Washing wool: How to wash wool correctly

Posted by Rikke Macijowski Nielsen on

Wool is a delicate type of textile that requires special attention when washing. To keep your woolen clothes in good condition for many years, it is important to know how best to wash wool. We give you our best tips on how to do it here .

1. Read the washing instructions

Before you start washing your woolen clothes, you must read the washing instructions to find out how the clothes should be washed. Some wool products can only be hand washed, while others can be machine washed, and you can also find information on which temperature can be used.

If you wash home knitwear, it's best to always hand wash to be on the safe side so you don't shrink or lose the shape of your beloved woolen sweater.

2. Use the right detergent for wool

Use a detergent that does not break down the lanolin when you wash your woolen clothes. Ordinary detergents can be too harsh for the wool fibers and damage them, so that the wool loses its special self-cleaning properties. Therefore, it is a good idea to choose a gentle detergent that clearly states that it can be used outside.

Our best method for washing wool is washing with soap berry . Soap berries are the dried berries from the soap tree Sapindus Mukorossi. They contain natural soap substances called saponins, which can be used as a mild and gentle alternative to regular detergent, as the berries do not contain enzymes, chemicals or synthetic additives that wear down wool.

soapberry for washing woolen clothes how to wash wool with soapberry

How to wash wool with soapberry

To wash your woolen clothes with soap berries in the washing machine, you can place 4-5 soap berries in the small washing bag provided and put it in the washing drum together with your woolen clothes in the washing machine. You can then wash on a wool programme.

You can also wash wool by hand with soap berries. We love to make our own liquid detergent from soap berries by boiling 10 berries in 1 liter of water for approx. 30 minutes When the berries have boiled, you have a gentle and effective soap concentrate that can be used for hand washing wool. The soap concentrate is then further diluted in a tub of water, in which you can wash the clothes by hand. You cannot overdose with soapberry, as it is very gentle. But we recommend that you rinse the wool through in cold water after hand washing with the soap concentrate to wash away dirt and grime from the waste water.

You can actually also use the concentrate as a liquid detergent in your washing machine if you prefer. Here you can add approx. 1 dl of soap in the soap drawer and wash the wool on a normal cold wool programme

You can read all about soap berries and how they work as a detergent here.

3. Use cold water

Always wash your woolen clothes in cold water (20-30°C) to prevent them from shrinking or losing their shape. Hot water can cause the wool fibers to contract and lose their shape and you may also risk the lanolin dissolving in the wool if you wash too hot.

4. Dry the clothes flat

Avoid hanging your woolen clothes to dry, as they may lose their shape completely and stretch. Instead, you can lay it flat to dry on top of a drying rack with possibly a towel underneath and let the wool dry naturally. If you don't have a drying rack, you can simply lay the wool flat on a towel. You should never tumble dry wool.

this is how you wash wool

5. Wool cleans itself

In addition to being warm, breathable and durable, wool also has a remarkable property: it is self-cleaning.

The wool fibers contain natural oils and waxes called lanolin, which make it difficult for dirt and stains to penetrate the fabric. If, for example, you spill something on a woolen jacket or a woolen sweater, the liquid will often just bead off and not penetrate the fibers. Therefore, you only need to wash wool very rarely, as woolen clothes keep themselves clean for a very long time.

If you still think your woolen clothes need freshening up, you can use these methods instead of washing the wool:

Air the wool

If you want to extend the life of your woolen clothes and at the same time save water and energy, it can be a good idea to air your clothes outdoors instead of washing them in the washing machine.

Wait as long as possible between each wash, and let the wool hang out in the fresh air for a few hours if it just needs a refresh.

You can freeze wool

it is also an option to freeze your woolen clothes instead of washing them. The freezing method can be particularly effective in removing odors from your clothes, as the cold from the freezer can kill the bacteria that cause the odor.

You can put your woolen clothes in a tight plastic bag and put them in the freezer for 24-48 hours. You can then take the garment out and let it thaw completely at room temperature before using it again. Alternatively, you can also leave your woolen clothes outside on a dry and frosty day for a few hours.

this is how you wash woolen clothes

We hope you have been well equipped for how to wash wool

Good luck!

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