Read the Manufacturer’s Instructions
Do you know how much laundry detergent you should be using? It can be easy to use more than the recommended amount, and this could make our clothes feel stiff and rough. With wool, using too much detergent can leave a residue which could damage your garment. Always check the recommended dosage on your detergent, and add the correct amount.
If you prefer to add your detergent straight into the drum of your washing machine, rather than using the detergent drawer, make sure you pick up a machine-safe detergent ball. This is because you should never add undiluted detergent directly to a wool garment, as it could encourage the wool to felt. A detergent ball keeps the soap away from the clothing until the machine fills with water, dilutes the soap, and distributes it evenly throughout the wash.
Set the Temperature to Cool
High temperatures are the main cause of shrinking in wool, and if you put an adult-sized sweater through the wash at 40 degrees, you’re likely to find a child-sized version when you come to empty the machine. 30 degrees is really the warmest temperature you should use for washing wool, but if your clothes are only lightly soiled, you should go even cooler than this.
Washing machines are typically very safe to use, but extra care should be taken with delicate materials such as wool. Machines wash by vigorously tossing the clothing around the drum, but wool can begin to felt if it’s dragged or pulled. If your machine has a gentle or hand wash setting, make the most of it. These settings run at a slower spin speed, which safeguards your delicate materials.
If you hang wet wool from a clothesline, the weight of the garment will stretch the fabric, leaving you with a sweater that’s now more like a dress. To avoid stretching wool, dry flat by laying some towels onto the floor and placing the clothing on top. When the clothing is still slightly damp, use your hands to reshape the clothing, so that it dries in the correct shape.
As you can see, it’s really not that difficult to know how to wash wool in order to keep it fresh and clean. The most important aspects to remember are using a cool water temperature, gentle products and machine cycles, and drying naturally. Follow these great pieces of advice and you’ll never be afraid of washing woollen jumpers again. This year, you can dig out your favourite woollen items without fear.