As much as we love Merino wool – it’s comfy, sustainable, odor-proof, and more – it is technically a delicate fabric. And if you don’t have your laundering process in check, your expensive Merino wool shirt may become a cleaning rag in no time.

Fortunately, to mitigate these instances, you can use several care products to keep your Merino wool clothing fresher for longer. These laundry products include detergents, brushes, and longevity solutions to get the most extended wear life out of your Merino wool gear!

Today, I’ll go over a dozen care products in three main categories: things for the laundry, things for fabric care, and the best storage solutions. We use most of these products while caring for our Merino wool gear, and they’ve served us well. Now, we want to spread our know-how so you can better manage your wardrobe.

So, without further ado, let’s get cleaning with 12 Care Products To Increase the Wear-Life Of Your Merino Wool Gear!

Best Merino Wool Care Products For The Laundry

I bite my nails when I put my new Merino wool gear into the laundry. Over the years, I’ve had my clothing eaten by my laundry machine one too many times. Whether it’s ripped, warped, torn, or discolored, I’ve had my fair share of bad luck. Although, with all this trial and error, there’s been discovery. I now have the perfect arsenal of laundry products to wash and dry my Merino wool gear. And luckily for you, I’m always willing to spread this knowledge to my fellow Merino wool lovers.

I’ll review my favorite wool washes, drying racks, and wrinkle solutions for cleaning your Merino wool clothes. Hopefully, all this care knowledge – much of what I learned from countless mishaps – will help you to keep your clothing looking brand-new for years.

Outback Gold Wool Wash

Think of Merino wool like your hair; the harsher the chemicals you use – like masks, dyes, or shampoos – the less healthy your hair will be. The same principle applies to Merino wool clothing. The fabric is of animal origin, with natural proteins produced by the sheep and the same exact material as your hair: keratin. Strong detergents, bleaches, and stain removers can degrade the proteins in these fibers over time. So, specialized wool wash products are necessary to maintain the integrity and longevity of the material.

In my testing, I’ve relied on three wool washes. The one pictured above, Outback Gold Wool Wash, is my go-to for most Merino wool clothing. It’s gentle on clothing and helps maintain the fabric’s freshness. I also occasionally use Nixwax, which helps eliminate any deep odor. And finally, Kookaburra Wash is one the most eco-friendly wool detergents and is perfect for delicate knits.

Multi-Level Drying Rack

I will say this now, and probably a dozen times before the end of this article, but avoid putting your Merino wool clothing in the dryer! Some brands explicitly state that it’s okay to tumble dry on low or with no heat. In my not-so-expert opinion, it’s best to avoid the dryer altogether. Instead, utilize a foldable drying rack.

I use the SONGMICS multi-level drying rack as pictured above. The reason is that flat-drying Merino wool clothes is best. If you hang them vertically while wet, the water’s weight can stretch the fibers, resulting in a misshapen garment. So, using these extendable arms and multi-tier design, I can flat dry nearly an entire load of Merino wool clothing. And when everything’s fully dry, I can hang or fold the clothes and easily store the drying rack away in the closet. It’s genuinely one of the best purchases I’ve made to increase the lifespan of my Merino clothing.

Although, if you only have one Merino wool hoodie and maybe a pair of socks, you can lay a towel on a flat surface like a table. And as the fabric dries, you can keep an eye on the overall shape, adjusting or stretching when necessary.

Wool Dryer Balls

Minus33 Merino Wool Dryer Balls

Merino wool dryer balls are an excellent addition to your laundry. The soft, felted balls bounce around the dryer, distributing heat and moisture efficiently throughout your clothing. Moreover, wool dryer balls reduce static cling and act as a fabric softener.

And while you probably won’t put your Merino wool clothing in the dryer (at least, I hope not), these dryer balls – like the ones from Minus33 – will keep the rest of your wardrobe fresh. Check out some additional tips below!

  • Add 2-3 wool dryer balls to your dryer with each load of laundry.
  • Use wool dryer balls on low heat or air dry.
  • Replace your wool dryer balls every 6-12 months.
  • You can also add essential oils to your wool dryer balls to create a custom scent.

Portable Steamer

Let me start by saying that if you properly wash, dry, and store your Merino wool clothing, you should never need to iron or steam out wrinkles. That’s because Merino wool fibers have a natural crimp and stretch, preventing wrinkles from ever forming in the first place.

Now, with that out of the way, wrinkles do occur. Brands sometimes mix synthetics like nylon, polyester, and spandex into their Merino material for extra strength. These materials don’t have the same anti-wrinkle properties as wool.

So, if you have to get rid of wrinkles, use a steamer, but use caution. A steamer can be aggressive for some garments, as Merino wool is not too fond of high heat. I like to use a travel steamer since it’s less powerful. Yet, if you’re hesitant about using a steamer, I completely understand.

If you don’t have a steamer, still don’t use an iron. Some brands note you can cool-iron their wool clothing, but don’t risk it. Instead, hang your Merino wool clothing in the bathroom while you shower. Usually, the shower steam is enough to smooth out any wrinkles without warping the fabric shape.

Best Merino Wool Fabric Care Products

Merino wool is naturally odor-resistant, so you may not have to wash it as much. In other words, you’ll get more wear per wash. I usually get a solid 3-4 days of wear (not always continuous) before I have to wash my Merino wool gear. Although, after every wear, I don’t just throw my clothes on the floor. A higher level of fabric care is needed to keep Merino wool fabric clean as opposed to cotton and synthetic clothing.

So, it’s always good to have tools like a fabric brush, comb, shaver, and lint remover handy to increase the lifespan of all your clothing. I’ll review some of the tools I use and why they are essential to improving fabric life. In the process, you may pick up on some helpful care tips that the big brands don’t want you to know about.

Kent CP6 Clothes Brush

I know it sounds unbelievable, but one of the reasons my Merino wool clothing stays fresh is due to one main reason: a wool fabric brush. The trails I walk on are sandy and often humid where I live. So, dirt, dust, and grime can form even on the shortest of walks. A wool brush helps rid the fabric of debris. Therefore I can wash less and wear more!

I’ve found the brush especially helpful for my Merino wool shoes. The felted/boiled knit outers easily attract dirt, and giving them a good dry brush after wearing them helps to keep them fresh. I sometimes use it on the outsoles if debris becomes lodged within the crevices. It’s been an essential tool in maintaining my entire wardrobe.

I use the Kent CP6 brush because the natural boar bristles are gentler on fabrics than synthetic brushes. Although, it’s a little on the expensive side. Still, it’s saved more clothing than I can remember.

Reusable Gel Lint Roller

I have two dogs- a border collie and a pomeranian– and boy; those two shed constantly. Unfortunately, as pet and sheep hair are relatively similar, Merino wool clothing picks up their sheddings like crazy. Even one quick cuddle with my pups, and it looks like I work in a grooming salon. There’s just so much hair! And while I love Merino wool clothing, I love my dogs even more, so I had to discover a better solution.

At first, I used the disposable tape lint removers that you can pick up in nearly any grocery store pet aisle. However, I wasn’t too fond of the amount of waste they produced. So, to continuously improve Merino wool’s sustainability, I opted for a reusable lint roller instead. It works like a charm, and the best part is that I don’t have to keep buying the disposables since it’s reusable.

The best solution I found is a washable gel lint roller ball. I give a few quick rolls before heading out the door, and I’m pet-hair-free. Also, I’ve heard great things about the Chom Chom Pet Hair Remover, but I like the roller ball construction better.


When cleaning your Merino wool clothing, you may notice small balls of fibers bunching on the fabric. This unfortunate process is called pilling. If this occurs to you, it may seem like you got ripped off. However, pilling is natural for Merino wool has natural fibers that have uneven lengths. So when these pills occur, it’s more like the weak fibers migrating away from the structural network.

In essence, it’s making the fabric stronger.

But, it still can be a site for sore eyes. Luckily, fabric care solutions can freshen your garments like a manual comb or pilling remover. These products remove any pills or loose fibers, essentially shaving the fabric. Although, it’s important to note that their use can be risky. You could end up with a hole if you catch a loose thread or snag on the fabric.

Ruidla Electric Defuzzer

You’re missing out if you don’t have an electric pilling remover/fabric shaver/defuzzer in your fabric care arsenal. It can sometimes be tricky to use wool clothing, but it works phenomenally for all other apparel, it works phenomenally.

Electric pilling removers work better with thicker materials (225+ gsm), like winter base layers and heavy sweaters. Anything thinner than that, you risk catching the good threads and ripping a hole in the fabric. Still, even with heavier materials, you’ll want to utilize an electric pilling remover as a last resort. If you misuse it, you not only risk ruining your expensive Merino wool clothing, but you may void your warranty, as well (especially with socks).

I use the Ruidla Electric Defuzzer, but there are better ones out there. I don’t use it enough to justify purchasing a new one. It performs to my expectations, so I don’t need anything fancier.

Best Merino Wool Clothing Storage Solutions

Finally, after you’ve laundered your clothes correctly and mitigated any fabric issues, it’s time to properly store them for the short term if your Merino wool gear is part of your daily rotation. And, if you wear your clothing more seasonally, you’ll want to think about long-term storage solutions.

For our final four Merino wool care products, I’ll go over four solutions that help increase the wear life of my Merino wool clothing. Note again that only some of these may be necessary for your situation, and you may already have the solution. So whatever your care line-up, ensure you have what you need to make your gear last a lifetime!

Cedar Hangers

Unfortunately, clothes moths love to eat Merino wool. Well, it’s clothes moth larvae that are the real problem. To grow, they need protein, and one of their favorite meals is Keratin, a protein in your hair, fingernails, and of course, the main building block of Merino wool clothing.

Fortunately, clothes moths don’t like one thing: cedar. Scientists have discovered that moths don’t like the smell of cedar and won’t lay their eggs – which eventually turn into wool-hungry larvae – anywhere nearby. So, that’s why you should always use cedar hangers if you’re hanging up your Merino wool gear in your closet.

Although the mechanism behind cedar’s moth-deterrent properties arose with modern science, humans have been using cedar to protect their clothing for millennia! Historians agree that wealthier Ancient Greeks used to store their wardrobes – much of what was wool – in cedar or cedar-lined chests. Moreover, we’ve been building closets and cabinets in homes from cedar for over a century. Still, with many modern closets built with drywall – especially those in rental units – cedar hangers are the best choice to keep those pesky moths away from your precious Merino.

Although, not all Merino wool clothing needs to be on hangers – underwear, socks, bras, etc. If you have a persistent moth problem, I suggest a small cedar storage block in your drawer. They have the same anti-bug effect as the hangers, are relatively inexpensive (just a tiny block of wood), and can save you a world of hurt.

Odor Absorber Bags

Let’s talk about why Merino wool is odor-proof. Many people believe it’s because bacteria don’t like living on wool, but that’s not the case. The odors emitted from foul-smelling bacteria become trapped in water vapor pockets formed by wool’s natural crimp. Therefore, all your nasty smell gets passed onto the atmosphere and is not trapped in the fabric fibers, keeping your Merino clothing fresher for longer.

But that smell has to go somewhere, right? That’s where the odor absorber bags come in. Using activated charcoal bags removes the odors from the air, so your closet doesn’t smell like a gym bag. So, grab some today!

Vacuum Storage Bags

If you only wear your Merino wool apparel seasonally, you need a long-term storage solution to keep your clothes fresh. So, after the last hike or ski run of the year, wash your clothes, dry them out, and store them in vacuum-sealed bags!

The airtight seal protects against moth and moisture damage while keeping your clothes fresh and clean! Here are some tips for storing your Merino wool clothes in vacuum storage bags:

  • Fold or roll your clothes neatly before placing them in the bag. This will help to reduce wrinkles and prevent the clothes from getting damaged.
  • Do not overfill the bags. If the bags are too full, the vacuum seal may not be effective.
  • Label the bags with the contents and the date. This will help you track what is in the bags and when they were last stored.
  • Store the bags in a cool, dry place. This will help to prevent moisture damage.

Airtight Storage

Finally, the last line of defense you have against clothes moth larvae is airtight storage. I use a 50-quart under-bed storage container like the one pictured above. It’s nothing special, and it doesn’t have to be. And for someone with a lot of Merino wool gear, it safely stores all my seasonal items. Still, other sizes and dimensions are available so that you can tailor the solution to your individual storage needs.

Moreover, if you want to add an extra layer of protection, you can throw in a cedar block inside. You can never be too cautious when it comes to moths! I recommend pairing this storage method with the vacuum-sealed bags mentioned previously, but you should be good if you only use one.

Final Note On Merino Wool Care Products

And there you have it; our twelve favorite care products for keeping our Merino wool gear fresh and long-lasting!

To recap, while doing the laundry, you’ll want to avoid the dryer and harsh detergents, opting for a drying rack and wool wash instead. Use a brush or lint roller between washes to keep dirt and debris at bay. Moreover, if you experience pilling, make sure to choose a fabric shaver – either manual or electric – based on the thickness of the fabric. Finally, when it’s time to store your clothes, keep the clothes moths at bay with cedar, and keep your storage containers airtight for added protection.

The best part is since we’ve already been through the trial-and-error process of finding the best products for each, you’ll be able to get the most out of your Merino wool clothing without spending too much. And, by caring for your clothes correctly, you’ll increase their lifespan, reducing waste in the process. That way, we care for our clothes and our planet simultaneously.

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