Fabric care

How to wash wool

how to wash wool

Learn how to wash woolen items at home

Wool is known for its resilience and insulating properties, making it perfect for the colder seasons. The fabric is a natural protein, which can be sheered from many animals such as sheep, goat, alpaca and llamas, where the hair is spun into yarn. Due to its natural properties, the fabric is fairly resistant to water, odor and stains, making it the perfect material for coats, socks and blankets. However, it is notoriously delicate and if not cared for properly, you can risk shrinking your garments.

If you want to know how to wash wool at home, then we have you covered. Just read on to discover how to clean wool items that you love so much.

Tips to wash and care for wool

If you’re unsure on how to clean a wool blanket, hat or scarf – or any item for that matter, we’ve got some tips and facts you should know before you begin the cleaning process:

Follow the instructions – there are a lot of variations of wool and how you care for one may differ from the next. Always read the label and follow the instructions before washing or cleaning your item.

Pick the right cycle – if you can machine wash your wool, set the cycle to the wool setting. If your machine doesn’t offer this, we recommend using a cold wash to prevent items from shrinking.

Bag it up – protect your wool items by putting it in a laundry bag or turning the item inside out.

Air dry is best – avoid putting your wool in the tumble dryer as the heat can make it shrink. Air drying them is the preferred way to protect them, keeping them out of direct sunlight. It’s best to dry knitwear flat and hang woven garments on hangers.

Let it rest – leave wool items to rest for 24 hours before wearing it again, as it allows the wool fiber to recover and spring back to its original shape.

How to wash wool sweater

Even though wool is incredibly versatile, it can shrink if not washed correctly. If you’re wondering how to clean a wool sweater without it coming out half the original size, you’ll need the right method and products.  

Read our handwashing instructions below to find out how to handwash a wool sweater to keep them in tip-top condition with Woolite® Delicates 

Usage instructions - Handwash

  1. Fill a sink or washtub with cold water unless label instructs otherwise

  2. Using the measuring cap, pour Woolite® Delicates up to line 1, pour into water and stir with your hands

  3. Wash your woolen sweater gently by hand

Always check the label before washing.

Woolite® cannot be used on cashmere.

Knowing what type of wool fiber your garment is made out of and whether it is a woven or a knit item, makes all the difference to how you wash and care for it. Some may require specific care, so follow the instructions on the label before washing or consult a cleaning professional.

How to wash wool socks

Wool socks are water-resistant and mold to the shape of your feet, making them both practical and cozy. Depending on the fabric and the care claims on the label, you may have to handwash your wool socks, so you can just follow the steps above.  

Some wools are specially processed, meaning they can withstand the temperature and abrasions that are caused by the spin of the washing machine. Read our washing machine instructions below for the optimum results:  

Usage instructions – Top loaders

  1. Select the appropriate washing cycle. Select the wool cycle on the machine, but if that’s not possible, opt for a gentle or delicate cycle 

  2. Follow the garment label instructions for water temperature 

  3. Fill the machine with water 

  4. Pour a dose of Woolite® Damage Defense or Woolite® Delicates into water. For medium load washes, fill the measuring cap to line 1 

  5. Add your woolen socks 

Usage instructions – Front loaders

  1. Select the appropriate washing cycle 

  2. Follow the garment label instructions for water temperature 

  3. Pour a dose of Woolite® Damage Defense or Woolite® Delicates into dispenser/drawer. For medium load washes, fill the measuring cap to line 1 

  4. Add your woolen socks

Always check the label before washing.

How to clean a wool coat

The classic wool coat is lightweight, durable and water-resistant. If you properly care for and wash a wool coat, it can last you for many winters to come.

When looking after woven items, use a soft-bristled brush and brush lengthwise to remove surface dirt and grime as this dust can dull and fade the finish on wool. If you want to wash a wool jacket, read the label on the garment and follow the handwashing instructions above using Woolite® Delicates laundry detergent.

How to wash merino wool

When it comes to wool clothes, there are so many options to choose from, but the versatility of Merino wool makes it a popular choice for many garments. It is an incredibly fine wool that comes from the Merino sheep, which is usually farmed in Australia and New Zealand. Due to its slim fibers, it is soft and lightweight which means it is the ideal fabric for shirts, tops, sweaters and even underwear!  

Merino wool can be a machine washable fabric but may shrink if exposed to high temperatures, so opt for the wool cycle on your machine or use a cold wash. Always check the care claims on the garment. You can add a dose of Woolite® Damage Defense or Woolite® Delicates laundry detergent and follow the machine washing instructions above.

If you want to be extra cautious, you can hand wash your Merino items with Woolite®. The formula is designed to gently clean your clothes to keep the perfect fit, so it won’t cause fading, shrinking or stretching, which is based on ASTM standard test methods.

Woolite® Damage Defense

If you want a laundry detergent that will look after your favorite clothes in one wash, Woolite® Damage Defense will do the trick. It is specially formulated to keep them looking like new for longer.


Woolite® Delicates

Your precious clothes deserve the best type of care. Try Woolite® Delicates laundry detergent for fabrics such as silk and feel the difference.

woolite delicates

Top tips on caring for your clothes

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