Washing delicate llama wool blankets can seem daunting, but with the right techniques, you can safely clean your blanket at home. Properly caring for llama wool will extend the life of your blanket and maintain its softness and warmth.
In this guide, we’ll walk through the entire process of hand washing a llama wool blanket in 10 easy steps using gentle soap, cold water, and air drying.
Whether your llama blanket was gifted to you or purchased during your travels to Peru, it likely holds special meaning. Like any cherished belonging, you want to care for it properly so it stays beautiful for years.
Follow these simple instructions to refresh your blanket and remove odours, dirt, and debris without ruining the delicate wool fibres.
By the end of this guide, you’ll feel confident washing and drying your llama blanket while preserving its quality and texture. With the right supplies and a little patience, you can keep your llama wool blanket looking and feeling its very best.
Let’s get started!
what is the best detergents for washing llama Wool blanket?
Taking proper care of your llama wool blanket is essential to keep it looking its best. One of the most important steps is choosing the right detergent to safely clean the delicate wool fibres without causing damage.
When shopping for a wool detergent, there are a few key things to look for.
The first thing you’ll want to do is choose a detergent made specifically for washing woollens. Detergents not formulated for wool can end up damaging or shrinking your blanket.
Look for ones that say they are safe for wool right on the packaging. Some top options include:
Eucalan Wool Wash is one of the most popular detergents for handwashing wool. It is biodegradable and contains no bleach, optical brighteners, or enzymes that could harm wool fibres. Eucalan is highly recommended by knitters and wool enthusiasts. It gently cleans while keeping the wool soft.
The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Shampoo is a premium detergent designed specifically for washing luxury wool. It contains plant-based cleansers that lift dirt and odours without stripping away the lanolin oils that wool produces naturally. This detergent leaves behind a light cedar scent.
Soak Wash is a wool-safe detergent that is gentle enough for washing antique quilts and blankets. It contains extra-mild cleansing agents and is free of bleach, enzymes, and optical brighteners. Soak Wash is recommended for handwashing or a short gentle cycle in the washing machine.
PH Balanced Formula
Look for a wool detergent with a pH-balanced formula. This helps keep the fibres intact during the wash cycle. The optimal pH level for washing wool is around 7. Harsh alkaline detergents could damage the wool’s protein structure. An acidic detergent helps preserve the fibres.
Free of Harmful Additives
Avoid detergents with added bleach, enzymes, or optical brighteners which could break down wool fibres over time. Enzymes help break up stains on cotton but are too harsh for more delicate wools. Optical brighteners can diminish the vibrancy of some wool fabrics.
The best wool detergents rely on gentle cleansers derived from plants rather than harsh chemicals. Look for ingredients like soap bark, coconut oil, glycerin, or plant extracts. These naturally lift dirt without stripping the wool.
How to wash a llama Wool blanket: 10 Practical Steps
Llama wool blankets are coveted for their unbeatable softness and incredible warmth. But like any prized woollen blanket, they require special handling when it comes time to wash them.
Follow these 10 key steps to safely clean your llama wool blanket without causing damage to the delicate fibres.
1. Check That Care Label
Before anything else, locate and read the care label on your llama wool blanket. This contains the manufacturer’s recommended washing instructions including water temperature, cycle settings, drying methods and any warnings.
Always follow the care label when cleaning wool blankets. The label will indicate if the blanket is machine washable or must be hand washed only. Failing to adhere to the instructions could lead to irreversible shrinkage or other harm.
Consider the care label in your llama blanket’s instruction manual for keeping it looking and feeling its very best.
2. Prewash New Blankets
For a brand-new llama wool blanket, give it a preliminary gentle wash before using or sleeping with it. This removes any residual oils or dirt left over from manufacturing and the spinning process.
Prewashing primes the wool fibres for deeper cleaning and helps prevent shrinking in future washes. To prewash, set your washing machine to a delicate, cold water cycle with mild detergent. After this initial cycle, you can launder following the regular care label instructions.
3. Use a Gentle Wool Detergent
The right laundry detergent makes a big difference in keeping llama wool blankets clean while being gentle on the fibres. Avoid regular detergents, as these can strip away the natural lanolin oils in wool. The ideal detergent for washing wool is one specifically formulated for delicates, handwashing or woollens.
Wool-safe detergents contain surfactants that gently remove dirt without damaging wool proteins or removing beneficial lanolin oils. Check the product label for assurances that the detergent is suitable for fine washables like wool. A few drops of mild soap in cool water can also suffice for hand washing.
4. Wash in a Delicate Cycle
Unless the care label states otherwise, always wash your llama wool blanket on the gentle or delicate cycle of your washing machine. Set the water temperature according to the instructions, using cold water if unspecified.
The agitation of regular wash cycles is too rough on the fine fibres and can cause pilling or tearing of the wool. A delicate setting provides just enough motion to thoroughly clean while being gentle. You should also use a low spin speed to limit mechanical stress on the blanket.
5. Never Use the Clothes Dryer
It may be tempting to toss your wet blanket in the dryer for quick results, but this is a cardinal sin for wool! The tumbling motion and heated air will cause fibres to mat and become brittle. Always allow your blanket to fully air dry naturally.
Hang it to drip dry or lay it flat on a drying rack or clean towel. While it takes longer than machine drying, air drying preserves the structure of the wool and avoids shrinkage issues. Take the time to let your blanket air dry to keep it looking its best.
6. Lay Flat to Dry
Once washed, gently squeeze out excess water from the blanket but do not wring, twist or scrub. Refrain from hanging wool blankets, which puts undue stress on the fibres under the weight of all that absorbed water.
Instead, lay it flat in a single layer on a clean, dry surface in an area with good airflow. Use a towel or mesh drying rack if laying on a solid surface. Smooth and shape the blanket back to its original dimensions. Flip periodically as it dries.
7. Fluff Between Drying Cycles
To expedite drying time, you can put your blanket through multiple short spin and drying cycles. After gently spinning out the water, lay it flat again until damp and dry. At this stage, pick up the blanket and vigorously shake it out.
This fluffing action separates the wool fibres and allows air to better circulate through the weave. Repeat short spin cycles and fluffing until fully dry. Fluffing also restores loft and softness to the wool.
8. Inspect for Damage Before Re-Use
Before folding up your blanket at the end of the washing process, thoroughly inspect every inch of it. Check for any areas that appear damaged, felted, torn or overly matted. Also, look for any concerning shrinkage of the entire blanket.
Catching damage early allows you to troubleshoot what went wrong and remedy it before subjecting your blanket to regular use again. For minor issues, you may be able to restore fibres with careful combing or brushing when completely dry.
9. Store Properly Between Uses
When not in use, store your llama wool blanket loosely folded in a clean, dry place. Avoid storage containers that fully seal or trap moisture, which can cause mildew. Ideal storage options include cedar chests, breathable fabric blanket bags, or storage under the bed.
Keep blankets away from direct sunlight, heat sources and humidity. Improper storage wears down wool fibres more quickly and shortens the usable life of your blanket. With mindful storage habits, a llama wool blanket can last for decades.
10. Enjoy Your Soft, Clean Blanket!
With the right washing techniques, your llama wool blanket will emerge from the wash fresh, fluffy, and wonderfully soft. Following the 10 steps above allows you to safely clean your blanket without compromising the fine wool fibres through damage or shrinkage.
Show your cherished blanket some TLC by hand washing gently or using a machine’s delicate cycle and always allowing flat air to dry. Don’t be intimidated to wash wool – with the proper methods your blanket will thank you with many future nights of cozy warmth.
Can you machine wash alpaca wool blanket?
Yes, you can machine wash alpaca wool blankets, but it’s important to follow the care instructions on the label. Most alpaca wool blankets can be machine-washed on a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent. However, some blankets may require dry cleaning.
Can you put a wool blanket in the washing machine?
Yes, you can put a wool blanket in the washing machine, but it’s important to follow the care instructions on the label. Most wool blankets can be machine-washed on a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent. However, some blankets may require dry cleaning.
How long do alpaca wool blankets last?
Alpaca wool blankets can last for many years if they are properly cared for. They are naturally water-resistant and stain-resistant, so they don’t require a lot of washing. However, it’s important to spot-clean any spills or stains as soon as possible to prevent them from setting in.
What detergent is safe for wool?
A mild detergent designed for wool is the best choice for washing alpaca wool blankets. Avoid using harsh detergents or bleach, as these can damage the wool.
Can you wash wool with shampoo?
Yes, you can wash wool with shampoo, but it’s important to use a mild shampoo that is designed for wool. Avoid using harsh shampoos or conditioners, as these can damage the wool.
Taking good care of your llama wool blanket will help it last for years to come. Proper washing and drying are key to keeping the fibres soft and the colours vibrant.
When it’s time to clean your blanket, be sure to use a wool-specific detergent to avoid damage from harsh additives. Handwashing provides the most gentle cleaning, but machine washing on a delicate cycle with a wool detergent also works.
Rinse thoroughly after washing to remove all detergent residue. Refrain from wringing or twisting the blanket which can stretch the fibers. Instead, gently roll it in a towel to remove excess water.
Lay flat to dry, smoothing out the fibres. Never use direct high heat which can cause the wool to become brittle.
Finally, have your blanket professionally cleaned periodically to remove built-up oils and soils that can weaken wool over time.
Following these care instructions will help your llama wool blanket retain its beauty and keep you warm for years to come. With some simple maintenance, your blanket will become a cherished heirloom.