When the temperature drops, many of us reach for our wool jumpers to help keep us warm and snug, but does the thought of washing wool scare you? If so, you’re not alone. Many people fear wool because they don’t know the proper methods for getting it clean without risking damage. Wool is well known for being very temperamental, and could shrink or stretch when subjected to extreme conditions or when handled too vigorously. The trick when washing wool is to be as gentle as possible, which will help you to keep your wool looking good year after year.
From how to remove stains from wool, to using the washing machine’s wool cycle – here’s everything you need to know about this difficult material!
Before you wash wool, you should always check the care labels on your clothing. Some very delicate wool blends shouldn’t be washed, and if this is the case the care labels will indicate this. If you can’t wash your garment, don’t worry. By spot cleaning and airing your wool you should be able to get it clean and fresh without needing to saturate it or use large quantities of soap.
Removing Stains from Wool with A Spot Clean
Spot cleaning your garment is quite simple to do, just as long as you take care. Mix a drop of liquid laundry detergent (like Breeze with ActivBleach) with cold water to dilute it well, and apply the soapy water to the soiled area, keeping the rest of the item as dry as possible. Very gently use your hands to massage the soapy water into the fibers, but don’t scrub. Allow the item to dry naturally, and store it in a well-ventilated area to let the fibers breathe. This is one of the most effective methods for removing stains from wool!
If your care label states that machine washing is okay, you should always soak your wool in a bucket of cold water before popping into the machine. Allow to soak for roughly one hour or until you are sure the fibers have absorbed the water. Soaking in cold water can help protect the wool from shrinking in the washing machine.
Wool fibres are very delicate, and they can easily become damaged through the use of harsh chemicals found in some laundry detergents. For best results, use a mild detergent – preferably one that is free from ‘industrial strength’ stain removers, bleaching agents, and strong fragrances. The more natural and gentle the detergent – the better.