How to Clean an Italian Military Surplus Wool Blanket

Written by steve bradley
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Cleaning an Italian military surplus wool blanket is a necessary and timely procedure, but well worth it for the quality and warmth these blankets provide. Throw one on your bed or keep one on the couch, and you will be able to lower the thermostat in the winter. These blankets are 100 per cent wool, more than 2.72kg. in weight, and measure slightly over 7 feet by 5 feet in height. They are greyish-brown in colour with a stripe down the middle. Although 100 per cent wool is a dry-clean material, the blanket can be washed at home if you do it properly.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Stiff-bristled brush
  • Gentle detergent
  • Dryer sheet

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Determine whether you have purchased a used wool blanket or a new one. Many military surplus products are used, and if this is the case, then your blanket will have been stored with military-sized moth balls that have a very strong odour. Take the package outside to open it. Hang the blanket on a clothesline for 48 hours to get rid of most of the mothball odour.

  2. 2

    Brush your Italian military wool blanket thoroughly with a stiff-bristled brush to remove dust or dirt particles. If your blanket is used, once it is thoroughly brushed pretreat any stains with a wool-safe stain pre-treater.

  3. 3

    Take your wool blanket to a laundromat. Most home washing machines are not large enough to safely accommodate a military wool blanket due to its thickness and overall size. Fill the washing machine with cold water only. Put in a mild soap that is suitable for hand washing.

  4. 4

    Soak your blanket in the washer for 20 minutes before turning the machine back on. Turn the machine on gentle cycle and let it spin for one to two minutes. At that point, stop the cycle and go to rinse, letting it finish from there.

  5. 5

    Tumble-dry your Italian military wool blanket in the dryer with no heat. Only put a single dryer sheet in with the blanket as more can give the blanket a rough coating. It may take multiple dryings before the blanket is done, so opt to run it through the dryer once, then let it finish drying outside. If you do this, then drape it over a structure such as a fence, or three clotheslines twisted together so they can handle the weight.

Tips and warnings

  • You can always have a wool blanket dry-cleaned professionally if you are uncomfortable with doing it yourself.
  • There may be some shrinkage if your blanket is new.

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