It’s time to wash your favourite item of Merino wool clothing. But which detergent should you use when machine washing or hand washing wool? A neutral, mild wool detergent will help to prolong the lifespan of your favourite wool sweater or any other piece of clothing.
What is a mild or neutral detergent?
Mild or neutral detergents have a relatively neutral pH level. Detergents for wool are all mild and are suitable for washing wool in the washing machine and also for hand washing wool clothes, wool blankets and other wool items. Using a neutral, mild detergent, preferably one that is Woolmark recommended, should be your go-to when hand washing or machine washing wool clothing.
Avoid using heavy-duty detergents, “bio” detergents containing enzymes, or any detergents containing bleaches.
How to choose a wool detergent
There are a number of laundry detergents suitable for wool. When choosing your preferred laundry detergent there are a number of considerations you should take into account:
- If powdered detergents are used, it is always best to pre-dissolve the detergent prior to adding to the wash. This helps to prevent concentrated specks of detergent from coming into contact with the clothes, which may cause holes.
- Final rinse softeners or conditioners can be used, but care should be taken to keep the amount down to minimum. Excessive amount of softener can lead to the formation of pills during subsequent washes - this is because softeners tend to act as a lubricant and enable fibres to move out onto the surface of the sweater more easily.
- Never use bleach, either chlorine or oxygen based, when washing wool.
- Always follow the washing instructions of your chosen laundry detergent.