How to Wash Wool - Clothes Doctor

How to Wash Wool

It's not always obvious how to wash wool safely, and washing wool is fraught with pitfalls, from shrinkage to colour fade, so you need the right wool detergent too. To help you out, we've prepared our fool-proof guide to help you get your woollens hygge-ready! 

 Fortunately, the principles of how to wash wool are very similar for all types, from thin cashmere or merino to thick knitted sweaters - even many wool dry clean only items can be cared for by following our instructions. If you follow this guide, and use a suitable wool detergent, you can ensure that your clothes will last longer and feel better this winter and many more to come. Here’s how to wash wool.

Tip 1: Hand wash wool if you can

Many washing machines will have wool cycles, and if not you can use a cold wash cycle in a pinch. If you have time, however, hand washing wool will lower the risk of damaging your wool. This method will even show you how to wash wool items labelled dry clean only by hand. This often has better results than dry cleaning, which uses harsh chemicals that can damage the fibres. Hand washing gives you complete control of the washing process and detergent, so you can take extra care of your wool coats and sweaters. 

Tip 2: Choose the right wool detergent 

Bottle of detergent surrounded by brown flowers
Wool, which is a natural fibre, can be damaged by the alkaline pH level of many common detergents designed for man-made fibres. You should instead hand wash wool with a pH neutral detergent like our eco-friendly cashmere and wool detergent. It’s crafted with our proprietary formula, and fragrances of orange oil and Himalayan cedarwood will leave your woollens smelling better than ever. The essential oils in the formula even provide an added boost of being naturally moth-repellent!

Tip 3: Don’t wash too often

Even taking the greatest care, washing wool clothes too often can cause them to lose their colour and their softness, so don’t wash them more than you have to. In between washes, you should allow clothes to air when possible, and you can steam them to get them almost as clean with less risk of long term damage. Even wool coats and other tailored items that are better off not being submerged in water can be steamed to limit the amount of damaging cleaning. You can also use one of our gorgeously-scented knitwear sprays between washes which act as a clothes refresher to keep your knitwear smelling amazing in the wardrobe! If you'd like to know more, then read reviews about our knitwear mist here.


For how to wash wool easily and safely, we recommend the following simple steps:
1: Add 2-3 caps of our eco-wash for wool detergent to a basin of cool water.
2: Submerge the garment(s) inside out, agitating it gently to spread the soap. A little dye might be released - that’s normal, don’t worry. Don’t stretch the wool, as it may cause it to lose its shape. 
3: Leave it to soak for up to 30 minutes.
4: Rinse with cold water to remove all the wool detergent, then press gently using your hands or the side of the sink.
5: Remove excess water with a towel, then leave your garment to dry flat - hanging it can cause the fibres to stretch under the weight of the garment, especially with thick knitwear, like sweaters. 

Wool jumper placed on towel being rolled up

Tip 4: Storing

For one final tip, if you plan on storing your wool clothes away, you’ll want to try and avoid clothes moths. The most natural protection is to use our natural scent bags, containing lavender, sandalwood and eucalyptus. They will not only keep the moths away, but will also keep your wardrobes and drawers smelling wonderful.


Now you know all our best tips for keeping wool as soft as the day you bought it and smelling nicer than ever. And now you know how to wash wool with our wool detergent, why not look at our other products to bring a little slice of luxury to your laundry day!



Disclaimer: Our recommendations for washing 'dry clean only' items are intended solely for use with Clothes Doctor's Eco Wash for Cashmere and Wool. Remember to always test the product on a hidden part of the fabric before washing. And whilst we are happy to provide advice, any attempts to wash 'dry clean only' items are done so at the risk of the reader.  If you are unsure, its best to seek specialist advice. Feel free to contact us on for more information or help. 
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