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Caring for wool clothing (it's easier than you think!)

We wear a lot of wool around these parts. Five months of winter means we need to find ways to be comfortable so that we can get outdoors... or else we'd lose our minds with five people in 900 square feet. I went into great detail about how we wear wool, why we wear it, what types are best and the brands I love in my article that is featured the very first Homestead Mamas Magazine: Holidays On The Homestead.

You can still get a copy of that beautiful coffee table worthy publication HERE.

This blog post is a follow up to that article for those of you who are wondering how to care for your wool clothing. So... let's jump in!

We wear our wool hard. It gets stained, ripped, and worn not just for the beautiful aesthetic of wool but for it's incredible functionality.

Let me start by saying, wool does not need to be washed as often as other fabrics. If you get some stinky pits, just air that sweater outside in the sun for a few hours and it will be good as new. A small stain? Spot clean it. Our wool sweaters only get washed a couple times a year, or when extremely dirty/stained. Merino base layers get washed more often because they are worn daily as pajamas and under layers. I usually wash our base layers once a week.

I wash our merino wool base layers and interlock wool in my machine on cold or warm, delicate setting. I then hang them on a line outside if it's warm enough or by the fire on a rack.

I like using a nice gentle wool wash (like Eucalyn) or soap nuts for all my wool. For stains I use Charlie's Soap stain spray as I find it's gentle enough to be used on pretty much any fabric.

Sweaters get stain treated and hand washed in the sink or tub with soap nuts. I gently use my fingers to work out stains, then I let them soak for about 30-60 minutes. I gently squeeze every once and awhile during this time.

Drying is simple: gently squeeze out as much water as you can in the sink (if you used soap nuts you don't even need to rinse). Then lay out a towel and place your sweater on top. Roll it all up and then step or press firmly to get the rest of the water out.

I then lay my sweaters on a blanket or towel on a flat surface, reshape (pulling if needed to stretch out again). Let them stay here to dry the rest of the way.

Wool is not disposable clothing. It's worth caring for right so you can pass down between children, ultimately saving money. One or two wool sweaters in your closet can last you for 20+ years if you take the time to wash them gently and mend any holes right away. (Mending is a whole different post that I'll write about one of these days.)

I hope you take a dive into the Wonders of Wool for you and your family and join the club of "better not more"!

Stay Warm,


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