How To Wash Wool Blankets Without Shrinking It?


Winter is finally here, and let me tell you, there is nothing quite like warming up in a clean, cozy wool blanket on a chilly night. Nobody wants to sleep in a dirty blanket. And I hope you too; that is why you are finding a way to wash wool blankets. So, if you want to fully enjoy the wonders of winter and make your wool blanket last longer, it is necessary that you keep it clean.

Washing a wool blanket can appear to be a challenging task, but fear not. There are professional dry cleaners out there who specialize in cleaning these delicate fabrics. They have the expertise and equipment to effectively clean wool fibers that may be covered with dirt and oil. Taking your blanket to a professional is a great option if you are unsure about tackling this task.

If you are feeling adventurous and want to give it a shot on your own, don’t worry. This article will provide all the information you need to remove dirt from your wool blanket successfully. From gentle washing techniques to drying tips, you will learn everything you need to know.

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Can Wool Blankets Be Washed And Dried?

Yes, you can wash and dry your wool blankets but do not wash them at home. I recommend hiring professional cleaners to do the job for you. Fabrics made of wool require special care in order to keep their softness and shape.

The expertise and equipment of professional cleaners enable them to thoroughly clean wool blankets without causing any damage. The detergents they use will be gentle, and the water temperature will be appropriate to prevent shrinking or felting. They also know how to handle any stains or spots on the blanket without compromising quality.

In addition, professional cleaners use specialized drying techniques to maintain wool’s natural loftiness and prevent mishaps. They will carefully control the drying process, ensuring the blanket is dried flat or appropriately hung to avoid stretching or distorting.

So, while it is possible to wash and dry your wool blanket at home, I recommend leaving this task to professionals experienced in handling delicate fabrics like wool. By doing so, you can rest assured that your favorite wool blanket will come out clean, fresh, and in perfect condition for many more cozy nights of wrapping up.

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How Do You Wash Wool Blankets?

Washing wool blankets is essential if you want to keep them in tip-top shape for years to come. Wool blankets can be expensive, so not everyone can afford to replace them every time they become dirty. That is why knowing how to properly clean and care for your wool blankets is essential.

Before sharing some tips, I want to tell you about the wool blanket. They are made from the natural fibers of sheep’s wool, and these blankets are incredibly soft and have amazing insulation properties that keep you warm without making you feel overheated.

Here are some tips which will help you to clean your wool blanket:

Front-Loaded Machine

The first tip I want to share is always to use a front-loading machine. First, set your machine to the delicate or wool setting. That will ensure the water temperature and motion are gentle enough for your precious blanket. In the next step, fill the washing machine with cold water and add Woolite as the detergent. It is recommended not to use bleach or harsh chemicals on the fibers, as they can damage them.


Next, fill up your sink or bathtub with warm or cold water (make sure it is not too hot as it can shrink the wool). Then, add a gentle detergent specifically designed for wool. After that, gently submerge your blanket in the water and let it soak for about 30 minutes. It will help you to remove any dirt or stains.

Wash Wool Blankets

Use Mild Detergent

Once you have completed the soaking process, wash the wool blanket in a front-loading washer. Use warm water and Woolite detergent, specifically designed for delicate fabrics like wool. Avoid regular laundry detergents as they can be too harsh and damage the fibers.

Place the soaked blanket in the washing machine and select a gentle cycle with a low spin speed. That will help you avoid any unnecessary disturbance that could cause shrinkage or distortion. Once complete, remove the blanket from the machine and gently squeeze out excess water.


Air drying your wool blanket is the best option to prevent shrinkage or damage. Place your blanket flat on a clean surface and let it dry naturally. If you are in a hurry and need to speed up the process, you can tumble dry it on a low setting with warm heat. Just make sure to check on it frequently to avoid overheating or shrinking.

Wash Wool Blankets

If you prefer using a dryer, set the temperature to the lowest possible setting and use tennis balls or dryer balls. However, remember that using a dryer may still carry some risks of shrinking or damaging your wool blanket. So proceed with caution and always refer back to the care instructions.

Fabric Enhancer

Fabric enhancers are a matter of personal preference. While they can make your wool blanket smell fresh and clean, some people find that these products can cause irritation or affect the natural properties of the wool. If you choose to use a fabric enhancer, ensure it is suitable for use with wool.


Once you have gone through all the steps and washed your wool blanket, the next most important thing is to store it properly to keep it in good condition. Here is what you need to do: 

Wash Wool Blankets

First, ensure the blanket is completely dry before storing it. Any moisture left in the fibers can lead to bacterial or fungus growth. So give it enough time to air dry thoroughly.

The next step is to find a suitable place to store your blanket. It is best to keep it flat on a wooden or plastic shelf, away from any other objects that could potentially damage or stain it. Do not store it in a damp or humid area, as this can also promote mold growth.

As a final step, cover the blanket with a cotton or muslin fabric to keep dust and dirt at a distance while still allowing air to flow through. That will help maintain its freshness during storage.

If you follow these simple steps, your wool blanket stays clean and well-preserved until you need to use it again.

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How To Wash Merino Wool Blankets?

Washing a merino wool blanket can be a delicate process, but it is not complicated. Here is how you can do it without ruining your precious blanket.

First things first, always check the care instructions on the label of your merino wool blanket. Different blankets may have different requirements, so it is important to follow those guidelines. Proceed with extra care if there are no specific instructions.

When it comes to actually washing the blanket, you have a few options. You can either hand wash it or use a gentle cycle on your machine. If you hand wash, fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a mild soap specifically designed for wool. Gently mix the water to create bubbles and then soak the blanket. Let it soak for about 15 minutes before cleaning well with clean water.

If you prefer using a washing machine, select the delicate or woolen cycle and use cold water. Again, use a mild detergent that is suitable for wool fabrics. To protect your blanket from excessive friction, use a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase when putting it in the machine.

After washing the blanket, do not wring it out, as this can damage the fibers. Instead, gently squeeze out as much water as possible and lay it flat on a clean towel to dry.

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Why Does Wool Get Smaller When Washed?

Wool gets smaller when washed because it has a natural tendency to shrink. As you may know, wool fibers have a unique structure that enables them to interlock. When you wash wool in hot water or expose it to vigorous movement, these fibers tighten up and become more compact. That is what causes the fabric to shrink.

Now, let me break it down for you in simpler terms. When you wash wool, imagine the fibers as little springs that are stretched out. But when they come into contact with heat and water, these springs contract and pull closer together. As a result, the fabric becomes smaller.

So, if you have ever wondered why your favorite wool sweater suddenly feels tighter after washing, this is why. It is not that your body magically grew overnight (although wouldn’t that be nice?). It is simply the natural reaction of wool fibers to the washing process.

What Should I Do If My Blanket Shrank After Washing?

You can do a few things if your wool blanket shrinks after washing. The first thing you need to do is not panic. Shrinking happens sometimes, especially with wool. One option that you can try is to stretch the blanket back into shape while it is still wet. Gently pull and stretch at the fabric, but be careful not to tear it. 

Try soaking the blanket in lukewarm water mixed with a hair conditioner or fabric softener to help relax the fibers and make them more flexible. If stretching does not work, you can try to fold the blanket. Place it flat on a clean surface and use pins or weights to hold it while it dries. This method may help reshape the blanket and restore some of its original size.

Wash Wool Blankets

I must be honest with you, neither of these methods is guaranteed to restore your shrunken wool blanket completely. Sometimes, reversing the process entirely once the wool has shrunk can be challenging. If you use these techniques, you can retain some of the size or improve the product’s appearance.

Why Does Wool Smell After Washing?

Wool can sometimes smell after washing due to a few reasons. One common reason is that the natural oils present in wool, called lanolin, can trap dirt and bacteria over time. When you wash the wool, these oils and the trapped dirt and bacteria are removed. When not properly dried or stored afterward, the remaining moisture can create an environment where bacteria can grow again, which results in bad smells.

Here are a few tips for keeping your wool blanket smelling fresh after washing:

  • Properly Dry Your Wool: Dry your wool blanket entirely after washing. Wool takes longer to dry than other fabrics, so hang it or lay it flat in a well-ventilated area until completely dry. It is best to avoid direct sunlight to protect the colors from fading.
  • Store it Properly: Store your wool blanket in a clean and dry place once dry. You should not store it in plastic bags or containers because they can trap moisture and lead to unpleasant smells. Rather than using plastic storage bags, use fabric storage bags or acid-free tissue paper.
  • Air it Out: Occasionally, airing out your wool blanket can help eliminate any unwanted smells. Hang it outside on a sunny day or drape it over a chair indoors to allow fresh air to circulate through the fibers.

What Do You Do If Your Wool Blanket Is Smelly?

There are a number of household items you can use to clean a smelly wool blanket. Start by soaking the blanket in a solution of white vinegar and water. Fill a bathtub or large basin with enough water to soak the blanket fully, then add about half a cup of white vinegar. Let the blanket soak for at least 30 minutes, then wash it gently with clean water.

Wash Wool Blankets

Next, use a soft brush to remove any remaining smells or stains. Avoid using harsh brushes or scrubbing too aggressively, which can damage the delicate wool fibers. Instead, look for a soft-bristle brush or even a clean sponge to work out any remaining smells gently.

If the smell does not disappear, you can also try sprinkling baking soda over the entire surface of the blanket. Let it soak for several hours or overnight to absorb smells, then vacuum it off using a brush attachment. This method is particularly effective for removing unpleasant smells from wool.

With a few simple steps and patience, you will be able to return your wool blanket to its original freshness and smell-free condition.

FAQ about Wash Wool Blankets

Can I Use Dish Detergent on Wool?

Yes, you can wash wool with dish detergent, but the type of detergent you use and how you wash it is important. Look for a mild, gentle dish detergent specifically formulated for handwashing dishes. Avoid using harsh or rough detergents that could damage the delicate fibers of the wool.

Using dish detergent on wool can effectively clean your wool items at home, but always test a small hidden area first to ensure that the detergent does not cause any damage or discoloration.

Does The Washing Machine Ruin Wool?

If you use your washing machine properly, there is a high chance you may save your wool. Wool fibers may shrink and become misshapen in the washing machine due to the friction and motion caused by the machine. As a result, the fabric may lose softness and elasticity. The delicate nature of wool can also be damaged by hot water and harsh detergents.

Use a gentle wash cycle with cold water and a mild detergent designed specifically for wool to prevent your washing machine from ruining wool. You should also avoid overloading the machine, as this can lead to excessive vibration and potential damage to the fabric. If you need help properly caring for your wool garments, consider handwashing them or taking them to an expert cleaner who works with delicate fabrics like wool.

How do You Wash a 70% Wool Blanket?

If you want to wash a 70% wool blanket, check the care label first. If machine washable, use a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent. Avoid using bleach or fabric softener, which can damage the wool fibers. After washing, gently squeeze out excess water and lay the blanket flat to dry.

The care label may recommend hand washing. In this case, fill a tub with lukewarm water and add a small amount of wool-friendly detergent. Gently rub the blanket in the water without wringing or twisting it. Clean carefully with cool water and remove excess water before laying flat to dry. You should not hang or wring the wool blanket out because this can cause the fabric to stretch and deform.

If you handle the wool blanket in either case, be careful not to shrink or damage the fibers. Wool blankets can also be kept clean and fresh with regular maintenance, such as airing out and spot cleaning.

How Often Should I Wash Wool Blankets?

You should wash your wool blanket every 3-6 months, depending on how frequently you use it and whether it gets dirty or stained. If you use the blanket daily or in a high-traffic area, wash it more often. 

Meanwhile, if you use the blanket only occasionally or primarily for decorative purposes, you can wash it less frequently.

How Do I Remove Stains From My Wool Blanket?

You can remove stains from your wool blanket by gently wiping the stain with a damp cloth to remove most of the substance. If you rub the stain, it will spread and set deeper into the fibers.

The next step is to mix a small amount of mild detergent with cold water and gently dab the stained area with the solution. Allow it to soak for a few minutes before washing with cold water. If the stain does not disappear, you can use a wool-safe stain remover or seek professional dry cleaning services.

How Long Do Wool Blankets Last?

In good care, wool blankets can last for many years. Proper maintenance and regular cleaning allow a high-quality wool blanket to last 10-20 years or even longer. The lifespan of a wool blanket can also depend on how frequently it is used and how it is stored.


Now that you have valuable information on how to wash wool blankets properly, you can confidently perform this task and ensure that your blankets stay clean and cozy for many winters. With these simple steps, you can easily maintain the quality and softness of your wool blankets. Always use gentle detergent and cold water, and avoid wringing or twisting the fabric to keep it in the best possible condition.

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