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How to Wash Wool Garments

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Merino wool clothes are a bit more expensive then cotton clothes but they are long lasting if you know how to take care of them. A lot of people are put off from using woollen clothes because they are often considered to be high maintenance. In fact woollen clothes are easier to care for than you might think

Merino wool garments are naturally antibacterial so they prevent odours which require less washing than clothes made from other materials. They are also resistant to stains so you don’t need to scrub them when handwashing.

Tips below can be used on any kind of wool such as cashmere, domestic sheep wool, angora, alpaca and any other kinds of wool.

 

Merino wool garments marked “wash by hand”

Dos:

  • Wash with warm water and mild soap. Perfect temperature is 30 C. You can either use woollen clothes detergent, gentle baby soap or shampoo or everyday detergent diluted with water.
  • Grease stains can be removed by sprinkling some corn starch. Rub the powder gently on the stain until you see the starch starts to come out to the other side of the garment. Give it a shake to remove any remaining powder. If the stain is still there, repeat the process until it disappears.
  • For stains dab the stained area with soft cloth. If you need to use a stain remover, use chlorine free bleach, leaving it on for as little time as possible
  • Remove excess water by rolling the garment into the towel
  • Leave it to dry on the flat surface.
  • Reshape while still damp.

Don’ts: 

  • Never soak woollen clothes for too long as they will shrink.
  • Avoid using bio detergent as it will ruin the clothes.
  • Never wash in cold or hot water as it will damage natural wool features.
  • Never rub the stain as it will stretch the wool.
  • Never dry on a line or a hanger as it will make the garment stretch.
  • Do not twist or wring clothes to drain water as it will stretch the garment.

  

Wool clothes that can be machine washed

Dos:

  • Always check the label for specific temperature guides. Usually it is 30 C.
  • Use a wool wash or delicates programme on the washing machine if available.
  • Wash with similar colours even though merino wool clothes should not bleed in colour.
  • Wash inside out to avoid bobbling.
  • Close all zippers to avoid the garments being ripped.
  • Use mild detergent. The best option is to use detergent for woollen clothes
  • Always dry flat on a towel or drying rack.
  • Reshape while still damp.

 Don’ts:

  • Never wash woollen clothes in cold or hot cycles.
  • Avoid using powdered detergent as it will settle on the fabric and might cause the holes. If it is the only detergent that you have, dissolve it in lukewarm water before adding to the washing machine
  • Do not use softener as it will destroy wool properties such as temperature and moisture control. Softener also encourages bobbling.
  • Avoid using heavy duty detergents, “Bio” detergents containing enzymes or any detergents containing bleaches.
  • Never use bleach containing chlorine. If you have a tough stain pre-treat it with chlorine free bleach.
  • Never dry on the line or a hanger as it will make the garment stretch
  • Avoid ironing. If you can’t avoid it iron on a cool setting.
  • Don’t dry in direct sunlight and do not dry on radiators as heat makes wool shrink.
  • Do not wring it to drain excess water as it will stretch the garment.

 

I would recommend to hand wash your wool even if it is suitable for machine wash. It prolongs the life of woollen clothes and saves it's properties.

 

Any tips or comments are welcome at the comment section.


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