How to Wash Sheep's Wool

Updated April 17, 2017

Washing sheep's wool properly keeps the integrity of the fabric intact, so that it can be worn for many years to come. Wool is harvested by sheering a sheep's body, then processed so that it can be used for articles of clothing. Certain precautions have to be followed in order to prevent damage to wool fabric, otherwise it may become a useless addition to your wardrobe. You can wash your sheep's wool clothing with common household items.

Remove any loose dirt or debris by shaking the wool clothing vigorously. Undo any tangles in the wool that may be holding debris to the fabric as well. It is important to get as much of the dirt and particles off of the wool before sitting it in the water.

Fill the tub or large bucket with hot water and place the wool into it, allowing it to sit for 45 minutes. This will loosen any dirt that was not shaken off of the wool. Take the wool out of the water, then fill the tub or bucket again with fresh water, this time adding a cup of non-conditioning liquid detergent that does not contain bleach. Place the wool back into the tub or bucket and let it soak in the mixture for 30 minutes.

Take the wool out of the tub or bucket, then empty the water. Fill the tub or bucket again with the same mixture of hot water and liquid detergent, then place the wool in again. Keep the temperature consistent with the previous water that was used for the first two soakings. Let the wool sit in the water for 15 minutes. Repeat this step until the water that the wool is being soaked in is clear in appearance. Allow the wool to soak for 10 minutes during each repetition.

Take the wool out of the tub or bucket of water and let it dry. Squeeze any water from the wool gently before hanging it to dry. Place the wool in a warm, dry location where there is adequate air flow. Inspect the wool after drying is complete to verify that it has been cleaned entirely.


Do not allow running water to be applied to the wool while cleaning it. Do not use liquid detergent with bleach. Do not handle the wool more than absolutely necessary while submerged in water or in a washing machine.

Things You'll Need

  • Hot water
  • Warm water
  • Liquid detergent
  • Tub or bucket
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About the Author

Based in Florida, Robert Ceville has been writing electronics-based articles since 2009. He has experience as a professional electronic instrument technician and writes primarily online, focusing on topics in electronics, sound design and herbal alternatives to modern medicine. He is pursuing an Associate of Science in information technology from Florida State College of Jacksonville.