by Katy Lindamood
Wool blankets are among the most durable and desirable of all bedding. They're soft, warm and very difficult to stain or damage. Even a heavily soiled wool blanket can be easily cleaned with a brush, so washing should be done only a couple of times annually. Never use harsh chemicals on wool blankets, as this will cause the wool to degrade. Look below to learn how to clean wool blankets.
Brush your wool blankets and throws with a soft-bristle brush. Most wool blankets, whether heavily soiled or just a little dingy, will benefit from a heavy brushing. Lay the blanket flat on the floor. Brush down the long axis of it. This will ensure that the fibers of the wool are all lying in the same direction, which gives a great deal of structural strength and cuts down on the abrasiveness found in many wool blankets.
Clean liquid stains immediately. Wool bedding sheds liquid well initially, but after a few minutes, liquid will begin to soak into the fabric. Since wool is extremely dense, once stains set in, they're almost impossible to remove. Use warm water and mild detergent to clean stains as soon as possible. Don't scrub the fabric. Instead, soak the area of the spill with warm water and detergent and blot with a soft cloth.
Wash heavily soiled wool blankets by placing them in the washer with cold water and a wool-safe detergent. Place blankets in the washing machine and allow them to soak for 15 minutes in the detergent-and-water mixture. Set the washer to the gentle cycle and let it run for two minutes. Stop the cycle, cancel it and then manually switch the washer to the rinse cycle. Allow the rinse cycle to complete.
Hang your wool blankets up to dry. Hang them outside but keep them out of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can fade the delicate colors in wool, and it may cause wool to dry too quickly, making it very coarse. Avoid putting your wool blankets in the dryer, as this can crush the delicate wool fibers, destroying the softness of well-worn blankets.
Store them properly. Store your wool blankets in a dark, cool place. Heat and direct light can easily fade even the highest quality wool bedding, so it's essential that you don't leave your wool blankets out on the bed when they're not in use. When you pull your wool blankets out of the closet after long storage, you may want to put them in the dryer on the cool air setting for two minutes to soften the fabric before use.
Never use harsh chemicals on your wool blankets, even if you have a stubborn stain. Never scrub the wool. Take your wool bedding to a dry cleaner if there's a stain that you can't handle with gentle treatment.