How to Care for your Merino Clothing

By Rob Savin

Look after your merino and it will look after you giving years of good service retaining all of its thermo-regulating, anti-odour and comfort properties. This guide gives you simple steps for washing your merino clothing and some tips to make it last for years.

A man wearing a merino top about to get changed after a run

How to Wash Merino Clothing?

Follow these 4 steps:

  1. Empty any pockets, do up zips and turn the garment inside out.
  2. Machine wash on a delicate cycle at 30˚C with a liquid detergent such as Ecover, Delicate, or Nikwax Woolwash. Or for a hand wash, check your sink is clean then soak your merino for 10 – 20 minutes in lukewarm water with a few drops of detergent, gently agitating from time to time. Then rinse thoroughly in clean water. Never wring your merino!
  3. Dry your merino, lay it out flat if you can. Otherwise, hang it somewhere airy and out of direct sunlight.
  4. Put your merino back on, wear it for another few weeks until it finally needs a wash again!

Frequently Asked Questions about Caring for Merino Wool

Over the years we've heard it all and tried it all, but there are some pretty important ones to remember.

Can I tumble dry merino?

No. Never tumble dry your merino. Seriously, we mean it.

Can I wash merino in hot water?

No. This will shrink the fibres and damage them.

Should I use liquid detergent or powder to wash merino?

Use a gentle liquid detergent. Soap powder residue clings to the fibres and inhibits their ability to wick.

Can I use a fabric conditioner when washing merino?

No. Fabric softeners interfere with the merino’s natural odour resistant and moisture wicking properties.

Expert Tips to Make Merino Last Longer

How to prevent merino pilling

Pilling happens when the shorter merino fibres find their way to the surface of the fabric. It’s a natural process.

To prevent pilling, we recommend washing your merino before you wear it. If pilling does occur, pop them in the wash with a pair of jeans (make sure all zips are closed on your jeans).

What to do about rips and tears in merino

If you snag, tear, or get holes in your merino, it can be mended using silk sewing thread. You should do this as soon as you can to stop the hole growing.

And if you don't fancy trying to sew it up yourself, send it to an Alpkit Repair Station and we'll look after it for you.

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