When the time comes to wash your Merino, here are some tried-and-true instructions for washing wool socks and clothing.
A merino wool garment can be made of 100% merino wool or can be a mix of merino wool and polyester (normally 80%-20% respectively). In general, a wool-polyester blend is less irritating than wool alone, and it makes the clothing more durable so that it will hold up better to washing and wear over time.
Read on for specific guidance on machine washing your Merino wool clothing and blankets.
How to Wash Merino Wool?
Your Merino socks, base layers, and other clothing will look as great as they feel if you follow a few easy care instructions. In general, washing Merino wool is acceptable, but for the best results, it’s crucial to read the tag on each item.
Your Merino wool clothing should be washed in cold water, inside out, after a few wear cycles. You’ll want to stay away from hot water since it may cause shrinkage. You’ll want to wash them with similar colors and fabrics, although it’s good to wash your Merino wool with coarse fabrics like denim every so often to prevent pilling.
Bleach, fabric softeners, and strong detergents should not be used. These harsh chemicals have the potential to ruin the fabric of your shirt, making it look worn.
The majority of the time, machine washing is preferred over hand washing because the latter can cause odor and fabric problems by entangling dirt, sweat, and detergent residue in the fabric.
If handwashing is your only option, soak the item in warm water with a mild detergent for about fifteen minutes, stirring it occasionally. The garment must then be thoroughly rinsed to remove all contaminants.
How to Wash Merino Wool Socks?
The washing process for Merino wool socks varies slightly from that for other types of clothing. They frequently have fabric that is much thicker and blended with synthetic fibers for durability.
Although it’s ideal to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when washing them, you can safely do so if you can’t locate any information.
Can I Wash a Merino Wool Blanket?
Unpilling and fiber shedding can be avoided by washing your MW blanket. You could assist by running the washing machine on a cold, gentle cycle with a mild detergent.
To preserve the original shape, spread the fibers out with your fingers before letting them air dry. If the maker advises it, a wool blanket that is washable may also be dry-cleaned.
Tips on Washing Merino Wool
- Do machine wash on low to medium heat (30 degrees) on a cold cycle or use a wool wash/delicates option if available. For specific temperature recommendations, always check the label of the clothing.
- Do wash with like-for-like colors. Even though merino wool is supposed to be colorfast, washing dark or vivid colors separately from light colors and whites will prevent any damage if the color bleeds.
- Do wash inside out, especially if the garment is printed. It will lessen bobbling if you do this.
- Do use a mild detergent. To avoid large detergent flecks adhering or creating holes in the fabric when using a powdered detergent, you may want to first dissolve it in a small amount of water.
- Don’t use fabric softeners because these will coat the Merino fibers limiting the wool’s natural ability to actively manage your moisture and body temperature. By facilitating the movement of the fibers to the surface, softeners can also promote bobbling.
- Do wash separately where possible. If not, then wash with ‘harder’ garments, such as denim, which will reduce piling.
- Do tumble dry on low heat (if garment care instructions allow) or dry lying flat.
- Do iron your garment in a cool or wool setting (if the garment care instructions allow). You might discover that your garment doesn’t even need to be ironed.
- Don’t dry on or near heat or in direct sunlight as the heat may cause it to shrink.
- Don’t dry clean or use bleach. Chlorine is a substance found in many bleaches and can damage merino fibers.
- Don’t wring out the garment as this will stretch the wool.
How Often Should You Wash Merino Wool?
With the possible exception of Merino socks, clothing made of Merino wool fabric has the benefit of not needing to be washed all that frequently. As we mentioned above, merino fiber is resistant to odors and great for regulating body temperatures.
Thus, merino clothing should need to be washed less frequently than other types of odor-retaining clothing. Generally speaking, washing Merino clothing and accessories less frequently will help the item’s beauty last longer.
A quick tip to freshen your wool sweater between washes is to air it out; either hang it outside in the fresh air away from direct sunlight or hang it in a steamy bathroom during a shower to allow odors to release from the merino fiber.
How to Dry Merino Wool?
First and foremost, unless the manufacturer specifies otherwise, never even think about drying any Merino wool. In addition, drying your Merino wool clothing by wringing it out could disturb the fiber structure.
Merino wool can be dried in one of two ways: flat drying or line drying (hanging).
Hang your shirt on a clothesline, railing, chair, friend, or whatever is available. A hanger may cause the shape to be distorted, so avoid using one. Since MW is permeable and effectively manages moisture, it ought to dry in an hour or two.
Lay out your shirt in its initial configuration on a clean, flat towel. The shirt can occasionally be turned inside out. The fabric’s original shape is better preserved when flat drying rather than hanging.
Some people claim that after laying the shirt on the towel, they roll it up like croissant dough in order to squeeze out any extra water. Incorrect execution could cause the shirt to deform, so I would advise against it.
How to Store Merino Wool?
An ordinary t-shirt can be folded or hung in the closet to be stored, just like any other. Don’t keep it in any area that is prone to moths, though, as their larvae will snack on the natural wool fibers, and you’ll end up with a bunch of unwanted holes. Put natural moth repellents like cedarwood in your clothing storage if you have no other option.
You should keep your MW clothing in a well-ventilated space between washings in order to ensure consistent airflow through the fabric. Despite being odor-resistant, the fabric still needs to be air-dried to remove a variety of unpleasant contaminants. We typically hang ours over a chair by the window.
Conclusion: Merino Wool Washing
The benefit of using Merino wool is that you need to do less laundry because of its odor resistance. Your decision, but keep in mind that clothes last longer if you don’t have to wash them as frequently.
We advise using an appropriate-sized wash tub or utility sink if you are hand washing merino wool clothing, such as sweaters or socks. Instead of vigorously scrubbing the fabric, gently agitate the item in the water with your hand.
Does Merino Wool Shrink?
Yes, as was previously mentioned, high temperatures can cause fibers to contract, shrinking the clothing. To avoid shrinking, make sure to avoid any heat in the overall cleaning process.
Can I Wash Merino Wool in Hot Water?
We have already said this, but it is worth reiterating as it is the most common reason people shrink their garments. Never wash Merino in water that is hotter than 30°C.
Can I Use a Fabric Conditioner to Wash Merino Wool?
The natural moisture-wicking and odor-resistance of your clothing are not affected by fabric softeners. The fibers of merino wool are also naturally softer and much finer than those of regular wool.