Merino wool is the softest thing you can touch in the world. It comes from a special sheep breed – Merino sheep. Merino sheep produce the finest wool fiber, perfect for making breathable and comfortable clothing.
Before we get into how to care for your merino wool garments, it’s necessary to mention that this wool has many good sides. It has the benefit of being stain, odor, and wrinkle-resistant.
However, even though you don’t have to wash it as often as cotton garments, it still requires special care, especially if you’re constantly active while wearing merino wool clothing.
That’s why we’ve decided to give you valuable tips on protecting, washing, drying, and caring for your merino wool clothing, whether it’s a pair of socks, base layers, or other pieces.
Essential steps before washing
It’s not that difficult to protect and handle merino wool clothing. However, you should follow some merino wool care instructions to keep your clothing clean, well-preserved, and long lasting. Here are the essential steps you should take before washing your merino wool clothing.
- Check the tag on each piece of clothing
Merino wool is a specific fabric that needs careful handling. So, check the tag inside your socks or cycling jersey. Each piece of merino wool clothing has a unique label.
These labels can help you learn how to care for your clothing and the best washing procedure.
- Turn all pieces of clothing from the inside out
Like hand-made clothing you must wash with care, merino wool requires special preparation before washing. So, whether you are washing socks or any other piece of clothing, turn the fiber from the inside out.
- Pick suitable cleaning products
Merino wool is a delicate fiber, and you can’t use just any soap, detergent, or softener you have at home. So, forget about fabric softeners and bleach. Bleach destroys the wool fibers, and it can ruin the fiber knits. Fabric softener reduces the super-powers and ability of merino wool to regulate the body temperature and keep normal levels of moisture.
Yes, merino wool clothing is delicate, but not all pieces of merino garments are easily destructible. So, you can wash merino wool products in the washing machine, but you need to know which clothing pieces you can put in the washing machine.
You should avoid using a washing machine for larger sizes of garments like leggings, cycling jerseys, and sweaters. However, smaller merino wool garments don’t require that much attention. You can safely put your merino socks, mittens, or hats in the washing machine, and don’t worry about ruining them.
Pay attention to these things when machine-washing your merino wool clothing:
- Turn all pieces of clothing from the inside out.
- Wash merino wool clothing with similarly colored pieces (e.g., if your socks and hats are black, wash them with dark-colored clothing).
- Don’t overload the washing machine; try to wash merino wool with heavier fabrics to minimize the wool pilling.
- If possible, don’t wash merino wool clothing with other materials.
- Use gentle wool detergents (free of softeners and bleach).
- Pick a delicate or wool washing cycle.
- Minimize rotation speed and wash at low temperature.
- Remove clothing from the washing machine right after the washing cycle.
As already mentioned, you can wash some pieces of merino wool clothing in the washing machine, but we don’t recommend it. If you want to avoid fiber stretching and pilling, it’s best to hand-wash merino wool apparel of larger sizes.
Here’s what to pay attention to when hand-washing merino wool:
- Don’t use fabric detergents and bleach; use a neutral pH soap or special wool detergents.
- Fill your basin with warm water and measure the detergent correctly. The water should be around 30 degrees, and you can measure the amount of detergent by following the guidelines on the packaging.
- Soak your merino wool clothing when you set the water temperature and measure the detergent. Remember that the soaking process shouldn’t last more than five minutes.
- After soaking, slowly rub the clothing with gentle hand movements for about one minute.
- Rinse with warm water and squeeze out excess water.
- Don’t wring or twist the clothing. You can ruin the shape of fiber and even tear up wool knits.
Properly drying merino wool is the best way to keep your clothing well-preserved, shiny, and shaped as it has to be. Here are the instructions on how to properly dry merino wool clothing:
- If possible, avoid the drying machine. However, some merino wool products with specific instructions indicate you can use a drying machine. We recommend you avoid using a drying machine if you don’t see the label with those instructions.
- After washing and squeezing, place your sweater or leggings in a dry towel and roll it up to remove the excess water.
- Merino wool shouldn’t dry on hangers, hooks, or line-shaped hangers. Instead, you need to lay the clothing on a flat surface to avoid stretched knits and sagging.
- Avoid leaving merino wool apparel in direct sunlight or any other heat source. Dry it in the open air, away from heat, and your clothing will remain well-shaped and soft.
These are step-by-step instructions on how to wash and properly care for your merino wool clothing. Just follow the tips we listed above, and you’ll enjoy your soft merino sweaters and socks for a long time.