How to Clean & Care for Wool

Close up of knitted wool blanket

Wool is a delicate natural fiber that offers wonderful warmth and moisture-wicking capabilities. As the weather cools off, you may be gearing up to get your wool sweaters out of storage. Keep the fibers as fresh as the day they were shorn with these wool care tips.

How to Care for Wool Between Washes

To help wool clothing last longer, only wash them when necessary. The self-regulating fibers don’t need to be laundered as often as other materials. Between washes, keep your wool items looking like new with these tips:

  • Spot-clean small stains by blotting with water and mild soap.
  • Remove pilled fabric, lint, and pet hair with a fuzz remover and fabric shaver product, such as the Gleener.
  • Air out wool sweaters after each wear. This freshens them up before going into storage.
  • Never hang wool on clothes hangers. Instead, fold them and store them in a cedar dresser drawer.
  • Wash your wool sweaters one final time at the end of the season.
  • To keep moths, carpet beetles, and silverfish at bay, place wool garments in an airtight plastic bin for long-term storage. As an added bug deterrent, throw in a sachet filled with one-half cup dry lavender.

How to Hand Wash Wool

When it comes time to wash your wool sweaters, follow the care instructions for the best results. If the tag indicates the fabric is not machine-safe, it’s probably still acceptable to hand wash it. Dry cleaning is also an option, but this gets pricey. Follow these tips for the best results when hand washing wool:

  • Squirt a bit of delicate wool detergent, such as Woolite, into a sink or basin and fill with tepid water.
  • Turn the garment inside-out, submerge it, and swish it around to allow the soap to penetrate the fibers. Do not rub the fabric together or let it soak for longer than 10 minutes.
  • Rinse the garment twice to remove all soapy residue.
  • Don’t wring out wool clothing. Instead, press or squeeze out as much water as you can. Then, roll garment in a dry towel to remove excess moisture.
  • To avoid stretching, don’t hang dry. Instead, lay wool items flat to dry on a fresh towel or mesh rack in a spot that doesn’t receive direct sunlight. Carefully adjust the shape of the garment to ensure it is evenly stretched as it dries.

How to Clean Wool in the Washing Machine

Some wool items are machine washable, which is the most convenient option. To keep your wool clothes in good shape, launder them with care. Here’s how:

  • Turn wool clothes inside-out.
  • Wash on the delicate cycle (or wool cycle or hand wash cycle, if your washer features these settings).
  • Use cold water and a mild liquid detergent like Woolite.
  • Add an extra rinse to the wash cycle.
  • To avoid shrinking, don’t put wool clothing in the dryer. Instead, lay flat to dry using the tips from the hand wash section above.
  • When ironing a wool sweater, use the coolest setting and lay a thin cloth on top of the garment.

Keep the Rest of Your House Fresh and Clean

Knowing how to care for wool preserves your beautiful sweaters for many winters to come. The rest of your house could use the same care and attention as your wool garments, but you might not have the time. Professional housekeeping from Molly Maid can really lighten your load, freeing up your schedule to complete other tasks.

To arrange professional house cleaning services near you, please contact your local Molly Maid today for a free estimate.