Wool fabric is made from the natural fleece of an animal - sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas. As with our own hair, for wool to look its best it should not be treated with high heat or harsh detergents. Mistreatment will cause wool loose its natural oils and luster, change shape by shrinking and develop wear and tear too quickly.
Caring for washable wool garments and linens demands cool water, a gentle detergent and a delicate wash cycle or hand washing. There are commercial detergents like Woolite formulated for delicate garments and wool items; but you can also make your own by following a simple recipe. You'll save money and reduce waste by reusing a plastic container you have on hand. Always remember to label your products!
Here are several "recipes" for making a gentle wool wash or detergent at home.
Homemade Wool Wash #1
Place the soap flakes and boiling water in a large mixing bowl and mix well with the stick blender or whisk. Or, you can do this in an electric blender. Next, add the methylated spirits and essential oil mixing very well. Pour the mixture into the large preserving jar. Leave the jar overnight and it will set to a firm jelly. To use, rub a small amount into stains or dissolve one tablespoon of wool wash in lukewarm water. Swish or soak the garment in warm water and then rinse well.
Homemade Wool Wash #2
Mix all ingredients and store in a wide necked jar. When ready to use, mix one to two tablespoons per cup of hot water. Stir until dissolved and then add to lukewarm wash water.
Homemade Wool Wash #3
Heat water in a microwaveable cup. Add remaining ingredients and stir briskly until the lanolin has melted and is suspended in little droplets thought the mixture. Mix the solution in the cup into a sink of lukewarm water by swishing your hand through the water. Hand wash your wool items and then rinse well.
Emergency Wool Wash
It happens to us all. We need to wash a garment and we discover that we have no commercial wool wash or no supplies to make our own. What to do? You can use the following occasionally to wash wool:
Specific questions? Just ask here.