Best Wool Wash for Hand Knits: Top 6 Picks for Gentle Care

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Washing hand-knits is an essential part of garment care, especially when dealing with wool, which is known for its warmth, breathability, and natural water resistance. Unlike synthetic fibers, wool is a delicate material that can be prone to shrinking, felting, or losing its softness if not treated correctly. Therefore, choosing the right wool wash is crucial to maintain the longevity and beauty of hand-knit items.

Wool washes are specially formulated to cater to the unique properties of wool fibers. They are typically gentler than regular detergents and often do not require rinsing, helping to preserve the integrity of the wool. Additionally, some wool washes contain lanolin, a natural oil found in sheep’s wool that can enhance the softness and water repellency of your knits.

When selecting a wool wash, it’s important to consider factors such as the product’s ingredients, any potential allergies to scents or additives, environmental impact, and how it leaves the wool fibers after washing. Hypoallergenic and biodegradable options are available for those with sensitive skin or environmental concerns. Proper care can make a difference in the lifespan of your cherished knits.

Identifying the best wool wash for hand-knits involves scrutinizing these attributes and understanding the needs of your wool garments. We have dedicated time to researching and trialing various wool wash products to find those that gently clean and protect, ensuring your hand-knits stay pristine for years to come.

Best Wool Wash for Hand Knits

Taking care of our hand-knit items is essential to ensure they last for years and retain their beauty. We have compiled a list of top wool washes that are gentle on fibers yet effective at cleaning, preserving the integrity of your cherished woolens. Each product is chosen for its ability to clean effectively while maintaining the softness and shape of your hand knits.

1. Unicorn Fibre Wash

We feel this gentle, yet effective, wool wash is a must for those who cherish their hand-knit garments.


  • Effective at removing stubborn stains
  • Eco-friendly with biodegradable ingredients
  • Kind to sensitive skin as it’s free from allergens


  • May arrive with packaging issues
  • A tad pricier than some competitors
  • Limited scent variety

After trying out Unicorn Fibre Wash on our knits, we observed its impressive stain-fighting ability. It managed to rejuvenate a wool sweater that bore the brunt of a coffee spill. This wash not only tackled the stain but also left the garment looking as good as new—something not all detergents can claim.

Its gentle formulation is a standout feature. We’ve washed delicate silk blouses and chunky cashmere throws, and they emerged from the soak with their texture preserved and a light, pleasing scent of lavender. Having sensitive skin ourselves, we appreciate the hypoallergenic properties, which provided a worry-free experience.

We’re especially fond of how the wash contributes to sustainability. It’s reassuring to know that our hand-knits stay clean without harming the planet. However, we want to note that while the wash is effective, we have experienced a minor inconvenience: one bottle arrived not fully sealed, which was disappointing given the price point. Despite that, its overall performance remains unrivaled in our book.

2. Eucalan No Rinse Delicate

We believe Eucalan No Rinse Delicate Wash is a top choice for anyone needing a gentle yet effective cleaner for their hand-knit items.


  • Simplifies washing with a no-rinse formula
  • Earth-friendly and biodegradable ingredients
  • Keeps fibers conditioned, reducing static


  • Premium price compared to some alternatives
  • Doesn’t lanolize wool items
  • Unscented version may not appeal to those preferring a light fragrance

Just yesterday, we gave a cherished hand-knit sweater a refresh with Eucalan. Immersing it in a basin with just a dab of this delicate wash, the process was incredibly straightforward. This wool wash’s no-rinse promise not only saved us time but also eased our concerns about handling the fabric too much—ideal for preserving the integrity of those special knits.

Our experience aligns with its earth-friendly claims, too. Knowing the solution is biodegradable brings peace of mind, especially when we think about the impact on the planet. This wash left our garments feeling not just clean but also nicely conditioned, making them soft to the touch without any static cling.

However, it’s worth mentioning that our search for a product to lanolize wool nursing pads continues, as Eucalan doesn’t quite meet that specific need. While it’s a star for general cleaning and conditioning, those requiring lanolin’s waterproofing properties may have to look elsewhere. Plus, for those who enjoy a fresh scent, note that the unscented version won’t offer that aromatic touch some of us love. Yet, its gentleness on fabrics and effectiveness in cleaning make it a product we lean on again and again.

3. Nikwax Wool Wash

For those cherishing their wool garments, Nikwax Wool Wash is a must-have for maintaining their pristine condition and functionality.


  • Enhances wool’s inherent wicking abilities
  • Leaves garments feeling soft and drying quicker
  • Eco-friendly composition with no harsh chemicals


  • Pricey compared to regular detergents
  • The scent might not be liked by everyone
  • The recommended quantity may seem excessive

Having recently had the opportunity to use Nikwax Wool Wash, we must say it treats wool garments with the care they deserve. After washing our merino wool socks and base layers, the fabric remained in excellent condition without any of the itching or stiffness that can often follow a trip through the wash.

Its eco-friendly formula also stands out. We’re becoming increasingly mindful of the chemicals we introduce into our homes and the environment, and this wash ticks the right boxes. No optical brighteners, no added scents that might irritate the skin—a big plus for us.

Cost can be a concern. While Nikwax is a little on the steep side, it’s clear that you’re paying for a specially formulated product that won’t compromise the functionality of your high-performance wool gear. Still, we find that spending a bit more upfront can save a lot on wear and tear in the long run.

4. Granger’s Merino Wool Wash

We believe this product is an essential buy if you want to maintain the top-notch condition of your merino wool clothing.


  • Effectively cleans and removes odor
  • Contains cedar extract to deter moths
  • Impressively enhances garment performance


  • Higher cost compared to regular detergents
  • May require additional rinsing to reduce suds
  • Has a distinctive cedar scent not favored by all

After testing Granger’s Merino Wool Wash on our favorite sweaters and base layers, we’ve noticed how superbly it revives the wool without compromising its integrity. The wash left the garments feeling fresh, soft, and comfortable against the skin, which is just what you want after a day spent in the great outdoors.

We took a couple of merino wool base layers on a weeklong hiking trip, and post-wash, it’s clear Granger’s Wool Wash has maintained the fabric’s texture and elasticity. It’s gentle on the material, and with the added cedar smell, it’s like giving your clothes an extra layer of protection from those pesky moths.

Another significant benefit we observed was the product’s impact on longevity. Wool garments generally demand careful maintenance, but after using Granger’s Merino Wool Wash, we’re seeing a noticeable extension in the life of our woolen gear. It works without the harsh chemicals found in typical laundry detergents, which means our merino wool still performs well, retaining its breathability and moisture-wicking properties wash after wash.

5. Lamby AllerWash

Our hand-knits felt refreshed and cared for after using Lamby AllerWash, making this a wool wash we’ll keep reaching for.


  • Gentle on delicate fibers
  • Pleasant tea tree scent that’s not overwhelming
  • Effective at cleaning while preserving wool’s natural qualities


  • Premium price point
  • Leather items may stiffen after washing
  • Scent may dissipate quickly for those who prefer a lingering fragrance

After years of hand-knitting, we’ve tried numerous wool washes and Lamby AllerWash stands out. We noticed its mild formula worked wonders on our woolens without stripping away their softness. Its tea tree scent left our hand-knits smelling clean, yet the fragrance faded gracefully, which is ideal for those of us who prefer a subtler touch.

Price-wise, we observed it’s a bit steeper than other brands, but considering the quality, we think it’s worth the investment. What’s more, the peace of mind knowing our most cherished woolens are gently cleansed makes this wool wash a top choice in our knitting circle.

We did come across a minor drawback; our heirloom sheepskin rug felt a tad stiffer post-wash. However, it might be a small trade-off for the otherwise excellent cleaning power. And if you adore a long-lasting scent on your wools, you might find this wash’s quickly vanishing aroma a downside. But for our everyday woolly items like sweaters, socks, and treasured shawls, Lamby AllerWash has become a staple in our laundry routine.

6. Sonett Olive Laundry Liquid

We believe this wool wash is a superb choice for anyone with delicate fabrics, thanks to its organic and skin-friendly composition.


  • Delivers gentle cleaning without damaging sensitive materials
  • Boasts a formula free from artificial scents, ideal for allergies
  • Impressively concentrated, offering more washes per bottle


  • Might require a separate softener, as it’s solely a cleaner
  • Unscented nature may not appeal to those preferring a light fragrance
  • Premium ingredients come with a higher price tag

When we tried out Sonett’s Organic Olive Laundry Liquid on our hand-knit woolens, we noticed how its natural ingredients treated our fabrics with utmost care. Without any harsh chemicals, it left our delicate garments feeling clean and fresh, something synthetically laden detergents rarely achieve.

We often found ourselves concerned about the wear and tear on our fine silks and wools during a wash. Not with Sonett Olive Laundry Liquid — it’s reassuring to know that our cherished items are safe with this gentle yet effective formula.

It’s liberating not to worry about allergic reactions with this wash. Our skin felt completely at ease after wearing clothes cleaned with Sonett’s hypoallergenic solution. Unscented and free of artificial fragrances, it’s a relief to those of us sensitive to strong smells or with skin prone to irritation.

Buying Guide

Wool Wash Type

We should consider the type of wool wash suitable for our hand knits. There are liquid, powder, and even spray formats. Each has its own advantages for different types of yarn.

Wash TypeUse Case
LiquidBest for overall versatility and control.
PowderGood for bulk cleaning and storage.
SprayUseful for spot cleaning and freshening up.


Look for gentle ingredients that are kind to natural fibers. Avoid harsh chemicals that can damage wool fibers over time.

  • Biodegradable: Ensures that the product is eco-friendly.
  • No bleach or enzymes: These can break down wool fibers and cause damage.

pH Balance

The pH of the wool wash is crucial; we prefer a pH-balanced product specifically for woolens. A neutral pH is less likely to cause irritation or damage to our hand knits.

Rinse Requirement

Understand whether the wool wash requires rinsing or not. Non-rinse options save us time and preserve water.

  • No-rinse: Offers convenience and is ideal for delicate items.
  • Rinse-required: Sometimes can provide a deeper clean.


Sensitive skin or noses may prefer unscented or naturally scented options. If we like fragrances, ensure they are natural or appropriately mild so as not to overwhelm.

  • Unscented: Best for allergy-prone individuals.
  • Natural scents: Offer a pleasant smell without artificial chemicals.

Special Qualities

We may want additional properties from our wool wash, such as:

  • Softening agents: For an extra-soft feel.
  • Antibacterial: To keep knits fresh for longer.

Remember, right wool wash should maintain the integrity of our hand knits while cleaning effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we address common queries about caring for hand-knit items, ensuring the longevity and preservation of their quality through proper washing techniques and products.

What type of wool wash is recommended for preserving the softness of hand knits?

We recommend gentle wool washes specifically formulated for wool fibers to maintain the softness of hand-knit items. These wool washes often contain lanolin, which naturally conditions the fibers and keeps them soft.

Can Eucalan products be safely used on delicate knitted wool items?

Yes, Eucalan products are safe for delicate knitted wool items. They are free from harsh chemicals and rinse-free, which helps to preserve the integrity and softness of the wool.

Is there a preferred wool wash for the blocking process of hand-knit garments?

For blocking hand-knit garments, we suggest using a gentle, no-rinse wool wash. These types of washes aid in maintaining the shape and enhancing the finished appearance of knitted pieces without the need for harsh chemicals.

How does one effectively clean hand knitted wool items without causing damage?

To clean hand-knit wool items without causing damage, we advise soaking them in lukewarm water with a mild wool wash. Gently squeeze the suds through the fabric without wringing or scrubbing, then rinse if needed or lay flat to dry, depending on the wool wash instructions.

What ingredients should you look for in a natural wool wash formula?

In a natural wool wash formula, we recommend looking for ingredients like lanolin, which nourishes the wool, along with gentle plant-based cleansers. Avoid formulas with bleach, enzymes, or strong alkalis to prevent damage to the fibers.

Is Woolite an appropriate choice for washing hand-knitted woolen garments?

While Woolite is a familiar laundry brand, we suggest opting for detergents crafted specifically for wool. Products like Woolite may be too harsh for hand-knit woolen garments, potentially leading to fiber damage and felting. Choose a specialized wool wash for the best care.

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