How to Wash a Wool Blanket?
In this article, we'll tell you how to wash a wool blanket without damaging or shrinking it. Wool generally keeps itself clean. That’s probably because it does not like to be cleaned too often! Wool shrinks when it’s washed. If the fibers are rubbed together too much, they start to slide underneath one another and make tight links of fiber that result in the shortening of the overall length of the woven yarn.
Of course, these are things someone only discovered with the help of a microscope thanks to the tiny size of the fibers. Ironically, this shortening goes hand in hand with the visible felting that can happen. This felting appearance is unfortunately permanent and irreversible.
So, to prevent any of this from happening, you need to not only be aware of the proper methods to clean your wool blanket, but follow them step by step. There are two ways to wash your wool blanket. You can go the route of washing it mechanically in your washer, or you can rather wash it manually with your own hands. Let’s talk about the methods involved in both so you can choose whichever way you want:
Washing a Wool Blanket Mechanically
If you don’t have time to manually wash or your wool blanket is heavily soiled, you can wash it in a washer in cold water. Because of the delicate fibers, you must always use a wool-safe, mild detergent.
Washing it manually:
To wash your wool blanket by hand, you need to:
What's the best detergent for wool blankets?
The best detergent for a wool blanket is any detergent that does not contain bleach or bleach activators. These are strong alkalies that damage the structure of wool fibres. Some wool-safe detergents contain silicone to coat the fibers during washing and aid in preventing the rubbing and shrinking of the fibers.
However, if you’re unsure of the safety standard of the silicone in the product, rather be safe than sorry and go with a non-toxic option instead. We recommend this natural, non-toxic detergent because of its plant-based delicate ingredients:
The Puracy Liquid Laundry Detergent is hypoallergenic, enzyme-based, and safe for septic and greywater systems. It’s designed to be gentle on sensitive and allergy-prone skin. There are absolutely no phosphates, sulfates, perfumes, dyes, petrochemicals or bleaches in this mild detergent. There is no added scent, only nature’s goodness.
How to Dry a Wool Blanket?
Your best bet is to air dry a wool blanket. Using a dryer could crush the fibers and take away that softness that you love about your wool blanket. If you’re hanging the wool blanket outside to dry, keep it out of direct sunlight because wool easily fades. It can also cause it to dry too quickly and make it feel coarse.
If you washed your wool blanket by hand, you may need to take this extra step to remove the excess water. Lay your blanket flat on some thick, dry towels and roll up the towels, blanket and all. Unroll the two and then squeeze any moisture out of the towels. You shouldn’t have to do this more than one or two times.
Lay your wool blanket as flat as possible to leave it to air dry. This will help it retain its shape.
How to Store a Wool Blanket?
Ideally, you should store it flat. But that’s not always possible. So instead, you can brush it, fold it carefully and store it in a plastic or wooden container to keep weight off the blanket. Store it in a cool and dry place.
You should store them often because even if you just leave them out on your bed or your guest bed when not in use for a period of time, they could be exposed to heat or sunlight and this can cause fading.
What Else Can You Do to Care for Your Wool Blanket?
If you’ve had your wool blanket in storage for a while and you want to revive it a bit before use, you may want to brush it using a clothes brush Sometimes, a good brushing can even replace a wash if the blanket was lightly soiled with surface particles. Simply lay it flat, look for the long axis, and brush the fibers in the same direction.
This can remove dust, allergens, or any particles that get caught in the fibers during storage. The brushing also acts to soften the fibers and fluff them up for extra plushiness. Brushing the fibers in the same direction also adds structural strength and can cut down on the abrasiveness often found in some wool blankets.
In addition to brushing, you can air out the blanket outside, so long as it’s not in direct sunlight. Or use your dryer on a cool setting for 2 minutes to fluff it up mechanically. This is one of the only exceptions to the rule for using a dryer!
How to Spot Clean Your Wool Blanket?
Wool is a dense material, so it does repel liquid stains initially. But after a few minutes, the stain will begin to soak into the fabric. Quick action to prevent this “soaking in” is your best option to save the fabric, however that’s not always possible. Again, because of the density of the wool, a stain is often deeply set and hard to remove.
You need to try to remove it by using a mixture of warm, not hot, water and detergent to soak the spill area. Then blot it with a soft cloth and hope for the best. Don’t scrub! If all else fails, you may need to dry clean the wool blanket to remove those stubborn stains.
Washing your wool blanket requires extra care due to the natural properties of wool. It also takes some effort to maintain your wool blanket in a tip-top shape for years to come. But it's so worth it. A wool blanket will keep you warm, it feels soft on your skin and it looks beautiful.
Apart from getting a natural wool blanket, consider investing in natural, organic sheets, pillows, and wool comforters to keep your house free from unnecessary toxic chemicals released by conventional, synthetic fabrics.