How to Soften Itchy Wool

Written by ann jones
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How to Soften Itchy Wool
Soften itchy yarn by soaking it in hair conditioner. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Wool is warm and cosy, but it can be itchy to those with sensitive skin. If you have a sweater that makes your neck itch or you find that your hands itch when knitting with wool, you can soften it considerably with items you already have on hand. You don't have to stop wearing your favourite sweater or abandon a ball of beautiful yarn.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • Hair conditioner
  • Bath towels

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  1. 1

    Fill a sink with enough cold water to cover the yarn or garment.

  2. 2

    Add 2 tbsp of plain white vinegar to the water. Immerse the wool and allow it to soak for one hour.

  3. 3

    Drain the vinegar water and refill the sink with cold water.

  4. 4

    Add 1 tbsp of hair conditioner beneath the stream of water as the sink is filling. Agitate the wool gently with your hands, just enough to mix the conditioner into the water. Allow the wool to soak for another hour.

  5. 5

    Rinse the wool under cold running water. Squeeze out any excess water by pressing the wool against the sides of the sink.

  6. 6

    Roll the wool in a thick bath towel to absorb as much water as possible. Hang skeins to dry. Lay garments flat on another dry bath towel and allow them to air dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Unwind a ball of yarn into a loose skein before soaking it. You can wind a skein around your arm or the backs of two chairs. Tie the skein together with bits of scrap yarn before putting it in the sink.
  • Do not use conditioner containing silicone to soak your wool. The fewer ingredients in the conditioner, the better.

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