadol in the bag and set the washing machine program for WOOL, using a special soap for wool. Can also centrifuge and comes out beautifully clean. Lightly over with a COOL iron. Good as new.

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