Easy to care for: the correct way to wash Merino wool
Clothing featuring Merino wool is very popular when it comes to outdoor and winter sport. No wonder: Merino wool is breathable, odourless and keeps you warm when it’s cold and cools you down when it’s hot. How you should wash your Merino wool jumper or socks? Find out here
Whether it is a jumper, top, leggings, underwear or socks: Merino wool is always a popular choice when it comes to functional clothing. Why? The wool from Merino sheep is a natural fibre and thus has unique properties.
- Thermal regulation: Merino wool keeps you warm when it’s cold and cools you down when it’s hot.
- Odourless: Merino wool remains odour-free for days even if subjected to activities that cause substantial sweating. Consequently, you will not need to wash a jumper made of Merino wool very often.
- Comfortable on the skin: This wool is not itchy on the skin. That is the reason why it is recommended that functional underwear is made partly of Merino wool.
- Easy to care for: Merino wool has self-cleaning properties, hence another reason why it is not necessary to wash it so often.
- Keeps its shape: Merino wool seldom shrinks when it is washed.
- UV protection: This is part of the natural properties of Merino wool.
- Sustainability: Merino wool is a natural product and automatically conserves resources.
Positive aspects first. Fortunately, Merino wool is easy to look after. Consequently, you do not have to worry that you won’t be able to wash your jumper or that you have to handle it in a special way. Indeed, you can even pop it into the washing machine – which is not recommended for all natural fibres.
However, please note that Merino wool does not like fabric softener nor a tumble dryer. Then there is a danger that the wool will develop holes or shrink. As Merino wool remains odour-free for lengthy periods, there is no need to wash the item after wearing it.
Indeed, it is often enough to simply hang out your Merino woollen jumper or jacket in the open air instead of washing it.
If you intend washing your favourite Merino wool item, please note the following:
- Only use a detergent that does not contain any preservatives or use care products.
- Make sure that the detergent does not contain protease. Protease is an enzyme which is often used to remove stains. However, protease damages Merino wool.
- Fasten all zips and buttons on the item that is to be washed.
- Turn the Merino wool garment inside out.
- Wash light and dark items separately.
- Pop the items into the washing machine and set the wash cycle for Merino wool to 30-40 degrees or as per instructions on the care label.
- Select a slow spin (approx. 600 revs per minute) for Merino wool.
- After taking the item out of the washing machine, it is best to leave it to dry flat on a towel.
An extra tip: It is possible that pilling (also known as bobbling) may occur after several washes. These tiny knots or balls that form on the surface can be easily removed using a special comb. Another tip is to add a piece of clothing to the wash that is rougher in texture, such as a pair of jeans.
Normally, you should wash your Merino wool item in a washing machine. This is merely because you can control the temperature more precisely and it is a more gentle wash cycle.
Does the manufacturer explicitly recommend a hand-wash on the care label? Make sure that you choose a non-biological detergent. Also avoid rubbing and pulling the garment too hard, as this puts too much strain on the Merino wool. Gently squeeze out any remaining water. And above all else: do not use water hotter than 40 degrees. Read the instructions on the care label carefully to ensure that you get plenty of use out of your Merino wool item.