What is the Best Wool Detergent in the UK

Washing clothes with the best wool detergent - Clean and Tidy Living

What Detergent to Use for Wool and Tips for Washing Wool

Wool is a lovely warm fabric that feels luxuriously cosy. 

But with great things comes great responsibility, and this is definitely the case with woollen garments. 

Making wool is a very delicate and complicated process. 

After shearing and cleaning the wool fibres, they’re then stretched out to form the wool that’s then used to create our clothes. 

Since wool is technically stretched, it’s important to avoid too warm or too cold temperatures that can cause the wool to shrink back to its natural form. 

In this post, we’ve compared and reviewed five contenders to find the Best Wool Detergent in the UK.

As well as temperature considerations, our usual detergents can also have adverse effects on wool. 

The ingredients in biological and non-bio laundry products can cause colour running, colour fading and even damage fibres. 

For that reason, it’s important to use soaps designed for wool to protect and prolong clothing. 

In this article we’ve also included some wool-care advice to help out with washing and drying wool, under the following headings:

  • Why Does Wool Need a Different Detergent?
  • How to Machine Wash Wool
  • What Temperature to Wash Wool
  • How to Hand Wash Wool 
  • How to Dry Wool 
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If you’re in a rush, here are our top 5 detergents for washing wool:

1. Woolite Detergent – Best Detergent For Wool  
2. Ecover Delicate Laundry Liquid – Best Hand Wash Wool Detergent 
3. Ecover Zero Delicate Laundry Liquid – Best Wool Detergent for Sensitive Skin
4. KnitIQ No Rinse Delicate Wash Liquid Detergent – Best Wool Detergent for Knitters
5. Cashmere and Wool Eco Wash by Clothes Doctor – Best Natural Wool Detergent

Why Does Wool Need a Different Detergent? 

When it comes to washing our woollen clothing items, we all know to opt for a specified wool detergent.

But a lot of us will do this without knowing the reasons behind it. 

It’s important to not use regular biological or non-bio washing detergents with woolen garments because the alkalinity in them can affect the dyes in wool, causing rapid colour fading and running. 

Wool jumpers being washed with the best wool detergent - Clean and Tidy Living

These alkalines within normal laundry detergents can also breakdown the fibres in wool, leading to bobbling or disintegration. 

For more information on bobbling in wool, check out our Clean and Tidy Living articles to find out Why Clothes Bobble, and our recommendations for the Best Debobbler For Clothes And Furniture In The UK.

To summarise, you should always wash wool, delicates and silk in a gentle detergent to prevent dyes from running and alkalis breaking down fibres. 

Best Wool Detergent in the UK 

1. Woolite Detergent – Best Detergent For Wool 

Woolite’s detergent for delicate fabrics is great for washing wool gently, whilst effectively cleaning deep down into the fibres. 

The formula works well when hand-washing and with machine washing on a cold cycle. 

Scent: Clean cotton, fresh smell 

Since it’s available to bulk buy online, we think it’s the perfect fuss-free wool wash that will keep jumpers and other clothes fuzz-free and fresh, without having to think much about it. 

An affordable, nice smelling detergent that’s effective for machine or hand washing delicates like wool. 

One happy reviewer explained:

“I love the smell of Woolite and have found others do not remove perfume smell or dare I say sweat. This always does. I am able to wash my wool at low temperatures using this product and they’re very clean. I often use a 20-degree wash. It leaves no residue on my clothes. I also use this on my delicates, satin pyjamas, underwear and tights.”

Pros

Suitable for handwashing and using in washing machines 
Available to bulk buy  
Helps prevent fabric shape loss  
Smells nice 

Cons

More affordable to bulk buy, so takes up a lot of room in cupboards

After researching this wool wash detergent, we think it’s the overall best wool detergent in the UK because it’s affordable, smells nice and gets the job done. 

However, we wouldn’t recommend this product for those with minimal storage space because the single bottle option works out quite expensive. 

For more information on this laundry product including customer reviews and pricing, click the button below. 

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2. Ecover Delicate Laundry Liquid –  Best Hand Wash Wool Detergent 

This Ecover detergent for delicates works to remove stains and maintain the strength of fibres, to prevent bobbling and fuzzing of wool. 

Using plant-based and biodegradable ingredients, this laundry liquid is perfect for hand-washing, especially for those with sensitive skin. 

Scent: Waterlily & Honeydew

This detergent is also suitable for use in washing machines on cold cycles, and even at 30-40 degrees. 

A natural detergent that’s great for handwashing because of the gently plant-based ingredients and fresh smell.

One reviewer commented:

“I’ve been using this product for a number of years for delicate washes and have been very happy with it. I’m very impressed with the ‘new’ perfume…Waterlily and Honeydew; it’s great! It has a lovely ‘fresh’ smell and leaves the clothes smelling beautiful. Would definitely recommend it.”

Pros

Natural and plant-based 
Vegan and no animal testing 
Affordable 
Suitable for all delicate textiles  
Suitable for sensitive skin  
Suitable for cold washes and 30-40°C

Cons

Can be expensive 

After researching this wool wash detergent, we think it’s the best choice for handwashing because the natural ingredients will be gentle on the skin when hands are submerged in the detergent for long periods. 

However, we wouldn’t recommend this product for those looking for an everyday wool detergent because it can work out quite expensive as it’s around 16 washes per bottle. 

For more information on this laundry product including customer reviews and pricing, click the button below. 

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3. Ecover Zero Delicate Laundry Liquid – Best Wool Detergent for Sensitive Skin

The Zero range from Ecover is specially formulated with no colours, no fragrances and no enzymes. 

It’s, therefore, the perfect choice for those with sensitive skin, or when washing clothes and fabrics for babies. 

This delicate laundry liquid effectively cleans fine fabrics, silks and woollens without causing painful skin irritation

Scent: Fragrance-Free 

A fragrance-free, extremely detergent that’s approved by Allergy UK and is great for delicates including wool and silk. 

One reviewer washing clothes for a young baby said:

“I started to use this product when trying for a baby to avoid all the nastiness of some other products… I have loved it since day one! Kind to the skin and nose. I now use it to wash my baby’s clothes and wouldn’t use a different one now!”

Pros

Fragrance-free 
No colour or enzymes  
Perfect for sensitive skin   
Bottle made of recycled plastic    
Approved by Allergy UK 

Cons

Pricey if replacing regular detergent with this product 

After researching this wool wash detergent, we think it’s the best choice for those with sensitive skin, washing for babies or just looking for an extremely gentle wool detergent because it contains no colours, fragrance or enzymes. 

However, we wouldn’t recommend this product for those who like their clothes to have a fresh clean smell because it contains no perfume or scent at all 

For more information on this laundry product including customer reviews and pricing, click the button below. 

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4. KnitIQ No Rinse Delicate Wash Liquid Detergent – Best Wool Detergent for Knitters 

A delicate fabric wash made from natural, biodegradable ingredients. 

The cruelty-free and gentle formula has been created using lanolin, to keep textiles fresh while preserving the moisture, shape and softness of natural fibres for longer. 

KnitIQ’s wool detergent is phosphate, dye, and paraben-free, which means that it’s kind to the planet as well as to garments.

Scent: Lavender Citrus 

The perfect detergent for knitters to remove the grunge accumulated during the knitting or crochet process to keep yarn soft while adding definition and alignment to your stitches.

One reviewer was very happy with their purchase, saying:

“I bought this product to clean my 28-year-old baby blanket I still adore.

It’s threadbare and probably close to its last days, but this detergent was gentle enough to keep it safe but strong enough to clean the fabric.

I also liked that when hand washing, you don’t need to agitate.

It also smells delish!”

Pros

No need to rinse 
Suitable for hand-washing and detergent   
A little goes a long way   
Keeps definition in the wool  

Cons

Not designed for removing stains
Some aren’t so keen on the mix of lavender and citrus fruit smell 

After researching this wool wash detergent, we think it’s the best choice for washing knitwear and wool because of it’s gentle, no-rinse formula that protects woollen fibres and preserves the shape of knitted garments. 

However, we wouldn’t recommend this product for deep cleaning such as stain removal, because the formula is designed to refresh and preserve rather than strip deep grease or staining. 

For more information on this laundry product including customer reviews and pricing, click the button below. 

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5. Cashmere and Wool Eco Wash by Clothes Doctor – Best Natural Wool Detergent 

This rather cool looking wool detergent is a premium, high-quality product that effectively cleans all delicate fabrics. 

The scent is earthy but refreshing so clothes look clean but also smell fresher. 

Scent: Sandalwood and Patchouli 

It is quite expensive, but if you’re wanting to protect expensive clothes and delicate jumpers, then it’s worth investing in a good product – and Clothes Doctor are experts in the industry. 

A premium eco-friendly detergent that’s gentle on wools, cashmere and silk with a lovely fresh scent. 

One very happy reviewer commented:

“Before discovering No.3 I had wasted a lot of time and money (not to mention the environmental impact) taking cashmere items to be dry cleaned. This product cleans your delicates beautifully and gives you peace of mind that you’re not going to ruin them! I have used it both as a hand wash and in the hand wash setting on my washing machine. The delicate smell is amazing and no issues with sensitive skin.” 

Pros

Natural and vegan  
Can choose from different sized bottles  
Reduce plastic waste  
Leaves clothes soft and clean   
Claims to repel moths 

Cons

Quite a pricey detergent

After researching this wool wash detergent, we think it’s the best choice for washing expensive cashmere, silk and wool because it’s a very high-quality formula that cleans well, leaves a nice scent and also repels moths. 

However, we wouldn’t recommend this product for washing anything cheap or with no sentimental value because you may end up spending more on the detergent than the item itself. 

For more information on this laundry product including customer reviews and pricing, click the button below. 

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How to Machine Wash Wool 

After checking the label of your woollen garments to make sure they can be machine washed, refer to the settings on your washing machine and look for a cold wash setting named ‘Delicates, ‘Wool’’ or ‘Hand-wash’.

These gentle cycles are designed to mimic the movement of handwashing, and the cool temperature will prevent dyes from running and wool from becoming damaged during the cycle. 

A jumper in the washing machine with the best wool detergent - Clean and Tidy Living

Washing your wool items inside Mesh Laundry Bags can add an extra layer of protection for the delicate fibres to stop them from becoming damaged by the washing machine drum. 

What Temperature to Wash Wool

Ideally, wool should be washed on a wool setting that combines cool temperatures with gentle movement. 

If your machine doesn’t have a delicates, wool or hand-wash setting, then make sure to use temperatures of 30 degrees or less. 

Any hotter and the wool fibres could contract to their pre-stretched shape, causing your favourite jumper to become a Christmas present for a child. 

Check out our Clean and Tidy Living Ultimate Washing Machine Temperature Guide for more tips on when to use what temperatures when doing laundry. 

How to Hand Wash Wool 

Fill a tub or washing up bowl with warm water and the stated dose of your wool detergent of choice.

We recommend using a natural, plant-based detergent, like Ecover Wool Wash, for handwashing since your hands will be submerged in the water. 

Wait for the detergent to completely dissolve in the water then place your garments in the water. 

Move around the clothing garment gently to make sure it’s completely submerged and soaked through, then leave for 10 minutes. 

Handwashing clothes with the best wool detergent - Clean and Tidy Living

Next, hold the jumper in a ball shape and squeeze firmly to remove as much water as possible. 

Be careful not to wring out the fabric or rub the fibres against each other. 

Once you’ve removed as much water as possible from the garment without wringing it out, submerge it in a bowl of water filled with fresh clean water and rinse away the detergent. 

Continue rinsing in new batches of fresh, clean water until all soapy residue has been removed. 

How to Dry Wool

Wool fabrics should not be tumble dried as this can shrink garments, cause bobbling or tear woollen fibres. So to ensure no damage to your clothes, air dry wool naturally.

To remove excess moisture before hanging to dry, you can roll woollen garments into a swiss roll shape with a tea towel or soft towel and squeeze gently – being careful to avoid rubbing or pulling.

Clothes drying after being washed with the best wool detergent - Clean and Tidy Living

Whilst woollen jumpers are wet, it’s also possible to very gently stretch misshapen clothes back into their original shape by lying flat and coercing the fabric.

However, we wouldn’t recommend this unless it’s a last resort. 

What is the Best Wool Detergent in the UK – Final Thoughts 

Wool is a tricky fabric to wash and unfortunately, if you get it wrong it can lead to permanent damage. 

Poorly washed wool or using the wrong detergent can cause dyes to run, fibres to disintegrate or garments to become misshapen. 

Luckily, with the use of a purpose-designed wool detergent, and handwashing or using a cold and gentle washing machine cycle, wool can be preserved. 

In this post, we tried to include a range of different products that would suit the requirements of the varying households across the UK.

There’s never a one size fits all solution to a problem, particularly when it involves something as important as cleaning the clothes that touch ours and our families skin. 

We hope that you’ve found this post helpful and that our suggestions for wool wash laundry liquid were in the lines of what you were looking for. 

Or if you came here to learn about how to wash wool or how to dry wool, then we hope our wool washing guide has been informative. 

In case you missed anything, here are our top recommendations for the Best Wool Detergent in the UK:

1. Woolite Detergent – Best Detergent For Wool  
2. Ecover Delicate Laundry Liquid – Best Hand Wash Wool Detergent 
3. Ecover Zero Delicate Laundry Liquid – Best Wool Detergent for Sensitive Skin
4. KnitIQ No Rinse Delicate Wash Liquid Detergent – Best Wool Detergent for Knitters
5. Cashmere and Wool Eco Wash by Clothes Doctor – Best Natural Wool Detergent

Related Laundry Tips and Product Review Articles:

What is the Best Wool Detergent in the UK

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