How to Wash Wool


Knowing how to wash wool can help make your favorite sweater last longer and fit better. But many people have a lot of misconceptions about how to handle this type of fabric.

It’s pretty easy to clean wool clothing. Follow a few essential tips to keep your sweaters looking great and fresh.

Hand washing

Whether you’re washing wool by hand or in the washing machine, handling your clothes carefully is essential to protect their delicate fibers. Use mild laundry detergents and machine settings that mimic the gentle actions of hand washing to help keep your wool items looking great.

Ensure the water temperature is a good compromise between warm and cool to avoid damaging your wool. Check the care label on your wool garments for a recommended temperature.

Fill a basin with lukewarm water and add a small amount of wool-friendly detergent (check the packaging for instructions on how much soap to use). Submerge the wool, then gently swirl it to distribute the soap evenly throughout. Let it soak for ten minutes or so, then rinse thoroughly.

Machine washing

If you’re looking for a way to keep your wool garments pristine and in tip-top shape, you can choose to machine wash them. But it is essential to be sure you’re using a detergent specially made for wool and free of harsh chemicals or additives.

First, check the care label. Usually, it will say “machine-washable.”

Once you’ve determined that your woolen sweater or blanket is safe for machine washing, fill a sink or bucket with cool water. Add the product’s labeled amount of wool or cashmere shampoo and submerge the item in the water.

Gently swish the item in the water without rubbing or pulling it. Once the garment is saturated, let it soak for about ten minutes and then rinse it with cold or tepid water.

Once the garment is clean, dry it on a flat surface and store it away from direct sunlight to prevent fading. You can also air it out to refresh its scent.

Dry cleaning

Wool is delicate and will need dry cleaning to keep it looking its best. It can easily tear or rip if washed in the washing machine.

Wool also absorbs stains, so it is essential to clean it regularly. If a color is fresh, treat it immediately and get it out before it dries or becomes more permanent.

Using a laundry detergent containing citrus-based degreasers, remove greasy messes like butter, cooking oil, grease, salad dressing, body oils, and makeup. You can also remove protein-based stains such as urine, blood, eggs, and vomit.

Some wool garments can be washed in a washer, but following the instructions on the label or the product ticket is essential. For example, wool jumpers should only be washed at low temperatures and not be tumble dried, which will cause shrinking.


Keeping wool sweaters clean and ready for wear is integral to maintaining their long life. Storing them properly is essential for preventing odors, bacteria, and insects from setting in and causing damage.

Whether you store your wool pieces in the closet or a dedicated storage bag, you want to protect them from moisture, bugs, and sudden wide temperature fluctuations. Moths are particularly attracted to wool and cashmere, so clean your clothes thoroughly before storing them away for the season.

After washing, dry your wool items in a cool area away from direct sunlight or heat. Don’t hang them to dry; this can stretch the fabric and make it distorted.