How to Wash Wool Clothes and Socks


Unlike other fibers, wool is odor resistant, meaning you can wear wool clothes multiple times before you start to get odd looks from people. A good airing out or spot-clean may be all you need for several wearings.

When it comes to washing your wool garments, make sure to use lukewarm water for best results. Hot water may shrink wool. To air dry your wool clothes, lay them flat, as hanging wet wool will distort the shape. If the shape does change during wash, use your hands to gently re-shape it while still damp.

Wool clothing is durable, so your pieces will last a long time with proper care and storage.

Hand Wash Instructions for Wool Clothes and Socks

1. Fill a bucket with water and wool -safe liquid detergent or mild baby soap. Fill up a clean bucket or tub with lukewarm water, then add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of detergent or baby soap.

2. Turn the wool garment inside out and place to the bucket with soapy water. Gently swish wool item around in the water for about a minute. Do not rub to avoid felting!

3. After swishing the wool garment, let the item soak in the same water for 10 more minutes.

4. After 10 minutes, take the wool garment out of the water and press out excess water. You can do it by rolling item from one corner to another into a ball and squeeze balled garment with your hands.

5. Empty the bucket and fill with clean lukewarm water. Place garment back in the bucket and swish around to wash the soap out of the wool. Pour water out and fill bucket with clean water and repeat rinsing if necessary.

TIP: If you are very sensitive and wool feels itchy, try adding few drops of hair conditioner to the rinsing water. This will help smoothing wool fibers and make wool garments more comfortable.

Machine Wash Instructions for Wool Clothes and Socks

Only machine wash the garment if it is recommended on the tag. Machine washing wool clothes has a greater probability of shrinking the item! Most washing machines have a wool setting that is set up specifically to wash wool clothes. If your machine doesn’t have a wool setting, refer to Hand Wash Instructions above for best results or set the washing machine to coldest setting and gentle cycle (not recommended).

1. Turn wool garment inside out and place in a mesh delicates bag to protect from snagging. If garment has zippers, make sure it’s zipped all the way.

2. Add recommended amount of the laundry detergent formulated for wools or delicates, as specified on the wool soap label.

3. Turn on the wash settings and wash garment until the cycle is over.

Drying and Stretching Wool Clothes

Do not hang wool clothes on the hanger to dry, this will cause item to stretch or misshape.

1. Lay clean dry towel on the flat surface and place wool garment on top of it. Roll the towel with wool item inside. Gently squeeze rolled towel to help absorb the excess water. Do not twist or wring the rolled towel!

2. Lay another clean towel on the flat surface and lay the wool garment on top to air dry.

3. Glide the wool garment with your palms to smooth out any wrinkles and gently stretch back to shape.

NOTE: It’s normal for wool fleece to shed some fibers, especially after first wash. Continue to glide with your palms to remove all loose fibers and follow up with lint roller once the garment is fully dry.

It normally takes 12 to 48 hours for wool garment to dry. You may need to flip the item on the other side so it won’t develop musty smell. To speed up drying process, you can place a fan or dehumidifier in front of the drying wool clothes.

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