With Winter approaching it’s the time to get our woollen items out of storage. They will usually need a wash to freshen them up so here is a great homemade wool wash to make!

Always wash your wool garments in cool water with a gentle handmade detergent on a delicate wash cycle or hand wash for extra care.

Here are some easy to make wool washes that will get you through winter smelling wonderful!

Freshly homemade wool wash

  • 4 cups soap flakes (Grate your own soap or use Lux Flakes)
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup Methylated Spirits
  • 1 tablespoon essential oils (lavender and eucalyptus work well)

Put the soap flakes into a large bowl and gently pour over the boiling water, stir and leave for five minutes. Now mix well with a stick blender or whisk until the soap has dissolved completely. Next pour in the Methylated Spirits and the essential oils and mix thoroughly. Pour into your preferred storage container and leave overnight to set to a jelly consistency.

To use, rub a small amount directly onto stains or dissolve one tablespoon of wool wash in lukewarm water. Swish or soak the garment in warm water and then rinse well. Alternatively add ½ a cup to a small load in the washing machine.

Concentrated fresh wool wash

  • 1 cup Methylated Spirits
  • 2 cups soap flakes
  • 1 tablespoon essential oil

Mix all ingredients together well and store in a wide necked jar. To use, mix one to two tablespoons of mixture into a cup of hot water. Stir until dissolved and then add to washing machine.

Conditioning wool wash

  • 1 cup hot water
  • ¼ teaspoon lanolin
  • ¼ teaspoon baby shampoo
  • One to two drops of an essential oil of your choice

Place the hot water into a small jug and add the rest of the ingredients and stir well until the lanolin has dissolved in the water. Add the mixture to a basin of lukewarm water and hand wash your wool items and then rinse well.

Emergency wool wash

Castile Soap – Castile soap is an olive oil based soap that can be bought in a liquid or bar form. Dilution of Castile soap is crucial for washing wool. Use only about ¼ teaspoon per sink of lukewarm water for hand-washing and rinse clothing very well.

You can find Castile soap online or at Chemist Warehouse in bar form.

Do you have any special ways you wash your wool? Please share in the comments below.

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  • my mother in law always used Lux Flakes


  • I actually got some wool clothing in a sale last year so this is a great post to book mark for winter


  • Great ideas, saving this to use this winter, thanks!


  • I have never heard of wool wash before I got a wool quilt cover for winter but these are great ideas


  • In the “good old days” our parents, grandparents and probably great grandparents before them just used lux soap flakes dissolved in hot water and added them into the cold water used for washing them. Until recently I still had a few of the blankets my Grandma had until I passed them onto the next generation. No moth holes either.


  • Wow, I didn’t realise you could make your own wool wash! This is such a great idea.


  • I have been recommended to use a mild shampoo for most woollens as its gentler than most available washes on the market and doesn’t have fabric softeners which ruin the fibres. Especially for washing alpaca..


  • I own very few wool items, probably no more than 1 at a time. I tend to use a store bought wool wash (Australian made) and wash on the gentle cycle in the machine. I’ve had no problems in the past with this method.


  • When we get our woolen items out of storage I don’t think they need to be washed to freshen up ! One thing I was taught by my mother and grandmothers is that wool doesn’t like to be washed and to reduce it where possible. Airing overnight, in the mist, or in the frost is to be preferred over washing.


  • What fantastic ideas. Many thanks for that. ☺


  • Just a friendly piece of advice. I only ever used the wool cycle once on a beautiful John Brown cardi I bought for my hubby many years ago. It was the correct setting and temperature etc. When I TOOK IT OUT AT THE END OF THE CYCLE IT WAS ABOUT 2 SIZES smaller. The label clearly stated fully machine washable on the wool cycle! lol. I went back to the shop I GOT IT FROM AND THEY GAVE ME A NEW ONE. They were so nice about it. I asked the lady if they wanted the shrunk one and she said no thanks sweetie you can take it home.


  • Great wool wash recipe. I have been known to use 1/3 capful of Amway car shampoo. that works well too!


  • Clever comments – thanks for sharing


  • I wonder if washing your woollies in the above mixes, would it stop them from being itchy? I can’t wear wool because of this :(


  • What a great article. We have a wool cycle on our washing machine but I never knew what detergents were best to use. Thanks.


  • Thank you! I am always worried washing woolen clothes!


  • Very interesting. I’ve always washed my woolens in warm water as per instructions. Love your recipes


  • I usually give my delicates abd wool clothing to my mum to wash because she dies awsome job.

    • Does*, and no I’m not spoilt it lazy I just lack the washing abilities as I tend to ruin everyone’s clothes even in the washing machine.


  • I’ve taken such care when washing my husband’s woollen jumpers – I wash by hand, use Lux flakes and cold water, and then add fabric conditioner, and I still manage to shrink them. Give me acrylic any day.


  • My Grandma used Lux Flakes for a lot of her washing, not just woollens.
    For mens dirty work clothes she used Rinso. 3 of the guys were motor mechanics so there was oil, grease and a gluey substance used to seal engine gaskets called silastic which if you noticed it you could actually scrape some of it off or rub your fingers against it and it would come off like little sticky balls. The overalls were usually washed in hot water as it helped dissolve the oil etc.


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