Fill the sink halfway with wool wash, shampoo, or liquid dish detergent (about 1 tablespoon for a small batch of yarn). If you have a lot of yarn to process, you may also do this in a bucket or even the bathtub. Add enough water to cover the yarn by at least 6 inches. Place the yarn in the washing machine and pour in enough hot water to cover it by 2 inches. Turn on the heat setting recommended by the manufacturer and leave the yarn in the washer for about 20 minutes. Remove it and rinse under cold water, then put it in the dryer on low heat for 4 to 8 hours. Let it air-dry before wrapping it up.
You can use this method to clean other fibers such as cotton, linen, and angora rabbits. However, if you plan to wash items that will be worn close to your skin, such as clothes, it is best to use a gentle detergent and wash them in a hot cycle with like colors together. You should never use bleach to whiten clothing or it will lose its color over time.
Disinfecting yarn is useful when you don't want to risk spreading bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus or Hepatitis B. These diseases are usually transmitted through contact with infected blood, body fluids, or tissues. So, cleaning your supplies before using them again reduces the chance of transmitting these illnesses.
Fill the sink with lukewarm water and two teaspoons of fabric softener or light wool detergent, such as Woolite. A capful of baby shampoo or hair conditioner can also be used. Submerge the sweater in water for 10 to 20 minutes. Rinse it in cold water, squeeze out any excess water, and dry it using a towel. The wool should feel soft and fluffy.
Whitehurst suggests using a soft shampoo, such as Ivory, or a gentle detergent, such as Woolite. Place the clothing in the water, swirl it, and leave it for a few minutes. "Silk releases dirt rapidly, so the procedure is short," he explains. Then, drain and rinse the soapy mixture. Hang or lay out to dry.
If you want to take it up a notch, there are products on the market that say they're designed specifically for silk clothes. These treatments contain bleach which should not be used on white garments as it will cause a color change. If you do choose to use one of these products, follow the instructions carefully and don't soak the items longer than necessary.
Once your clothes are clean, put them in the washer with cold water and a mild detergent. Again, follow the instructions on the package for any specific directions regarding silk clothes. Once washed, hang or lay flat to dry.
If you have some older books laying around the house, they may suggest the use of alcohol or even salt to clean silk clothes. While not recommended, anything is possible so please use caution if experimenting with cleaning methods.
Overall, washing silk clothes is no different than washing regular clothes. Use a gentle soap or detergent, place in a bath of hot water with your garment swirled occasionally during the wash process, then finish with cool water and let air-dry.
Wool cleaning instructions:
When hand washing or machine washing wool clothes, use a neutral, mild detergent, ideally one that is Woolmark suggested. Heavy-duty detergents, "bio" detergents containing enzymes, and bleach-containing detergents should be avoided. They may cause damage to the wool fiber. If you have to use something other than Woolmark's recommended products, then try to find ones with low levels of sodium hypochlorite (bleach) or petroleum derivatives.
In addition, avoid using fabric softeners or dryer sheets when washing wool items as these substances will remove some of the natural moisture from the cloth and leave it feeling dry and itchy. Instead, place your wool items in a bowl covered with hot water to wash them or use a wool laundry product such as Woolite or Allfree. These products contain chemicals that will help break down dirt while leaving the wool intact.
Finally, do not scrub wool clothing too hard as this can cause holes to form in the fabric. Holes also may appear if you use a chemical disinfectant without first treating the item with a dye stain remover. Disinfectants kill bacteria that can cause stains, but they cannot restore colors that have been removed from the wool by dyes or other materials.
Wool is a beautiful material that deserves special treatment. With some simple precautions, you can keep your wool garments looking good for many washes.
Merino Wool Unshrinking