It is possible to wash a wool blanket of any type at home--and doing so can save you hundreds of dollars in dry-cleaning costs over the life of your wool blanket. While you can't simply toss the wool blanket into the washing machine with the regular laundry, with a little care you can use your home washer to clean your blanket without damaging it. Buy a rinse-free cleaning product designed for use on wool at any yarn store or craft store, or in the laundry section of some big box stores.
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Things you need
- Washing machine
- Rinse-free wool soak
- Wooden spoon
Lay the blanket out on a flat surface and check for damage. Repair any tears or pulls before you put the blanket in the washer. For knit blankets, use a small (5-mm) crochet hook to pull any loose threads back into place. For woven blankets, sew up any tears with embroidery floss in a matching colour.
Choose the "soak" setting on your washing machine and fill the washer with cool water. Never use warm or hot water to wash wool; doing so could cause the blanket to shrink.
Add ½ cup wool soak to the washer and swirl it around with a wooden spoon to blend. Popular wool soak brands include Eucalan and Soak.
Place the blanket in the washer, pressing gently down until the blanket is completely submerged in the water. Allow the blanket to soak with the washer lid up for 30 minutes.
Turn the dial of the washing machine to the "spin" cycle and close the lid. Allow the washer to complete the spin cycle, then remove the wool blanket. Lay the clean blanket flat to dry.
Tips and warnings
- You don't need to rinse the blanket if you use a wool soak product.
- If you prefer to hand wash, you can use your bathtub instead of a washing machine. Just squeeze any excess water out of your blanket when finished.
- Do not allow the washer to agitate the blanket; it should soak only and then spin to rinse.
- Putting the blanket through a full wash cycle could damage it.
- Don't hang your blanket to dry. The weight of the blanket will cause it to stretch out of shape.
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