How to Wash a Wool Blanket

Learn how to wash a wool blanket at home. This is a very delicate garment that requires its own care, and we've got the best tips!
How to Wash a Wool Blanket

Last update: 12 May, 2023

Blankets made of natural fabrics, such as wool, are very delicate. After all, they’ve gone through very few industrial processes to obtain the final product. In general, they’re excellent quality and very fragile. That’s why, in this article, we’re going to take a look at how to wash a wool blanket and keep it in good shape.

Can wool blankets be washed by hand or in the washing machine? Do they require dry cleaning? What’s the best way to wash them without damaging their natural fibers? Let’s answer all these questions so you can make sure your wool blankets stay clean and look as good as new.

Is it necessary to wash wool blankets every year?

The answer is no. We’ll explain why.

Believe it or not, wool goes through a self-cleaning process. This means that it repels dirt naturally, without the help of any kind of cleaning product. In this context, what is recommended is to air it out frequently.

However, sometimes we have a down blanket or a comforter that’s filled with wool, and the fabric that covers this wool gets dirty and must be washed because there’s no other alternative. In such a case, when washing is imminent, let’s take a look at how it can be done.

Manta nórdica.
Duvet blankets can get dirty from daily use, even if they’re only decorative. Therefore, they sometimes need to be washed.

We think you may be interested in reading this, too: Avoid These 5 Mistakes When Washing Down Jackets to Avoid Ruining Them

How to wash wool blankets by hand

Before anything, make sure to read the label of the blanket carefully, because that’s where you’ll find information about which type of washing is the most suitable, the temperature of the water, and the type of soap recommended.

Then, while bearing this information in mind, you’ll be able to wash it by following these steps:

  1. You will need to use the bathtub or a large container so that it fits snugly and is not too tight. Fill the bathtub with warm water and place neutral soap or a mild detergent. Next, you need to submerge the blanket completely. There should be no fabric softener; just the soap.
  2. Let it sit for two hours or so. Don’t try to scrub it or use a brush or sponge to remove any particular stain.
  3. To rinse it, empty the bathtub and fill it again with clean water. It isn’t necessary to squeeze the blanket, because you could damage its structure. If any product residue remains, the wool itself will expel it through a natural process.
  4. To dry it, empty the tub and let it sit there without wringing it out. Once again, the wool itself will release the water from its fibers. However, it may take about 2 or 3 hours until the blanket stops dripping water and is barely damp.
  5. Finally, the blanket should be left to dry in the open air, but not in direct sunlight, as this could affect the original colors.

This method can also be applied to other wool garments.

How to wash wool blankets in the washing machine

This shouldn’t be your first or even second option to wash the wool blanket. However, if you decide to proceed, try to use a special program for wool clothes with cold water and eliminate the spin cycle.

Wool clothes tend to shrink if you use a spin cycle, so remember to remove it. If your machine doesn’t have a wool program, then choose one for delicate clothes.

Another suggestion is to store it on a flat surface overnight to prevent it from being damaged by direct sunlight. Avoid hanging it, as wool blankets can become deformed.

Dry cleaning

This is undoubtedly one of the safest alternatives to wash wool blankets and keep them intact. Dry cleaners are professionals and know what they’ re doing, so you can leave it to them with confidence.

Other alternatives to clean wool blankets

As we mentioned at the beginning, you should avoid washing a wool blanket as much as possible. To do so, we’ll share some extra tips to keep it clean with you:

  • Airing: Airing or ventilating a wool blanket is essential to keep it in optimal condition. Ideally, you should shake it daily and hang it in a place where it receives air for a few hours.
  • Stain remover: In case of stains in a particular area, it’s not necessary to wash the whole blanket, but you can work in a localized way. The wool fiber repels water; it’s hydrophobic. The natural components of this fiber act to loosen dirt particles. If it has a stain, try spraying it with soapy water to see if it comes off. Never rub as you do this.
  • Steam cleaning: This option is optimal, especially if the blanket has accumulated a strong odor, such as food or a damp odor. If you have a steam cleaner at home, you can add essential oils to scent it.
Vaporizador para limpiar una manta de lana.
If you have a steamer at home, you can use it gently on a wool blanket, as you do with the rest of the clothes.

Like this article? You may also like to read: 5 Washing Machine Tricks that Work and 5 that Don’t

As long as you’re careful, it is possible to wash a wool blanket

We hope you can use all this information to keep your wool garments looking like new. Remember that wool blankets have two enemies that can be fatal: wringing them out and hanging them vertically.

If you notice that your blanket is still wet after you’ve washed it, you can use towels to absorb it. On the other hand, make sure to never hang it vertically, as this will cause it to completely deform.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Gómez, Ó. T. (2009). Cadena productiva de lana de oveja en el sector textil y de confecciones. Industrial data12(2), 73-80.
  • Urgilés Ortíz, J. T. (2020). Experimentación con las técnicas de tinturado natural y afieltrado de lana de oveja y fibra de alpaca(Bachelor’s thesis, Universidad del Azuay).
  • Sánchez Llanos, M. L. (2020). La experimentación en el tinturado natural de lana de oveja y fibra de alpaca(Bachelor’s thesis, Universidad del Azuay).
  • Otegui, P. (2015). Lana: fibra natural, renovable y autosustentable. Del campo a la tienda. XLIII Jornadas Uruguayas de Buiatría.
  • Vílchez Maldonado, S. (2005). Nuevos tratamientos de lana con enzimas.
  • Wadel, G. (2009). Aislamientos térmicos renovables y reciclados de lana de oveja y algodón: Un aporte a la construcción sostenible. Revista de Arquitectura15(20), ág-27.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.