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Caring for delicate natural fibers can be a daunting task, especially when your wool turns to felt by heat, water, and agitation. You’d rather not pay to have someone else clean it, but you also don’t want to wreck your treasured wool by washing it yourself at home.

To lighten your load, we’ll provide you with a simple 4-step handwashing process for getting your wool clean once again.

Step 1 Fill a basin or sink with cool water and add a mild detergent that’s free of bleach, such as Dropps Mini Laundry Detergent Pacs. Begin to swish the water around to creat suds. Place the piece of wool clothing into the water and swirl it around until it’s completely wet. Don’t scrub or stretch the wool, which can damage the shape and fibers. Let sit for 10 minutes for deep cleaning.

Step 2 Gather the piece of clothing into your hands, lift it out of the water and gently press a few times to remove excess water. Empty the soapy water and refill the basin or sink with cool water. Submerge the sweater and swirl around to rinse. Empty and refill the basin again with fresh water, repeating the rinsing process.

*Keep in mind that wool should not be wrung, twisted, or dried in a dryer.

Step 3 Gather the sweater, gently press to remove water and lay it on a white or colorfast towel that has been spread on a flat waterproof surface. Spread another white or colorfast towel on top so that the sweater is sandwiched between the towels. Starting from the top, tightly roll the towels downward together— they’ll absorb most of the moisture in the sweater.

Step 4 Unroll and pick up the piece of clothing; lay it on a third white or colorfast towel that has been spread on a flat waterproof surface away from sunlight and heat (to keep the wool from becoming brittle). Gently reshape the wool clothing, extending the arms and buttoning, if necessary. Let dry. To touch up wrinkles, turn it inside out and iron on low heat with steam (but first, test on a small area).

Think of all the dry cleaner bills you'll save on now that you can wash your favorite sweaters at home!

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