Without a doubt, wool blankets are among the most popular blanket types out there. Also, they are probably the most durable. If you have one, you must have noticed that stains and wool blankets tend to avoid each other. But after a while, your wool covers will pick up smells and even a couple of stains. In those moments, it will be useful to know how to wash a wool blanket without damaging it.
So, take a look at these efficient steps and apply them next time you wash your warm and cozy blanket.
1. Shake off all the dust and debris
In general, wool blankets are soft, warm, and easy to clean. Yet, they may need a thorough cleaning from time to time.
The process of cleaning wool blankets starts with shaking the blanket vigorously. Make sure to avoid contact with the floor or the ground. By shaking the blanket, you could beat out a lot of dirt and particles that are stuck within the fibers.
Likewise, the experts on how to clean a wool blanket recommend using a soft-bristle brush. Why? Well, brushing can also extract lots of embedded debris. Just make sure that your brushing movements go down the long axis of the blanket. In other words, brush in the direction of the fibers.
Either way, these steps could even change your mind about washing a wool blanket in the first place. Our next tip offers a similar solution, so let’s move on and see what awaits us.
2. Spot-clean the blanket before putting it in the washer
As you may know, wool is hydrophobic. This means that wool blankets can repel liquid, up to a certain level. Also, the fibers will allow you to remove stains if you react fast enough. To put it in simple terms, you can remove stains off of wool blankets if you treat them immediately.
If not, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. The trick is in spot-cleaning before washing wool blankets in washing machines. What we mean by this is that you should inspect the blanket and find the stubborn spots. After that, apply a bit of mild detergent on the area and gently tap with a white cloth.
Besides using a gentle detergent, you can opt for club soda or even a vinegar solution. Both options work wonders for extracting the hard-core dirt. As a result, your wool blankets could be clean as a whistle.
Nonetheless, washing the blanket in the water will help with getting rid of funky smells and odors. So, let’s find out how to wash a wool blanket in a washer.
3. Use a wool-safe detergent when washing the blanket
One of the biggest mistakes people make when cleaning this type of blankets is to use harsh chemicals. Since wool blankets contain an element called Lanolin, detergents can damage this oily component. As a result, the blanket will become scratchy and coarse.
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The best option is to use a wool-safe detergent. However, a neat trick is to use baby shampoo when washing wool blankets. Even though it may sound funny, baby shampoo is pH neutral, which suits the fabric of the blanket. After all, wool-made blankets are made out of hair, so a touch of gentle shampoo can only help.
Once you decide on the detergent, place the blanket in a washer. Always be gentle and avoid too much agitation. Leave the blanket to soak up for up to 15 minutes. After that, start the washer on a ‘gentle’ cycle and stop it manually after 2 minutes. Then, start the rinse cycle and finish the process.
Sounds simple? Well, it is. But there are a couple of other things you will need to take into consideration. Let’s check them out.
4. Avoid using dryers and don’t leave the blanket in direct sunlight
As a rule of thumb, users should stay away from dry-cleaning wool blankets. The reason for this is the same as the one we already mentioned – wool fibers are delicate and soft. Too much heat would cause irreparable damage to the oils that act as a protective layer.
Besides the heat, wool blankets are not big fans of tumbling and aggressive handling. Likewise, if you leave the blanket outside under direct sunlight, the colors will fade. Also, the heat will make the blankets course. No one likes to snuggle under a scratchy blanket.
So, how should you dry a wool blanket? Well, our tip is to use a kitchen table. Spread the blanket flat, and leave it for a few hours. Or, you could improvise with a couple of kitchen chairs and lay the blanket on top of them. Either way, it is important to air-dry the wool, without destroying its softness.
5. Read the product care label
Last but not least, a tip that could easily be moved to the top of our list. Nevertheless, the important thing is to check the instructions whenever you want to clean your blanket.
The chances are that you’ve seen the care label on the blanket already, but you did not give it much attention. Well, you should! Without reading the label, you will not know can you wash a wool blanket in the first place.
For example, the instructions could offer detailed information on the recommended water temperature, drying process, and so on.
Here’s how to clean a wool blanket with Johnson’s baby shampoo.
The bottom line
As you can see, these tips will tell you how to wash a wool blanket without shrinking it. After all, wool blankets are not the cheapest out there, and regular cleaning sessions can prolong their longevity. Needless to say, regular washing will keep the blankets fresh and cuddly, allowing you to snuggle under a warm blanket during cold nights.
Admittedly, wool is a self-cleaning material and sometimes it is best to leave it alone. But now that you know how to wash a wool blanket – you can tackle this process on your own. As long as you follow the guidelines we described, your favorite blanket will be back to its best shape.