With the arrival of winter, wool is the most used fabric to combat the cold. How to wash woolen clothes in the washing machine? What care should I take and how much detergent should I use?

In this article you will find the answers to these questions and get an idea of ​​how you can increase the durability of your clothes with proper washing.

The impact of the textile industry

The importance of clothing in our daily lives is undeniable, whether during the day or at night. However, its production has environmental impacts not only in terms of greenhouse gas emissions but also in terms of water pollution.

According to the Portuguese Environmental Association, in Portugal alone we throw away around 200 thousand tons of textiles per year. This disposal gives rise to the problems mentioned above and the accumulation of this waste in landfills.

Infographic with environmental impact of textiles
Infographic with environmental impact of textiles

Emission of greenhouse gases

The European Parliament estimates that the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of carbon emissions worldwide, a higher percentage than international flights and maritime transport combined.

Water pollution

In this industry, 2,700L of water is needed to produce a t-shirt, a sufficient amount of drinking water for one person to consume for 2.5 years. In addition to this amount of water required to produce each piece, it is estimated that 20% of water pollution comes from the use of dyeing and finishing products.

How to wash woolen clothes in the washing machine: 5 tips

Some of the solutions to reduce the impact of the textile industry are buying second-hand clothing and taking care of each item of clothing, especially when washing, to increase its durability.

So that you can wash woolen clothes in the best way, it is important to take some precautions:

Read the label on each item of clothing

This step is essential to understand if the piece is made with 100% wool and if it can be machine washed and what temperature should be used.

What is the appropriate program?

After reading the label, place the clothes inside out in the machine and choose the program to wash woolen clothes. If your machine does not have this program, you can use the one for delicate clothes.

How much detergent should you add?

To wash woolen clothes, we recommend using around 8-15mL (if you live in an area with soft water) of Aloe Vera detergent or EcoX Natural Soap or around 15-25mL (if you live in an area with hard water). Fabric softener is not recommended for washing woolen clothes as it coats the fabric to soften the fibers and, in some fabrics such as cashmere wool, this coating can damage them.

Is there an indicated temperature?

Yes. You should wash at low temperatures and, at most, up to 30ºC so that you don't run the risk of the items shrinking with the combination of heat and movement.

What about drying?

It is recommended that you let your woolen clothes dry in a ventilated and shady place, avoiding using the dryer. Remove excess water with the help of a dry towel and place the pieces horizontally on a flat surface as when laid out, as they are heavier, they may stretch and lose their original shape.

Other tips to keep your clothes in good condition

Sometimes woolen clothes can take on a musty smell and when this happens you can soak them in water and vinegar for a few minutes. Then, just rinse and dry.

On that side, how do you wash your wool? Share with us your ideas and solutions for these textiles.

Author: Daniela Matos