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Is it possible to wash 100% Wool pants at home?

Lorinz

Familiar Face
Messages
74
I bought a pair of wool pants from Banana Republic: Tapered Perfect Flannel Dress Pant

They're 100% wool cut from fine Italian wool flannel. They were on sale and sadly in my excitement I didn't notice the details on washing them which says they need to be dry cleaned. Unfortunately I don't live near any dry cleaning service, so that could be a problem for me. Does anyone know if there is a way to clean Wool yourself at home, without potentially ruining it? I heard you can spot clean it, or even put it in the washer, but you absolutely cannot put it in the dryer or it will ruin it by shrinking it. Anyone with experience know more about wool and if I can actually clean these pants when I need to without going to a dry cleaner?
 

Peacoat

*
Bartender
Messages
6,353
Location
South of Nashville
I bought a pair of wool pants from Banana Republic: Tapered Perfect Flannel Dress Pant

They're 100% wool cut from fine Italian wool flannel. They were on sale and sadly in my excitement I didn't notice the details on washing them which says they need to be dry cleaned. Unfortunately I don't live near any dry cleaning service, so that could be a problem for me. Does anyone know if there is a way to clean Wool yourself at home, without potentially ruining it? I heard you can spot clean it, or even put it in the washer, but you absolutely cannot put it in the dryer or it will ruin it by shrinking it. Anyone with experience know more about wool and if I can actually clean these pants when I need to without going to a dry cleaner?
You could use Woolite in cold water, but you do so at your own peril. After you wash them the first time, you will know if you have damaged them.
 

AeroFan_07

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,447
Location
Iowa
I agree with Peacoat, you can take the risk, but it may just be better to return them.

Being 100% wool of this sort, I would think you would only want to wear them when it is rather cold outside as well.
 

Cuvier

One of the Regulars
Messages
188
Location
Texas
I have successfully washed wool clothing at home. I use woolite in COLD water and on gentle. Do not dry! Instead take a large towel, lay them on top and roll them up in the towel. Squeeze don't twist. Then hang dry. Preferably where there's a breeze.
If there's visible dirt then before washing use a medium stiff brush and brush the dirt off. For anything stubborn you'd be best served getting them professionally cleaned. However for general wear this will work. Also you don't have to wash them after every wear. Wool is naturally antimicrobial and doesn't hold smells. Maybe every 5th wear or so clean them otherwise let them aire out after they're worn.
 

Cuvier

One of the Regulars
Messages
188
Location
Texas
Oh! Something I forgot to say. You'll still get some shrinkage but that can be avoided by gently stretching the garment periodically while it dries.
 

AbbaDatDeHat

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,713
I bought a pair of wool pants from Banana Republic: Tapered Perfect Flannel Dress Pant

They're 100% wool cut from fine Italian wool flannel. They were on sale and sadly in my excitement I didn't notice the details on washing them which says they need to be dry cleaned. Unfortunately I don't live near any dry cleaning service, so that could be a problem for me. Does anyone know if there is a way to clean Wool yourself at home, without potentially ruining it? I heard you can spot clean it, or even put it in the washer, but you absolutely cannot put it in the dryer or it will ruin it by shrinking it. Anyone with experience know more about wool and if I can actually clean these pants when I need to without going to a dry cleaner?
Get these.
Soak in Woolite, cold water, gently agitate by hand, rinse the dry on stretchers.
People have been hand washing delicate fabrics using Woolite since 1951. No sense in trying to reinvent the wheel.
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Messages
10,548
Location
vancouver, canada
You can increase the number of wearings of your wool pants before they need a thorough cleaning by the regular use of a hand steamer. Pick up a Rowenta hand held clothing steamer.

After each wearing give the pants a good steam. You can also spot clean any stains if necessary. Then I always iron the crease in before hanging them away. If you iron them use a good cotton press cloth to avoid putting a shine on the cloth. If you do the above you can go a long while before they need to be dry cleaned.
 
Messages
10,548
Location
vancouver, canada
You can increase the number of wearings of your wool pants before they need a thorough cleaning by the regular use of a hand steamer. Pick up a Rowenta hand held clothing steamer.

After each wearing give the pants a good steam. You can also spot clean any stains if necessary. Then I always iron the crease in before hanging them away. If you iron them use a good cotton press cloth to avoid putting a shine on the cloth. If you do the above you can go a long while before they need to be dry cleaned.
Also by cleaning/steaming you lessen the chances of moth nibbles in the wool.
 

Ernest P Shackleton

One Too Many
Messages
1,221
Location
Midwest
I wash all my wool, and I love wool. I have a lot. Jackets. Pants. Shirts. Sweaters. Blankets. I use baby shampoo. It's cheaper than woolite and other specialty soaps. Gentle on the natural oils. Low suds. I use a front loader washer on the hand wash cycle. cold water only. Lay flat dry. I have a special rack, but you can lay it on a towel. I never hang during drying. You could also hand wash these in a tub and then use a thick cotton towel to dry them. Fold the towel in half longways. Lay the wet pants on the towel. Tightly roll the towel up and then use your weight and your palms to press the water out of the pants and into the towel or even step on the rolled up towel. I can't deny that I have got some very slight shrinkage here and there, but that is usually because of the stitching. The stitching wants to distort more than the wool material, because the stitching reacts to drying differently than the material. As others have said, you can remedy that by monitoring and pulling on the garment while it dries. They also sell dry cleaning kits for home dryers, but I've never used one. I've heard they can work well.
 

DanielPetmr

Familiar Face
Messages
51
I bought a pair of wool pants from Banana Republic: Tapered Perfect Flannel Dress Pant

They're 100% wool cut from fine Italian wool flannel. They were on sale and sadly in my excitement I didn't notice the details on washing them which says they need to be dry cleaned. Unfortunately I don't live near any dry cleaning service, so that could be a problem for me. Does anyone know if there is a way to clean Wool yourself at home, without potentially ruining it? I heard you can spot clean it, or even put it in the washer, but you absolutely cannot put it in the dryer or it will ruin it by shrinking it. Anyone with experience know
more about wool and if I can actually clean these pants when I need to without going to a dry cleaner?
Wool garments should be washed on the wool setting (usually gentle action at 40°C). If your washing machine does not have a wool cycle, use the cold water wash or wash cycle for delicates. Use a neutral, mild detergent that is preferably Woolmark recommended (look for the Woolmark symbol on the packet)
 

clcAndy

New in Town
Messages
1
Just my experience, so it may not work for your pants though I suspect it will. I watched an interview with the head of the Australian wool industry who I assume knows a thing or two. He said that wool is best washed hot, but you need to avoid any agitation. For my dress pants, sweaters, beanies, etc., I fill (not fully) a bathtub with really hot water. Add detergent (I used to use Woolite but any will do as far as I can tell). Add the clothes and walk away. Whenever I get back to it, I pull them out, drain and fill with cold. Put them back it for a few minutes and repeat once or sometimes twice. Roll in a towel to partially dry and dry flat on a rack. Never had any shrinkage or damage of any kind.
 

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