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- Washing a Wool Blanket to Make It Last
There’s nothing that is quite as snug as a soft wool blanket. They are like hugs you get to keep in your bed, and you can wrap them around yourself anytime you feel lonely, or sad, or cold. Wool blankets are also really durable, warm, and for some inexplicable reason, they don’t stain easily.
However, despite having an incredibly resilient fiber, wool items need to be handled most gently in the water.
When it comes to how to wash a wool blanket, you just need the right set of tools and a little prep. In fact, it is recommended that you only wash your wool blankets when it is absolutely necessary. That is if it starts giving off a foul smell or looks excessively soiled.
Therefore, if you’ve committed to washing one, you can follow the following steps on how to wash a wool blanket, so it lives up to its full potential.
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Washing a Wool Blanket to Make It Last
Follow these steps to clean your wool blankets and keep them as soft as new. These tips are also great on how to wash a wool blanket, wool sweaters, hats, socks, and other wool garments.
Step #1 – Start By Shaking The Dust Off!
Before you decide to wash a wool blanket, make sure you shake it out and hang it in a well-ventilated area. This should get rid of any dust that is sticking on the surface. Ideally, the blanket should come out significantly fresher and might even save you the trouble of having to wash it in the first place.
Step #2 – Brush The Blanket
Experts will tell you that even the most soiled wool blankets can easily be cleaned using a soft bristle brush. There are brushes made especially for wool, cashmere, and suede which will not damage your blanket.
A brush should be able to get out even dirt that has dug in. Therefore, lay the blanket flat on a clean surface, and, using a soft-bristled brush, brush it down in gentle strokes. Each brush stroke should move in the same direction. If the blanket is still visibly dirty, you can move on to the next step.
If there are any fuzzes or pilling, you can use a wool fuzz remover. For blankets that are not actually dirty, these two steps may be enough to clean your wool blankets. However, if there are stains then it’s time for a full cleaning, you will want to proceed to the next steps.
Step #3 – Treat Any Visible Stains
If not handled before washing, stains will likely set in the wool. Therefore, it is imperative that you look for any stains before doing anything and then treat them using cold water and a mild detergent.
Remember, you should not use hot water or warm during your cleaning process because it can shrink your wool products.
Alternatively, you can use club soda or a vinegar solution for this. To make the vinegar solution, simply take about a third cup of white vinegar and top it off with two-thirds water. For can slowly pour the club soda, on any stains until the fabric is saturated.
Step #4 – Soak The Wool Blanket In Cold Water
If you are using a washing machine, continue by filling it with cold water and adding a small amount of wool-safe detergent. Then put the blanket inside and have it soak for about 15 minutes. Be careful not to add any warm water because warm water shrinks wool.
Check to see if your washing machine has a dedicated wool cycle, if it does, use that in place of the “delicate” or “hand-wash” cycle to wash a wool blanket. Do not use the spin cycle. Put your wool blankets or wool items in, and let them soak for 15 minutes.
If you are not using a washing machine (which may be necessary if your blanket is too big for the machine), you can simply use a large basin or your bathtub. Fill it with water, and add just a hint of soap. This will make it easier to rinse and also protect the wool fibres. For handwashing, you can also use a no rinse delicate wash detergent to make the process even easier.
You see, the main properties which protect wool are oils. If you use too much soap, you’ll end up stripping off the oils that keep it clean. Immerse the blanket in water, and let the mixture do its job. You don’t need to scrub, as this might mess with the shape and wool fiber. Instead, let it sit there for a few minutes. The soap-water reaction will lift out the dirt by itself.
Step #5 – Gently Wash the Blanket For A Few Minutes
Before you start the washing machine, adjust it to the gentle cycle, then let it run for 2-3 minutes. Once done, switch it up to the rinse cycle and let it run its course. If you notice any suds on the blanket fabric, you can put it through the rinse cycle again.
If you are hand washing your wool blankets, gently move the blankets around in the water. Then drain the water and refill with clean cold water. Again move the blanket around in the water gently to help release the soapy water from the blanket. You may need to do this a few times.
Once you are satisfied that the suds are gone, empty out all the water. If you are using the bathtub, you can gently press on the blanket to squeeze out as much water as you can. You can also leave it in the tub for an hour or so to more water drain off naturally. With a basin, you can lean it on the side and do the same thing.
Step #6 – Wrap The Blanket Inside A Towel
Wool tends to retain a lot of water. In fact, it can keep up to 1/3 of its own weight in water. Therefore, once you complete the rinse, lay the blanket flat on top of several dry towels, roll it together and let the towel absorb any excess moisture. To do this efficiently, you might need to use more than one towel.
You want to gently press on the rolled up towel and blanket to pull out as much water as possible. It is crucial that you avoid wringing out the blanket at all costs as it might permanently ruin the shape of the wool.
Step #7 – Let Your Wool Blanket Air-Dry
The best way to preserve the longevity of your wool blankets is to let it air dry. Finally, you want to air dry your blanket. Avoid putting the blanket in a dryer. The aggressive motion of the machine can crush fibers in the wool (even on low setting) and heat can cause the blanket to shrink.
When choosing a spot cleaning area to clean and dry your blanket, you want a place that is warm with good air circulation. You want to keep it away from direct sunlight because if hit too hard by the sun, the blanket can lose its softness and fade.
Many people chose to dry wool blankets flat to avoid stretching because of the weight of the wet blanket. If you have gotten most of the water out, you can hang it to dry. When hanging a wool blanket to dry, it’s good to adjust the direction of how it is hung after a few hours and make sure to avoid direct sunlight.
If you are hanging your wool blankets indoors, make sure there is good air circulation. You will want to put something on the floor to catch the drips. If it is on a metallic rod, ensure it doesn’t have any rust on it.
In cases where you are not using your wool blankets, it’s recommended that you store them in a clean, dark place that’s free of moisture. You can also store it inside a tightly sealed plastic bag to prevent your wool blankets from any pest damage. For this, you can use cedar wood blocks to keep pests away and protect your wool fibers.
Wool blankets are really cozy blessings from the heavens. They are like a soft bundle of love and all-things-comfort. And for this reason, they will always have a special place in our beds. But this does not come without a cost. Wool blankets are expensive, so it pays to repair them. And after spending a small fortune on one, you want to make sure that they last as long as possible while retaining that original glory. If it comes with care instructions, be sure to read through it on how you can keep your wool items clean and safe.
Hopefully, with a few of the tips above, you are now in a position to take care of your favorite wool blankets the way it takes care of you.
Why dry clean when you can provide better care for your woolens at home, minus the toxins and extra cost? Try The Laundress New York Wool & Cashmere Shampoo.