How Often Should You Wash Merino Wool?

You can find merino wool in many different forms that all work to keep you warm. It usually costs more to get high-quality garments, so it’s important that we take care of the material the right way.

If you know how to wash merino wool, the only other question to answer is how often to wash merino wool.

It’s recommended to wash your merino wool at least every other month. Depending on the garment type and the frequency of use, the time in between washes should be reduced to every couple of weeks. Frequent washing of merino wool can cause the colors to fade and the seams to wear down.

Hiker On Mountain

Merino Wool Doesn’t Need To Be Washed Often

Merino wool is a low maintenance fabric that only needs washing every couple of months after its initial first wash. One great benefit of this wool is that it has built-in odor prevention which means it can last multiple uses without smelling.

Eventually, after a few times of hiking in your merino wool socks or shirt, it’ll be time to go through the cleaning process. The washing and drying part of it may take some time to complete, but luckily you don’t have to do them very often.

Reasons To Wash Merino Wool

Washing your merino wool will prevent pilling from occurring. Pilling is when small balls of fiber form on the wool’s surface, which happens when short fibers begin to build up.

Washing your wool will help to remove these short fibers that have built up over time and could lead to pilling.

Here’s How To Wash Merino Wool

If you want a quick guide on washing merino wool, here’s a list of what to do.

  • Wash at a low temperature
  • Always use a gentle cycle on your washing machine
  • Either hang to dry or lay out flat overnight
  • Use a mild detergent

These next few points are things to avoid while cleaning.

  • Don’t tumble dry or dry clean
  • Don’t wring out to remove water
  • Don’t use bleach or fabric softener

It’s important to read the label of your product to determine if it can be machine washed, dry cleaned, or hand washed only.

Most of the time, your merino wool can be machine washed on a low temperature set on the normal cycle. It should be separated by light and dark colors.

Don’t use the wool setting on your washing machine because it doesn’t rinse the wool well enough and may leave detergent in the wool that will cause damage.

You can use wool detergent but make sure it doesn’t contain any fabric softener that will risk damaging the fabric.

If you’re interesting you can read the full guide to washing merino wool here.

Hand Washing Merino Wool

If you need to handwash your wool, keep in mind to only use delicate soap. You don’t want something harsh that will harm your wool.

Fill a sink with lukewarm water and then fully submerge the fabric for about five minutes. Then, gently rotate the fabric around in the sink.

Once you are sure it’s clean, rinse the fabric in warm water. Be sure to get all the soap out of the fabric to prevent any damage from occurring.

Never wring out your fabric, instead gently squeeze out the water.

Avoid The Dryer

You should not put merino wool in the dryer because it will most likely shrink or become warped.

Merino wool socks are often an exception because they are composed of a mixture of wool with other materials. To be safe, read the label first.

To dry your merino wool fabrics, place them on a flat surface away from direct sunlight or a heat source. Hanging your merino wool can cause it to stretch.

The water added to the weight of the material makes it sag.

Is Ironing Okay?

You can iron merino wool, but most of the time you won’t need to because it is not susceptible to wrinkling. Doing so can make the wool stay warm for longer and keep the correct fitting form.

To iron, place a thin cloth between your iron and the wool. Set the iron to the wool setting and be careful not to press in one spot for too long.

Summary – How Often Should You Wash Merino Wool

The experts suggest washing any merino wool at least every month or every other month. After a few uses, the material can start to pill and start to smell.

If you want your merino wool to remain soft, it’s important to wash them correctly. Otherwise you may end up with an uncomfortable and itchy pair of socks or shirts.

If you wash the wool too frequently it can shorten the life span of your clothes.

To avoid breaking down the wool, be sure to follow the proper cleaning procedure and limit the number of times you wash it each month.