can you wash wool with shampoo

Can You Wash Wool with Shampoo?

Many people struggle to wash wool correctly. There is no denying that it can be hard to get right. 

There are also many speculations on the correct way to wash wool. However, what many people don’t know is that wool does not actually need to washed that often at all. 

Wool is in fact anti-bacterial and is temperature regulating, so it also repels odours. 


Can You Wash Wool with Shampoo?

Yes, you can wash wool with shampoo. In particular, wool shampoos and gentle pH-neutral shampoos for babies are suitable for washing wool. Regular hair shampoos should be avoided, as they can contain harsh chemicals.

The pH of wool shampoo is completely neutral so it won’t cause any damage to the wool when it comes into contact with it. 

Gentle shampoo products designed for babies are also pH neutral, so they can also be used to wash wool.

Other shampoo may be harmful to the wool and cause the molecules to break down. 

It is worth checking the labels on your wool garments to see the best methods for washing them.


What Are Wool Shampoos?

Whether you plan to wash your wool garments in the washing machine or by hand, you should use a detergent that is specifically made for delicates or wool clothing. 

Sometimes these wool laundry detergents are called ‘shampoos’, for example Lona Scott Cashmere Shampoo and The Laundress Wool and Cashmere Shampoo

wool shampoo

Other types of detergent may cause damage to your wool garments. If you are using a washing machine it is best to use the delicates cycle. If your machine doesn’t have this setting then a cold wash cycle will suffice. 

When machine washing or hand washing your wool clothes, it is best that you use a detergent which is mild and neutral, ideally one which is Woolmark approved.

Wool wash detergents are gentle and can be used to wash wool garments and scarves, as well as other wool goods in the washer as well as by hand. 


Can You Use Regular Shampoo Instead of Washing Powder?

You can use shampoo instead of washing powder to wash clothes, although it is not recommended that you do this often. It is important to remember that you must never put shampoo into a washing machine. 

If you plan to use shampoo instead of normal washing detergent, you must hand wash the items of clothing you were planning to wash, as putting shampoo into a washing machine can cause irreversible damage.

If you are washing wool or cashmere with a hair shampoo, choose a gentle product like Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, which is pH neutral.

handwashing wool with gentle baby shampoo


What Happens If You Wash Wool in The Washing Machine?

Wool can be washed in the washing machine as long as it is washed on a cold-water cycle or delicates cycle. 

Many washing machines will have a wool setting, which is normally a gentle wash at 30-40ºC. This is usually an ideal way to wash your wools. 

However, if your washing machine happens to not have a wool or gentle setting, then wool can be washed in a delicate cycle or cold cycle. 

washing wool in washing machine

If all else fails, remember that you can hand wash wool in cold water as well to achieve the same effect. 

It is important to remember that wool should never be tumble dried. The heat from the dryer will cause your wool clothes to shrink.