How to Wash a Wool Blanket

Jan asked: How do I wash a wool blanket? I bought this large wool blanket and an Army/Navy surplus store. It has no tags to advise how to wash it. We use it in our motor home, and I wanted to know if you thought I could wash it in my large capacity, high efficiency washing machine? Thank you!

Though many wool items are too delicate to machine wash, most wool blankets are actually a blend of wool and another fiber. This allows them to be machine washed successfully on a gentle cycle. Here are a few steps to ensure your wool blanket comes out as good as it went in.

You Will Need:

  • Zero Fabric Wash (by Woolite)

Steps to Clean the Blanket:

  1. Begin by unfolding the blanket and shaking out any loose debris.
  2. Place the blanket in the washing machine.
  3. Add a small amount of a gentle liquid detergent that is designed for wool items, such as Woolite.
  4. Set the washing machine to wash and rinse on cold water. Use a gentle or delicate cycle.
  5. After the washing cycle is complete, remove the item and reshape it as necessary.
  6. Hang the blanket to dry. This can be done several ways:
    • Lay it flat on a clean floor.
    • Hang it outside on a clothesline
    • Hang it over the backs of several chairs overnight
    • Hang it over a rust-free shower curtain rod

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Avoid any wash cycles that use hot water or strong agitation/spin cycles. These can all cause damage and shrinkage to the wool fibers.
  • If the Zero detergent cannot be found, another gentle/mild detergent designed for delicate fabrics will work.
  • While all wool blankets have different fiber compositions, those found at military surplus stores are strong blankets. They can usually tolerate the machine washing with no problems.
  • Avoid machine drying wool items unless the care instructions specifically say that it is allowable.


  1. Sharon says:

    I recently purchased a top of the line front load washer with a wool setting. Now I am disappointed because the instruction manual advises against using the machine to wash wool blankets. I have been looking for another machine, but I think the manufactures all have the same advice? Is there a machine on the market that can handle the weight of the wool?

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