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How to Wash Merino Wool Sweaters

How to Wash Merino Wool Sweaters: A Simple Guide

Merino wool sweaters are cherished for their comfort, warmth, and moisture-wicking abilities, but proper care is crucial to retain these qualities. Though merino wool is delicate, it can be washed safely by hand or machine using the proper methods.

Watch this video from HGTV Handmade featuring Rajiv Surendra, or read below.

Pre-Wash Preparation: Checking Labels and Sorting

Before washing, always check the care labels for specific instructions. Sort your sweaters appropriately, turning them inside out and separating them by color to prevent dye transfer. Focus on pre-treating stains with a wool-safe remover, especially underarms, neckline, and cuffs. If the sweater is labeled “dry clean only,” it’s best to take it to a professional cleaner.

Use a gentle wool detergent free of enzymes, bleach, and fabric softeners for washable sweaters to maintain the delicate fibers.

Choosing the Right Detergent: Wool-Specific Options

Use a detergent designed for wool and delicate fabrics. Look for a mild, neutral pH detergent free of harsh chemicals. Wool detergents help preserve softness, protect against shrinking, and retain color vibrancy. Eucalan, Soak, and Woolite are suitable for hand and machine washing.

When machine washing, use a liquid wool detergent to avoid residue. Follow the recommended amount on the label to ensure thorough rinsing and prevent dirt attraction.

Hand Washing Techniques: Quick Care Guide

Fill a sink with lukewarm water to hand wash and add wool-safe detergent. Gently submerge the sweater, swish it through the water without twisting, and let it soak for 10-15 minutes.

Rinse thoroughly with cool water until transparent. Avoid wringing; press out excess water using your hands or a clean towel. Lay the sweater flat on a towel, reshape it, and let it air dry away from direct heat or sunlight.

Pre-treatment for Stains

Act quickly with stains. Blot the area with a damp cloth, working from the edges inward to prevent spreading. Apply a small amount of wool-safe stain solution or liquid detergent, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then wash.

For tough stains, use dish soap like Dawn. Test any stain removal product on an inconspicuous area first. Repeat pre-treatment if needed before drying, as heat can set stains permanently.

Drying and Storing Tips

Lay sweaters flat on a clean towel or drying rack, reshaping them. Avoid hanging to prevent stretching. Do not use a dryer; let them air dry away from direct sunlight or heat. Store folded in breathable bags with cedar blocks or lavender sachets. Avoid plastic containers to prevent moisture build-up and mildew.

Eco-Friendly Wool Care Products

Use eco-friendly products to maintain sweater quality while reducing environmental impact. Brands like Celtic Wool Wash, Smart Sheep Dryer Balls, Ecosplendo, and Wooly Mates offer natural, biodegradable options. These products are gentle on wool fibers and support sustainable practices, ensuring your sweaters stay in top condition.

Why Merino Wool?

Merino wool offers a range of benefits that make it a favorite for sweaters and activewear alike. Its natural fibers are incredibly soft against the skin, providing exceptional comfort. The wool’s moisture-wicking properties help keep you dry by drawing sweat away from the body, making it ideal for both casual wear and intense workouts.

Our Top Picks: Products Made With Merino Wool

Unbound Merino Compact Travel Hoodie
Unbound Merino Compact Travel Hoodie
Western Rise Merino Button-Down Shirt
Western Rise Merino Button-Down Shirt
Mack Weldon WARMKNIT Flannel Shirt
Mack Weldon Flannel Shirt

Also, merino wool provides excellent insulation, keeping you warm in cold weather while remaining breathable in warmer conditions. This versatile fabric is also naturally odor-resistant, reducing the need for frequent washing and ensuring you stay fresh throughout the day.


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