If you are fortunate enough to own a beautiful wool blanket, you will know how important it is to care for it properly.
New and even seasoned owners of high-quality woolen products often find themselves asking the question: “can I wash wool blankets?”
Wool is a natural fiber that is both durable and resilient. When properly cared for, your wool blanket can last for many years. However, wool is also a delicate fabric and must be washed carefully to avoid damaging it.
Not only does washing and correctly caring for your wool blanket keep it looking its best, but it also helps extend its lifespan.
The good news is that washing a wool blanket is not as difficult as you might think. You can easily keep your blanket clean and looking great with a bit of care and the right attention to detail.
In this guide, we will show you how to safely wash your wool blanket so that it will continue to provide you with comfort and warmth for years to come.
How Often Can You Wash Wool Blankets?
Wool is a natural fiber that is resistant to dirt and stains, so it doesn't need to be washed as often as other fabrics. Wool can shrink, warp, or become felted when mishandled or exposed to heat. It is best to avoid washing your wool blanket too often, as this can cause wear and tear.
How often you wash your wool blanket depends on how often it's used. If it's a decorative blanket that's only used occasionally, you will likely need to wash it once or twice a year. But if you use your wool blanket daily, you will need to wash it more often.
Unlike cotton or linen bedding and blankets that should be laundered often to retain cleanliness and freshness, we recommend cleaning wool blankets once every three months.
Washing a Wool Blanket - Step-by-Step Guide
Wool blankets make the perfect companion when the weather gets colder, but they require special care when it comes to washing.
When the time comes to wash a wool blanket, use this step-by-step guide to show you the best way to wash it so it stays soft, cuddly, and in good condition for years to come.
Step One: Shake and Hang
Before you begin washing a wool blanket, it is helpful to remember that sometimes all a good woolen blanket needs to look and smell revitalized is a good breath of fresh air.
Take your wool blanket outdoors and give it a vigorous shake. Shaking the blanket well will not only scatter any dirt and debris from the surface of the blanket, but it will also fluff up the blanket's fibers, refreshing the blanket’s shape.
Once that is done, hang the blanket outside, where the air can circulate around and through the blanket freely. This will help eliminate any lingering odors and remove microscopic particles of dust and dirt.
You may find that after shaking and airing the blanket outside, you do not need to wash it after all!
Step Two: Airing or Brushing
After your blanket has spent some time in the fresh air, you may find that your blanket needs a little added tender loving care. Step Two will depend on the type of wool blanket you own - woven or knitted.
Airing Knitted Blankets
If your wool blanket is knitted (like all of Ériu’s blankets), we do not recommend brushing your blanket. Brushing may damage the fibers of your blanket.
Instead, we recommend hanging your blanket outside in the sun or wind until dry. This will typically take several hours (depending on the weather conditions). Once your blanket has aired, it may not need to be washed further.
Brushing Woven Blankets
If your blanket is woven, you may need to give your wool blanket a gentle brush. This will help remove any stubborn dirt or marks that the breeze has not banished.
- Lay your blanket on a flat, clean surface. Smooth out any creases gently.
- Use a soft-bristled brush. This will help avoid damaging the fibers of the blanket.
- Gently brush in one direction. Be sure not to scrub back and forth, as this can damage the fibers.
Make sure to be extra careful not to brush your woven wool blanket too hard. You don’t want to create any bald spots on your blanket!
Step Three: Pulls or Snags
Now it is important to check your blanket for any pulls or snags.
Keep the blanket laid flat on the surface upon which you were brushing it. Now run your hands over the blanket, feeling for any pulls in the wool or loose threads of pieces of yarn sticking out.
A pull in the blanket should be easy to see. If you find one, do not worry. Pulls and snags are common on woolen blankets that are used regularly.
All of our Ériu blankets come with a darning needle. A darning needle is a long hand-sewing needle with long threading eyes making it ideal for spanning large holes during mending. A darning needle will be invaluable in your woolen blanket care routine.
If you find that a piece of yarn has been pulled out, lay the blanket flat and examine the area it came from.
If it is a short pull, massage the pull gently back into the weave until it becomes incorporated.
If it is a long pull, encourage it back as far as possible. Use your darning needle to amend the surrounding stitches where the stitch has become tighter with the pull. If there is an excess loop, tie a tiny knot in the wool, so it inserts back into the stitching neatly.
All of our Ériu blankets come with a darning needle. A darning needle is a long hand-sewing needle with long threading eyes making it ideal for spanning large holes during mending. A darning needle will be invaluable in your woolen blanket care routine
Never cut the wool.
Step Four: Spot Cleaning
Small marks and stains on your wool blanket are common. This is especially true if you use your woolen blanket as a baby blanket. Common spills of milk or other liquids can be easily removed once treated promptly.
The Ériu Baby Blanket is a small blanket for babies. Made with traditional, natural wool, our baby blanket is lovingly crafted to be safe for babies to sleep with and designed to enhance breathability on your baby’s skin. Our beautiful baby blanket is the perfect heirloom to be passed down from generation to generation as your family grows.
If you notice any spots or stains on your baby blanket, you may be able to spot-clean those areas without having to wash the entire blanket.
First, identify the stain and determine whether it is water-based or oil-based. Water-based stains can be treated with mild detergent and water. We recommend trying a water-based baby wipe first, as you may be able to remove the stain without needing detergent.
Next, mix a solution of cool water and mild soap or eco-friendly wool-safe detergent. Dip a clean cloth into the mixture and blot the stain gently. Be sure not to scrub, as this can damage the wool fibers.
If the stain is still visible after blotting, you may need to try a stronger cleaning solution. Mix one part white vinegar with two parts cool water and apply it to the stain with a clean cloth. Again, blot rather than scrub for best results.
Remember, spills are most likely to stain if not cleaned immediately. If you spill something on your woolen blanket that is likely to stain, try spot-clean it as soon as possible.
Step Five: Washing a Wool Blanket
If you have followed all of the steps above and still feel that your wool blanket needs to be washed to be clean, it is important to take care and follow these steps to ensure that your beautiful blanket remains in the best condition.
We advise you to always wash your wool blanket in cold water. Hot or warm water will affect the wool fibers, causing your blanket to shrink and change size. Washing a woolen blanket in water that is too hot can permanently damage the blanket and change the way the blanket drapes.
Cold water and gentle washing will help retain the blanket's shape and keep the wool pristine.
Soak your wool blanket in cold water with some wool-safe detergent for 15 minutes. This can be done in a basin or washing machine if you have one with a wool and soak setting.
Once your blanket has finished soaking, set your washing machine on the most delicate cycle - ideally, the wool cycle option, if your machine has it.
Ensure that you set your machine to a cold wash cycle and be sure that the spin cycle is off.
Most washing machines do not have a spin cycle on the most delicate settings, but checking is always advisable.
If you feel especially cautious, you can allow your delicate cycle to run for two minutes. After this time, cancel the cycle, switch to a rinse cycle, and let the rinse cycle finish.
If you still see soap suds on the blanket after the rinse cycle is complete, rinse the blanket again by hand or send it through another rinse cycle in your machine.
Step Six: Drying
To safely dry your blanket, lay it on a bed of towels upon removing the blanket from your washing machine.
Roll the blanket up gently in the towels. This will help draw out any excess moisture left inside the blanket fibers after washing. Be sure not to wring out the blanket. This can ruin the shape of the wool.
Once you are confident that the towel has absorbed as much moisture as possible, you should hang the blanket out to dry.
Hanging outside is always best, but the most important thing to remember is to hang the blanket somewhere it can dry naturally with air circulating it. The key is not to let the wool blanket dry in direct sunlight or heat, as this can damage the wool.
Finally, give your wool blanket a light gently shake once completely dry to restore its natural shape and fluffiness.
Enjoying Your Wool Blanket For Life
Knowing how to wash a wool blanket properly is essential to keep it in good condition.
Wool is a natural fiber and therefore needs to be treated with care. Following the steps above will help to make sure that your gorgeous wool blanket can be enjoyed for years to come.
A beautiful wool blanket is something to be treasured. Now you know how to wash and care for your wool blanket, you and your family can enjoy the blissful feeling of keeping warm and cozy underneath a 100% Irish Wool blanket.
Our Family Blanket is perfect for keeping you and your loved ones warm. Our best seller for a reason, this large blanket (26 x 26 inches) is made from 100% Irish Wool and can be used as a blanket or a stylish throw all year round.
Wrap up warm and safe in the knowledge that you know how to care for your stunning wool blanket. Ériu blankets get softer with wear, including washing, so don’t be afraid to wash your blanket often!