How Do I Clean My Merino Wool Blanket?

Silver, 100% Merino chunky blanket next to window with cup of tea.

 

Cleaning luxury products can feel a little tricky. Life and spills sometimes happen, but you don’t want to accidentally ruin your special piece while trying to save it from that coffee that sloshed out of your mug! Fortunately, once you know a few really important facts, cleaning spills off your Merino wool blanket is really simple.


First, never throw your merino wool project in the washing machine!

The only time you put your Merino wool blanket in the wash is when you’ve decided you want to felt it. (And once you do felt your blanket, there’s no way to un-felt it, so do make sure you’re ready for that commitment! If you do want instructions on how to felt, here’s a helpful video: https://t.ly/THFQ )


Second, be gentle!

When the wool is worked or agitated, it starts the felting process. Felting is when the tiny, tiny barbs in the wool fiber start interlocking and sticking together. This is perfectly natural and will happen a little bit as your blanket ages! However, it does make your blanket texture feel a little bit tougher and coarser, so I like to slow down this natural process as much as possible. Felting is also a cool look, but my personal favorite look is the natural, classic, un-felted wool look. 


Third, use cold or cool water, never warm or hot!

Hot water will greatly speed up the felting process. Cleaning with only cold water will slow that felting process and keep your unfelted wool looking its best!


Fourth, spot cleaning is your friend!

Like I said above, working the wool will start that felting process, which we want to avoid as much as possible unless we’re ready to fully felt the blanket. So, instead of cleaning the whole blanket for one spill, just clean the one spot affected by the spill.  


How I clean my blankets:

I like to spot clean in my kitchen so I can have the rest of the blanket (that I don’t want to wash) rest safely out of the way on my counter. (Just make sure your counter is nice and clean first!) Then I spot clean down in my (clean!) kitchen sink. If there’s still a lot of the spilled coffee/wine/food on or soaked into the blanket, you can very gently rinse it in cold or cool water. Now, a gentle rinse is sometimes all you need. But if the spill is more stubborn, I’d recommend putting the sink stopper in and letting it fill with a shallow amount of cold water. Add a small amount of gentle wool wash. I recommend Eucalan-it’s a very gentle, effective cleaner that comes either unscented or in a variety of lovely scents. Plus, you don’t need to rinse Eucalan, which is wonderful when you’re trying to work the wool as little as possible to avoid felting! Let it soak for 3-5 minutes, then lift the blanket out of the water and very gently squeeze the water out. Next, I like to take a colorfast towel (so that it doesn’t transfer any fabric dye to your blanket), lay it on the counter, lay the wet section of the blanket on the towel, fold the other part of the dry towel on top. Next, gently press down on the towel to help it draw some of the water out of the blanket. Lastly, spread out the blanket on a laundry drying rack or some other safe, clean spot, and let your blanket dry thoroughly. Make sure it is completely dry before you put your blanket away!

In case it's helpful, here's a video I made showing you my process step-by-step:

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