How to Wash Merino Wool: Your Go-To Guide

If you invest in merino wool clothing, then you’ll probably end up searching how to wash merino wool. I know I did before the first-time I wash my favorite travel shirt.

See, many of these garments are expensive. If you spend $50 USD on a t-shirt, then you’ll typically want to take great care of them. You don’t want to wash away $50 just because you didn’t pay attention to the care instructions.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to take care of your merino clothing. If you’ve ever washed clothes before, you’ll have no issues keeping merino wool so fresh and so clean.

Smooth looking merino wool tank top.

How to wash merino wool the right way? Let’s dive in!

Read More: The Best Merino Wool Travel Shirt!

Read First, Act Later

Before I give you my specific tips on how to wash merino wool travel clothing and best practices, there’s something you should do…

Read the care instructions on any and every merino garment you plan to wash. Find out exactly how the manufacturer wants you to wash then items.

If you read the care label on a merino wool product and follow the instructions, you’ll avoid 99.9% of problems. The care label was designed with the advice needed to ensure your travel clothes last as long as possible.

For example, my merino wool tank top’s care label states:

  • 100% merino wool.
  • Machine wash cold with like colors. 
  • Tumble dry low. Non-chlorine bleach. 
  • No iron. Do not dry clean. 

If I follow these tips, I’m confident my merino tank top will last a long time through heavy gym use.

When buying any merino wool clothing, always start by reading the care label. Then simply follow the instructions when it’s time to wash the garment.

You’ll typically find the care label on a tag or around the neckline of the shirt. Care instructions are also often printed on paper and packaged with the item – to ensure you know how to care for the product.

Read More: Is Merino Wool Itchy?

How to Wash Merino Wool: My Simple Method

For merino wool tank tops and t-shirts, you shouldn’t have much issue when washing the garments. Just follow these instructions and you should be good to go:

  • Get the Shirt Really Dirty: Feel free to wear your shirt to the gym 3-4 straight days or go on a four-hour hike in your merino clothes. The sturdy fabric can handle it and more!
  • Turn Inside Out: I ALWAYS turn my merino clothing inside out before I throw the apparel in the wash. I read about turning my merino travel socks inside out and started doing it with all my merino clothing. It seems to extend longevity.
  • Throw in the Washer: Throw the merino wool shirt in the washing machine. While like colors are preferable, it’s not a huge deal to mix and match after the first few washes.

Merino swagger with a machete!

  • Run on Cold: Many a merino shirt says warm or cool. I do all my laundry on cold. I recommend you do, too. Merino wool does great being washed in cold or cool water.
  • Soft, Gentle Detergent: Make sure to us a soft, gentle detergent with merino wool. No chlorine or bleach products.

P.S: This is the best laundry detergent I’ve found for merino wool clothing.

  • Hang to Dry: While you can tumble dry merino clothing on low, I’d recommend hang drying or air drying merino clothing, especially t-shirts. These products dry quickly due to the nature of the wool.
  • Wait 3-8 Hours: It’ll take 3-8 hours for your merino clothing to fully dry – depending on the climate and how wet the apparel was when taken out of the machine. Now, you merino clothing is clean and ready to be worn, again.

Can You Hand Wash Merino Wool?

Of course! Merino wool is the premier fabric for travelers, so you can definitely wash it by hand when need be. Hand washing is a simple process, especially when you only have a few merino travelers’ clothes to clean.

To start, run some warm or cool water in the sink or a basin. Add just a little bit of gentle laundry detergent. Then add the pieces of merino clothing you want to clean. Allow the merino clothing to soak up some water and detergent as you move them around. Then let the apparel sit in the water for ten minutes or so.

Solid merino wool Henley after a hand washing.

Next, remove the clothing one by one. Rinse the items under the faucet for 20-30 seconds and make sure all the detergent is removed from the fabric.

Now, you take each pieces of clothing individually and wrap a towel around them. Next, roll the garment into the towel and apply pressure so the towel absorbs some excess liquid.

Then lay out the piece of merino clothing to air dry, preferably in the sun somewhere. In 3-8 hours, your clothing will be like new, again. Dry and ready to be worn.

How to Wash Merino Wool Clothing

It’s not difficult to wash or care for merino clothing. Just follow the instructions above and you’ll be good to go. The most important thing you can do is read the care instructions on any product you buy and follow them closely.

If you’re looking to get your hands on a stylish merino wool t-shirt, this one is my favorite!

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Jake D

Travel junkie turned blogger. Location independent. From the Midwest, but often based in Latin America. Big on beaches, rumba, and rum. Addicted to the gym. Committed to showing a different style of travel - one that involves actually interacting with locals and exploring different cultures.

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