How to Wash Merino Wool


two friends running wearing smartwool Merino wool

Merino wool is a highly versatile fabric known for its exceptional moisture-wicking capabilities. This unique property keeps you dry, odor-free, and comfortable throughout your outdoor adventures, making it ideal for hiking, hunting, and a variety of other activities.

A few simple Merino wool care steps will keep your Merino socks, base layers, and other clothing looking as great as they feel. Our Experts provide washing and care tips so that you can maintain the appearance and durability of your Merino wool.

Washing Merino Wool

When it comes to washing Merino wool, there are a few simple care steps to ensure lasting comfort and durability:

  1. Turn Clothing Inside Out: Before washing, turn your Merino wool socks and apparel inside out to protect the outer surface of the fabric.
  2. Use a Mild Soap: Opt for a mild soap or one specifically designed for wool or delicate fabrics. This will ensure gentle cleansing without compromising the integrity of the Merino wool.
  3. Machine Wash on Delicate or Handwash: When machine washing Merino wool, select the delicate or gentle cycle and use cool water. If handwashing, soak your Merino wool item in cool, soapy water for 3-5 minutes, gently agitate the clothing, then rinse.
  4. Lay Flat to Dry or Tumble-Dry on the Lowest Setting: To keep your Merino wool products in top condition, you should lay them flat on a dry towel to dry. Alternatively, you can tumble-dry your Merino wool on the lowest setting in the dryer, but be sure to check the care label first.
three people having a good time in smartwool merino wool

Dos and Don’ts of Washing Merino Wool

  • Check the care label on your Merino wool garments for any specific instructions to prevent any unintentional damage.
  • Don’t expose Merino wool to heat, as it can shrink or damage the material. Avoid hot water, drying with heat, direct sunlight, and ironing.
  • Never use bleach or fabric softener, as these products will damage and destroy Merino wool fibers.
  • Avoid laundry detergents with enzymes, as these will break down Merino wool over time. Look for a mild soap with a neutral pH.
  • Don’t overwash your Merino wool. Naturally odor-resistant, you won’t necessarily need to wash it after every wear. It’s time to wash if you haven’t done so in a while, your clothing is stained, or it has been heavily sweated in.


Whether you're washing your Merino wool hunting clothing or your favorite pair of Darn Tough or Smartwool socks, following these simple care steps will keep your garments looking and feeling great. With proper care, your Merino wool garments will provide comfort and durability for years to come.

To have any additional questions about Merino wool answered, stop by your local SCHEELS to speak to an Expert today!

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