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How to wash your Woollykins

The Woollykins Comprehensive Guide to Caring for Woollens.

How to properly Handwash wool garments.

1. Before washing - ask yourself, does this garment really need a wash? Because of wool’s remarkable self cleaning properties often brushing off dirt/food with a soft nail brush and/or airing the garment for 2-3 days is sufficient to clean wool. Otherwise a spot clean might be required. The less you wash wool and any textile the longer it will last.

2. Treat Stains. Pre-treat any dry stains with a Woollykins stain remover. Massage a small amount into the stain and leave for 15 mins.

3. Wash. Fill a basin with lukewarm water and disperse your Woollykins Wool Shampoo. Submerge garment and gently squeeze the garment under the water to work the solution through the fibres. If there are any particularly dirty areas, add a little more shampoo or use the Ox gall Soap bar and work the soap into the soiled area gently by massaging the fabric. Do not rub or cause too much friction/agitation. Squeeze the garment under water in a way that forces the water through the fibres and dislodges any dirt. Avoid slapping/dropping the wet garment into the water. Gently remove, squeeze and place in a colander and repeat with your other garments. Change washing solution if it gets very dark. 

5a. Rinse. Fill the basin with lukewarm water. Always rinse in the same temperature water as the washing water. Submerge all your garments. You can add a dash of white vinegar to the solution to remove any build up, especially if you are following with a lanolin care treatment below. Squeeze the garments underwater to rinse. Remove and gently squeeze out excess water.

5b (optional). Lanolin Conditioner (recommended once a month). Using the Sonett Wool Care Condition or the Disana Lanolin Conditioner, vigorously disperse a teaspoon of lanolin conditioner in hot water. Add cold to make a basin of lukewarm water. Submerge garments and gently squeeze underwater. Leave for 15-30 mins. Do not rinse. Remove and gently squeeze out excess water. 

6. Spin or Roll. If your washing machine allows it, isolate the SLOW SPIN (NO RINSE - max 400-600 revs) and spin the water from the garments. If your machine doesn’t have a separate spin, roll garments in a towel or two and sit on them to draw out as much water as possible. 

7. Reshape & Dry. Take care to reshape your garments before drying so that they dry into the correct shape/fit. Pull sleeves/body/legs down to straighten and add length which helps the knit stitches to sit correctly. Don’t pull widthwise. Lay knitwear flat to dry or finer wool garments can be hung over the drier. Avoid pegs which will leave marks.

How to wash wool garments in your machine wool cycle.

All machines vary in efficacy and treatment of your delicates. Use with caution and only if familiar with your wool machine cycle. We do not sell Superwash Merino wool which is a chemical treatment that makes merino machine washable. Shrinkage of wool garments occurs when an item has not been washed correctly and is not indicative of a fault. Below are our recommendations for using your machine but we cannot accept responsibility for the results of washing a garment.

Follow steps 1 & 2 above.

3. Load your garments into the machine and choose the COLD wool machine cycle with a SLOW spin 400 max. Add your Sonett wool shampoo at the recommended quantity. If your machine doesn’t allow you to choose cold, then the machine will wash warm but rinse cold which can shock the fibres.

Follow step 7 above.

Wool Care No Nos.

  • using too hot or too cold water
  • agitating or rubbing the wet wool
  • changing water temperatures
  • soaking for a long time and then not being super gentle
  • putting in dryer or drying over a heater/ too close to the fire 

Wool Care Best Practice:

  • air between use
  • wash only when required
  • reshape garment before drying
  • fix holes/snags when they first appear
  • pack away when not in frequent use to avoid moths

For our guide to how to Safely pack away woollens for the summer, see our Wool Care Q&A.