How To Properly Wash Wool To Maintain Its Quality And Softness - Fabricare Center

How To Properly Wash Wool To Maintain Its Quality And Softness


How To Properly Wash Wool To Maintain Its Quality And Softness

Washing wool without harming its quality can be a challenge. Many people are unsure how to clean their wool items properly to keep them soft and in good condition. Wool, known for its durability and warmth, requires special care during cleaning to maintain these qualities. Our blog will guide you on the proper techniques of how to wash wool correctly. Providing tips for both hand-washing and machine-washing methods, ensuring your wool stays soft and durable.

Key Takeaways

  • Wash wool by hand with cold or lukewarm water and a gentle detergent, or use a washing machine set to the wool cycle with similar precautions.
  • After washing, press out excess water from wool items gently between towels. Avoid wringing or twisting. Dry them flat away from direct heat or sunlight.
  • Store clean and dry wool garments in cool, dry places using breathable bags or boxes, and add cedar blocks or lavender sachets to protect against moths.
  • Avoid common mistakes like using hot water, strong detergents, overloading the washer, and drying on high heat which can damage wool fibers.
  • Keep wool soft and in good condition through regular cleaning as per care labels, using mild detergents for stains, brushing off surface dirt, and folding instead of hanging for storage.

Understanding Wool Fabric

Understanding Wool Fabric

Wool comes from animals like sheep and goats. Each type of wool has its unique qualities.

Types of wool

Wool is a versatile and natural fiber that comes in various types. Each type offers unique qualities and benefits suitable for different uses.

  1. Merino Wool: This fine wool comes from Merino sheep and is known for its softness. It feels great against the skin and helps in regulating body temperature, making it perfect for all seasons.
  2. Cashmere Wool: Extracted from cashmere goats, this wool is luxurious and extremely soft. Though not as durable as other types, its warmth and delicate touch make it highly sought after.
  3. Alpaca Wool: Originating from alpaca animals, this type is warmer than sheep’s wool. It’s also hypoallergenic, meaning it doesn’t irritate the skin.
  4. Lambswool: Coming from the first shearing of a young sheep, lambswool is softer and more elastic than adult wool. It’s excellent for clothing that needs to be comfortable and warm.
  5. Shetland Wool: Sourced from Shetland sheep found in Scotland, this wool is known for its durability and medium softness. It’s ideal for heavier clothing items like sweaters.
  6. Mohair: Produced from Angora goats, mohair has a silky texture with high luster and sheen. It’s well-loved for its brilliant colors and insulation properties.

Each wool type has its distinct characteristics in terms of softness, warmth, and durability. Quality wool enriches fabric with luxurious texture while ensuring comfort through its natural properties.

How to Properly Wash Wool

How to Properly Wash Wool

Learn the right way to keep your wool clean and soft by choosing either hand or machine washing, along with proper drying techniques. Discover more to ensure your wool stays in top condition.

Hand-Washing Method

Washing wool by hand is the best way to keep it soft and in good shape because it is sensitive to water temperature and agitation. Here’s how to do it right, step by step.

  1. Fill a basin or sink with cold or lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water as it can shrink and damage wool fibers.
  2. Add a gentle detergent designed for delicate fabrics to the water. Make sure it’s dissolved completely.
  3. Submerge your wool garment in the water gently. Press down lightly to let the fabric soak up the soap and water without twisting or wringing it.
  4. Let the garment sit in the soapy water for about 10 minutes. This allows dirt and oils to break away from the fibers.
  5. Rinse the garment carefully with cold or lukewarm water until all soap residue is gone. Change the rinsing water several times if needed.
  6. To remove excess water, press the garment between clean, dry towels gently. Don’t twist or wring out wool clothes.
  7. Reshape your wool item if necessary while it’s still damp, then lay it flat on a new dry towel away from direct heat or sunlight to air dry.

Following these steps ensures thorough washing while maintaining wool’s quality and softness.

Machine-Washing Method

After learning about the hand-washing method for wool, it’s time to explore machine-washing, a more convenient option for many. Using a washing machine does not mean sacrificing the quality of wool garments if done correctly. Here’s how:

  1. Sort your wool items by color and weight to avoid damage and color bleeding.
  2. Turn wool garments inside out to protect them from friction and pilling.
  3. Place delicate fabrics in a mesh laundry bag for extra protection during the wash cycle.
  4. Select the wool setting on your washing machine if available, as this will ensure a cold water wash and gentle handling of the garments.
  5. Use a gentle detergent designed for wool laundry care; these are formulated to maintain the fabric’s integrity.
  6. Set the machine to run on a gentle cycle with cold water to preserve the fibers’ structure and prevent shrinking or distortion.
  7. After washing, remove your wool items promptly from the machine to reduce creasing and maintain their shapes.

Follow these steps carefully when using the machine-washing method, allowing you to enjoy your wool garments for longer periods while keeping them soft and in excellent condition.

Drying Wool

Drying wool properly is crucial for maintaining its quality and softness. Follow these steps to ensure your wool garments last longer and stay comfortable.

  1. Gently press water out: After washing, do not wring or twist wool items. Instead, press out the excess water gently. This prevents damage to the fibers.
  2. Use a clean towel: Lay the wool item flat on a clean, dry towel. Roll the towel and garment together to absorb more water.
  3. Reshape the garment: Carefully reshape the wool item while it is still damp. This helps retain its original shape and size.
  4. Dry flat: Place the reshaped wool garment on a fresh, dry towel away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Let it air dry completely by laying it flat.
  5. Avoid hanging: Never hang wet wool garments as this can stretch the fabric and alter its shape.
  6. Rotate occasionally: If drying takes a while, flip the garment over every few hours to ensure even drying.
  7. Steer clear of radiators: Direct heat can shrink and damage wool fibers, so always dry wool away from heaters or radiators.

Following these steps ensures your wool items dry correctly without harming their texture or shape, preserving their natural qualities for longer wear and greater comfort.

Common Washing Mistakes to Avoid

Common Washing Mistakes to Avoid

Common washing mistakes can damage wool, leading to shrinkage and loss of softness. Knowing what to avoid is crucial for proper wool care.

  1. Mixing wool with other fabrics in the machine: This action can ruin wool garments. Always wash wool items separately to prevent damage.
  2. Choosing the wrong detergent: Use a mild or wool-specific detergent instead of strong cleaners that can harm wool fibers.
  3. Using hot water: Hot water can cause wool to shrink. Opt for cool or lukewarm water during washing.
  4. Wringing out wool clothes: This damages the fibers. Gently squeeze out water without twisting or wringing.
  5. Skipping mesh laundry bags: For machine-washing, place wool items in mesh laundry bags to protect them from snagging and tangling.
  6. Overloading the washer: This doesn’t give wool enough space to be cleaned gently and properly. Wash fewer items at a time.
  7. Ignoring garment care labels: Always check labels for specific washing instructions to avoid damaging your wool items.
  8. Drying on high heat: High heat can shrink and damage wool fibers. Air dry your garments instead for best results.
  9. Leaving wet wool bunched up: Spread out wet wool items to air dry evenly, preventing mold and odor buildup.
  10. Storing without cleaning first: Dirt attracts pests, so always clean before storing, ensuring your garments are ready for their next use.

Avoiding these common mistakes helps maintain the quality and softness of your wool garments, extending their life and appearance significantly.

Caring for Wool

Caring for wool ensures it stays soft and lasts longer. Learning the right washing, drying, and storage methods is key.

Storing Wool Items

Make sure wool items are dry and clean before storing them. Place these items in a cool, dry spot away from sunlight. Use breathable bags or boxes for storage to keep the wool in good condition.

Add cedar blocks or lavender sachets to ward off moths. This step helps protect your woolens while they’re stored. Keep everything organized and ensure proper air circulation around each item for optimal preservation.

Tips for Keeping Wool Soft and in Good Condition

Use a soft garment brush to remove surface dirt and dust from wool items. Doing this regularly keeps the wool looking fresh. For stains, apply wool laundry detergent or mild detergent directly.

Be gentle to avoid damaging the fibers.

Wash merino wool items quickly after use and take them out of the washing machine promptly to prevent wrinkles. When storing, fold wool blankets and clothes instead of hanging them to maintain their shape and quality.

Washing wool blankets should happen only once every three months to keep them soft and in good condition.

Collaborations and Innovations in Wool Care

Companies and researchers are working together to improve how we take care of wool. They focus on creating products and machines that clean wool without harming its quality. The Woolmark Company has even recommended the Woolmark Platinum Care washing machine for best results in washing wool items.

This shows a strong effort towards making wool maintenance easier and more effective.

New technologies help keep wool soft and in great condition over time. Innovations include special detergents designed for wool fabric care, as well as advanced washing machines with settings that prevent damage to delicate fibers.

These advancements ensure that your favorite wool garments remain as good as new for years to come.


Washing wool the right way keeps it soft and in top condition. Use cold water, gentle detergent, and avoid harsh treatments. Lay items flat to dry for best results. Regularly care for your wool to enjoy its warmth and comfort longer.

These steps ensure your wool remains a cozy favorite for years.


1. Can I wash wool in a washing machine?

Yes, but use the gentle cycle and cold water.

2. Should I use special detergent for wool?

Yes, use a mild detergent made specifically for wool.

3. Can I dry wool clothes in a dryer?

No, always air-dry wool items flat to keep their shape.

4. Is it okay to wring out wool clothes after washing?

No, gently squeeze out excess water without wringing.

5. How often should I wash my wool garments?

Wash only when necessary; frequent washing can damage the fibers.