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How to wash Merino wool: tips for caring for your Merino wool products

February 10, 2020

How to wash Merino wool

Thanks to its naturally-occurring properties, Merino wool rarely needs to be washed. Its fibers have a scaly structure, which gives Merino wool both its antibacterial and “self-cleaning” characteristics. But getting things dirty happens to all of us: maybe you accidentally step in a puddle, and your Merino shoes get totally muddy. Or some coffee spills on your Merino sweater. Then, there’s only one way to get your Merino product clean: washing it.


11 Tips for Washing Merino Wool

Since it needs to be washed so infrequently, Merino wool is great for those who don’t exactly love doing housework. Merino wool is made up of two different types of cells, which constantly rub against each other. This movement is what allows Merino wool to clean itself—to a certain degree. Often, it’s even already enough just to put your Merino clothing item outside in the fresh air. But when it comes to stains, it’s time for the washing machine! Here are the things you should keep in mind when washing your Merino products:

  1. Firstly, remember that Merino wool clothing or shoes should only be washed when it’s absolutely necessary. Otherwise, it’s usually enough just to air them out.
  2. Then, check the item’s tag to see if that particular product has any specific care recommendations.
  3. Make sure that all the zippers are zipped up if you’re washing a Merino jacket or sweater.
  4. Wash the item with similar colors only.
  5. Wash your Merino item at 30°C (85°F) when using the washing machine.
  6. Choose the “delicate” or “hand wash” cycle. The most important is that the cycle has a slow speed (around 600 revolutions per minute.)
  7. Use normal detergent without Protease (an enzyme) and without fabric softener.
  8. Never use bleach or fabric softener.
  9. Do not put your Merino wool products into the dryer. Instead, air dry them.
  10. You don’t need to iron Merino wool clothing. It’s naturally wrinkle-free.
  11. Correctly machine washing your Merino wool is preferable to hand washing, because it’s actually more gentle on the fabric. If you still decide to hand wash your Merino wool products, make sure not to stretch or wring them. Doing so can damage the product and can also lead to pilling.


Washing instructions for your Merino shoes

We've walked you through how to care for and wash your Merino wool products. Want to know how to wash your Merino Runners, Merino Wool Knit, Wool Cross X or Merino Wool Boots? Here's our step-by-step guide:


Step 1:

Remove the footbed from your Merino shoes.

Step 1: How to wash Giesswein Merino Runners

Step 2:

Put the shoes and the footbed—alone, without any other items—into the washing machine. We recommend using a mesh laundry bag.

Step 2: How to wash Giesswein Merino Runners


Step 3:

Choose the “wool” wash cycle (cold water - 30°C/85°F, with a low spin speed).

Step 3: How to wash Giesswein Merino Runners


Step 4:

Use wool detergent (without additional enzymes.) Please remember never to use bleach or fabric softener.

Step 4: How to wash Giesswein Merino Runners


Step 5:

Air dry the shoes and footbed. Do not dry them in direct sun or by heating them.  Do not put your shoes into the dryer.


Step 6:

Slip into your squeaky clean Merino shoes—good as new!



Do I need to waterproof my Merino shoes after I wash them?

Because of its naturally-occurring fat “lanolin,” wool is water repellent. Just like happens with the lotus effect, water naturally pearls on wool’s surface. So, your shoes do not need to be waterproofed. If you do still want to do something extra to waterproof your Merino shoes, the best thing to use is a wool nano spray.


Don’t have a pair of GIESSWEIN Merino shoes? Learn more here about our comfortable Merino wool sneakers.

Merino RunnersWool Cross XMerino Wool Knit

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