How to Wash a Wool Blanket - Ultimate Guide
A wool blanket can last a lifetime if you care carefully. Though it’s a commonly used fabric, wool has some qualities that make it unique. A wool blanket is a very durable, moisture-resistant, and even can repel bacteria. However, a wool blanket only retains these qualities if you care for them properly. It includes knowing how to wash them correctly. This is why we have created this ultimate guide to washing wool blankets.
Some Initial Guidelines
It is important to understand a few things before washing. When dealing with woolen products, remember that they are a delicate fabric. They are durable but must be properly cared for to last long.
Remember, you must always remember to read the care label or instructions on the product listing when buying a woolen blanket. The care label on your wool blanket provides valuable information about the manufacturer's recommendations for cleaning. We always recommend you follow these instructions to prevent any damage to the fabric.
Your woolen blanket can go longer without washing than you think. So, recognize when it needs washing and when it simply needs some care and maintenance. Unlike other fabrics, wool has natural dirt-resistant properties and can go as long as three months without washing. So, washing your wool blanket only when necessary is best to avoid too much wear and tear.
When you’ve decided to wash your blanket, your priority should be using the right cleaning materials. You see, wool is most vulnerable to damage when being washed. You must wash your blanket using wool-friendly detergent to preserve its desirable qualities.
Materials You Need to Care for a Wool Blanket
We’ve listed the basic items to properly care for and wash your wool blanket.
- Soft-bristled brush: A soft-bristled brush helps you remove any loose dirt or debris from the surface of the wool blanket.
- Clean cloth: A clean cloth is useful for spot-cleaning stains or spills on the wool blanket.
- Iron: An iron, set to a low heat setting, can remove any wrinkles from the wool blanket after washing.
- Wool-safe detergent: It is crucial to use a detergent specifically designed for wool fabrics to avoid damaging the fibers. Look for a mild and pH-neutral detergent.
- Club soda or vinegar: Club soda or vinegar can be used for spot-cleaning stubborn stains on the wool blanket.
Care Instructions for a Wool Blanket
Once you have the right materials, you must be well-versed in caring for and maintaining a wool blanket. Follow these steps diligently between each wash, and the wool blanket will retain its quality for a long time.
Firstly, you must remember to brush your wool blanket regularly. Use a soft-bristled brush and diligently go through every inch of its surface to remove any loose dirt, pet hair, or debris. Regular brushing will make your job much easier when it comes time to wash your wool blanket.
It is also important to brush your blanket before you wash it, as it will prevent loose dirt from being further embedded into the fiber during washing. Brushing also maintains the softness and natural appearance of your wool blanket.
Air-drying your wool blanket periodically also plays a huge role in maintaining its quality. This step allows air to pass freely through the blanket’s fabrics and ensures it remains plush and fluffy for a long time. When air-drying your blanket, lay it flat on a clean surface, away from direct sunlight, to avoid shrinking or damaging the fabric.
You should also regularly de-pilling your wool blanket and check for pulls and snags. These pesky issues will crop up during your ownership of a woolen blanket. Unless you take care of them on time, your blanket will likely suffer an early loss in its original quality.
Spot-clean your wool blanket immediately if you spill or stain it in any way. This is the preferred method for removing stains on a wool blanket. This way, you can avoid washing the entire blanket unnecessarily and still remove undesirable spots festering on your blanket.
Dab the stain with a clean cloth soaked in wool-safe detergent and water. Avoid rubbing the stain, as it can spread and damage the fibers.
Steps to Wash a Wool Blanket
Now that you know all the detailed steps of maintaining your wool blanket, here are the steps you need to follow to wash your wool blanket correctly.
Step 1: Check the Care Label
Yes, we have already mentioned this step above. But it is worth repeating because the care label will specify if your wool blanket has any hard restrictions for washing. For example, some varieties of wool can be very easily damaged by water and can only be dry-washed.
Before you do anything else, check the care label and make sure your blanket can be washed in water. If the care label says “Dry Clean Only”, then it means that you must avoid washing it in water at all costs. If the label says “Dry Clean, " you can get away with a delicate water wash.
Step 2: Air-Dry and Brush
These care steps should be repeated right before you wash your wool blanket. Take a day’s head-start if you have to. If you have never air-dried your blanket, you will notice that it feels fresher and much cleaner afterward. A lot of the loose dirt and dust will have been cleaned after this step.
Step 3: Soak in Cold Water and Detergent for 20 Minutes
Once you’re ready to wash the blanket, prep it by soaking it in cold water for about 20 minutes. Put some wool-safe detergents in the water and ensure it gets to every crevice of the blanket before letting it sit.
Wool blankets can’t be washed too rigorously and are easily prone to damage if washed too roughly. This step will help loosen much of the dirt and stains in the blanket beforehand so you can get away with a delicate wash.
Step 4: Wash Delicately
Next, you can move on to actually washing the blanket. If you’re using a washing machine, put the temperate settings on cold and use the slowest rinse motion. Some washers have a dedicated rinse setting for washing wool products. If yours doesn’t, you can simply use the slowest or most delicate rinse option, which should be fine.
If your blanket has some stubborn odors you want to remove, pour in a cup in the washer. The blanket should come out smelling fresh and odor-free.
Step 5: Dry it Carefully
After rinsing, gently squeeze out excess water from the wool blanket. Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric, as this can cause damage. Lay the blanket flat on a clean, dry towel and roll it up to absorb the remaining moisture. Then, carefully unroll the blanket and place it flat to air dry. Avoid direct sunlight, as this is an almost surefire way of damaging your blanket permanently.
Step 6 (Optional): Iron out the Wrinkles
After your wool blanket is dry, iron out the blanket to get rid of creases and wrinkles. This step is best avoided if you can help it; properly drying should prevent any strong wrinkles from forming on your blanket.
In case you have to iron it, however, make sure you set the iron on a low heat setting. Place a clean cloth over the wrinkled area and iron gently while applying minimal pressure.
Step 7: Store the Blanket Safely
The final step is as important as any other step to keep your blanket soft. When not using it, you store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Wool needs to breathe; you should avoid storing it in plastic bags. We recommend a breathable cotton or linen storage bag for your wool blanket.
Can you wash wool blankets in a washing machine?
It is generally recommended to hand wash wool blankets to prevent damage. However, some washing machines offer a delicate or wool cycle that can be used cautiously. Always refer to the care label and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
How do I soften a hard blanket?
Regularly brushing your wool blanket, air-drying it, and storing it properly will help maintain its softness and fluffiness. Avoid using harsh detergents, excessive heat, or hanging the blanket, as these can cause the fibers to become stiff and lose their loftiness.
How do I get stains out of blankets?
For stains on wool blankets, spot-cleaning is the safest approach. Use a wool-safe detergent and water mixture, and gently dab the stain with a clean cloth. Avoid rubbing the stain, as it can damage the fibers. If the stain persists, consider consulting a professional cleaner experienced in treating wool fabrics.
Caring for a wool blanket is essential to preserve its quality and extend its lifespan. Following the guidelines and steps in this ultimate guide, you can ensure that your wool blanket remains clean, soft, and cozy for years. Remember to handle your wool blanket carefully, use suitable cleaning materials, and implement proper after-wash care to maintain its beauty and functionality.