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  1. #1
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    wash my merino wool?

    What will happen if I wash(in cold water) a merino sweater that says "dry clean"?
    Will it pill? Or shrink?

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    IDK, Woolite(tm) cold water stuff is made to wash wool at cold water temperatures.

    sheep dont shrink after a rainstorm..

  3. #3
    Senior Member Chesha Neko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pauschl View Post
    What will happen if I wash(in cold water) a merino sweater that says "dry clean"?
    Will it pill? Or shrink?
    Better to hand wash with Woolite, then blot with a towel to remove most moisture, then air dry flat.
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    Mmm hm! agent pombero's Avatar
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    I wash all of my Icebreaker merino wools on cold tap water, gentle cycle, set to low spin, hang air dry only. I wash about once every 8 weeks. I have not noticed any shrinking or destruction of the fabric.

    Tip: be careful wearing your merino wool on public transit. If a bedbug decides to hitch a ride, how will you know? The only way to be safe is to wash it on hot and also throw it into the drier on high; thus ruining your wool. Your best bet is never to bring merino where nasty critters are likely to be found.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    According to my wife, knitting and yarn stores sell various wool-washing products that are better than Woolite.
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    IDK, Woolite(tm) cold water stuff is made to wash wool at cold water temperatures.

    sheep dont shrink after a rainstorm..
    Yep they do

    Look!

    Before and after a rainstorm


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    Senior Member maidenfan's Avatar
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    I use Nikwax's product and it works well. Its pricey, but it'll last a long time.
    "Others don't understand because I train every day of my life as they have never trained a day in theirs." Alexandr Karelin - the most dominating Greco-Roman wrestler - ever

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    IDK, Woolite(tm) cold water stuff is made to wash wool at cold water temperatures.

    sheep dont shrink after a rainstorm..
    Yep they do

    Look!

    Before and after a rainstorm

    That's enough proof for me.
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  10. #10
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    I wash my wool like I wash my hair, hand hot using a detergent. I find that this works better than a soap, even a gentle woolmark soap. A few drops of washing up liquid or shampoo seem to work well in a gentle wash cycle.
    Wash wool on its own, spin at low revs (600 on my machine) and dry flat on a towel away from direct heat and don't stretch it out wet.
    If you hand wash, don't agitate too violently, just let it soak for a while, and never wring. I squeeze a balled up item very gently.

    The official care pages for my brand of Merino is a good read.

  11. #11
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    Woolite is not good, nasty chemicals, soap is bad BUT detergent is perfect(Dawn). Hot water is OK, rubbing it when wet is the problem. Here is a link that I have followed for many years. Drying wool is a PIA but I usually do my wool sweaters at the end of the winter season. For wool Ts I use the washing machine and they do not hold up very well, lots of holes. I do not recommend using the machine My sweaters are many years old and look very good, the Ts are only 1-2 years old.

    http://www.fuzzygalore.biz/articles/wash_sweater.shtml

  12. #12
    Senior Member RGNY's Avatar
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    'Eucalan' brand wool wash. my wife the crazy knitter uses it for all high end wools including qiviut (super expensive musk ox yarn). swish it in a sink, squeeze and air dry.

    me? with my Smartwool baselayer i put it in a sweater bag, minimal detergent and tumble it on no heat/air only/fluff setting.

  13. #13
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    here is a link to Smartwool's care page.
    http://www.smartwool.com/care

  14. #14
    Senior Member G1nko's Avatar
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    I'll echo the vote for Eucalan. My wife, my mother, my sister, and my aunt are all crazy knitters so we have plenty of experience with Eucalan. I handwash all my merino "dry clean only" stuff in Eucalan, follow the directions on the bottle, and air dry. No problems.
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  15. #15
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    I don't trust myself, so I follow the tags instructions. My marino sweaters that say "dry clean only" get dry cleaned. My ibex balaclava says it can be washed, so it gets washed.

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    Thanks, everyone. I hate dry cleaning. Too many chemicals, too expensive.
    This makes me wonder... can I wash wool suits by hand also?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
    Yep they do

    Look!

    Before and after a rainstorm

    You wash your sweaters with flea shampoo??

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by agent pombero View Post
    I wash all of my Icebreaker merino wools on cold tap water, gentle cycle, set to low spin, hang air dry only. I wash about once every 8 weeks. I have not noticed any shrinking or destruction of the fabric.

    Tip: be careful wearing your merino wool on public transit. If a bedbug decides to hitch a ride, how will you know? The only way to be safe is to wash it on hot and also throw it into the drier on high; thus ruining your wool. Your best bet is never to bring merino where nasty critters are likely to be found.

    Actually, dryer heat kills them. So if you're worried, put the clothes in a dryer on high heat without washing first. No shrinkage.

  19. #19
    ouate de phoque dramiscram's Avatar
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    Ask your mother!
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    You wash your sweaters with flea shampoo??
    Yep! When I can bring them back home because they run fast.

    It's dangerous for them outside. Especially during the hunting season.




  21. #21
    Senior Member arsprod's Avatar
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    wash? you're supposed to wash them?
    I'm slow, go around

  22. #22
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    3 winters now of commuting using smart wool and icebreaker Marino wool mid weight shirt and long johns??? Well anyway wash in front loader with other clothes with standard liquid detergent and warm water moderate spin and hang dry. Hate using driers when I have the sun. If no sun the house has clothes hangin to dry. adds moisture to the dry inside of house in the winter. The wool clothes are three plus years old washed weekly as stated above and still in great condition.

  23. #23
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I have some merino wool clothing that is 30 years old. It's getting pretty ratty, but I consider merino wool to be one of nature's best inventions. I wash it in the machine and hang dry it.

    True, sheep don't shrink, but they can grow their hair/fur continuously. Sweaters don't grow.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

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  24. #24
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pauschl View Post
    Thanks, everyone. I hate dry cleaning. Too many chemicals, too expensive.
    This makes me wonder... can I wash wool suits by hand also?
    No. Not because of the wool but because of the haircloth padding in the chest and shoulders. (Friend is a custom tailor)
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

  25. #25
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    Handwash with whatever surfactant suits you and lay flat on top of the washer or dryer to dry for a couple of days. Do not try to hand launder your expensive Savile Row four button suit!

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