How to Wash Wool Gloves to Prevent Shrinking

Wool gloves are warm, comfy, and very soft to touch. However, you must know how to wash wool gloves properly so it will not shrink and pill. You need to wash your wool gloves or mitts, especially during winter to prevent the spread of flu virus and to keep it fresh and clean. When washing wool gloves, there’s one golden rule: avoid the machine. Below, I discussed the specific steps on how to wash specific types of wool gloves so it will come out clean without the damages.

How to wash Merino wool gloves

Merino wool gloves are made of natural fibers harvested from Merino sheep. This is softer than typical wool and it’s also more durable. With that, it doesn’t pill as easily as other wool types used on winter gloves. Still, you should know how to wash it properly. Here’s what you need to do:

  •       Fill a basin with lukewarm water and dip the Merino wool gloves in it.
  •       Make sure that you turn the glove inside out
  •       Use a mild detergent made for delicate fabrics.
  •       Wash the gloves by squeezing it gently; avoid wringing or twisting.
  •       In case of stains, mix one-part rubbing alcohol and one-part cold water.
  •       You can also use one part white vinegar and one part wool detergent on cool water.
  •       Dab this mixture on the stain.
  •       After washing, let the wool gloves air-dry.

How to wash Angora wool gloves

Unlike Merino wool, Angora wool is sourced from Angora rabbits. This fabric has a fluffy and lush nature, which is more voluminous than Merino. It’s also silky and very soft to touch. Here’s how to wash this specific wool type:

  •       Mix mild soap in cold water then soak the Angora wool gloves in it.
  •       Never use bleach on Angora wool
  •       If your Angora wool gloves are dyed, you can add a pinch of salt into the water for colorfastness
  •       Squeeze the wool gloves in the soapy water then rinse it on a clean basin of water.
  •       After that, place the Angora wool gloves on a clean towel then press it to remove the excess moisture.
  •       Once dry, place the wool gloves inside a Ziploc bag and store it in the freezer for 20 minutes
  •       Freezing the Angora wool gloves will restore its fluffiness.

How to wash acrylic wool gloves

Acrylic wool is a synthetic type of fabric made to have similar characteristics to natural wool. It’s cheaper and used on many budget-friendly winter gloves. To wash this type of wool glove, you should follow these steps:

  •       Mix warm water with a mild detergent.
  •       Soak the acrylic wool gloves in it for at least five minutes.
  •       Just like with other wool types, you should never wring or twist acrylic wool gloves
  •       Since acrylic wool is synthetic, it tends to be stiff after several washings.
  •       To fix this, add a little fabric softener on your rinse.
  •       After washing, re-shape the acrylic wool gloves then let it air-dry.
  •       You can use a clean towel to squeeze the excess moisture out of the gloves.

How to wash cashmere wool gloves

Cashmere wool, or simply cashmere, is derived from cashmere goats. Manufacturers of cashmere wool also source it from pashmina goats and other goat species. It’s considered wool due to its soft, light, and strong fibers. Cashmere also possesses an excellent insulating property.

  •       Use cold water when washing cashmere so it will shrink.
  •       Soak the cashmere wool gloves in soapy cold water for 30 minutes
  •       It’s best to use a cashmere shampoo or soap to prevent pilling
  •       For soiled cashmere gloves, you can use a clean towel to scrub off the dirt
  •       Let the cashmere wool gloves air-dry; never put it in the dryer.
  •       If your cashmere gloves are dyed and there’s color in the water, you shouldn’t panic.
  •       Some wool gloves, especially new ones, will bleed its color on the first washings but it will not affect its look.

How to wash blended wool gloves

Blended wool is usually made of 80% natural wool and 20% synthetic fibers. This is done to boost the strength of the wool fabric. It also reduces pilling and shrinking. Here’s how to wash this type of wool gloves:

  •       Use lukewarm water with mild wool detergent.
  •       Soak the blended wool gloves in it and swirl it around.
  •       You can scrub the gloves with a clean towel.
  •       After washing, rinse in lukewarm water then let it air-dry.
  •       Since it’s blended with synthetic fiber, you can wash blended wool gloves in the washing machine.
  •       Use lukewarm to warm water on a gentle cycle.
  •       It’s best to place the gloves in a bag to prevent pilling or damages.

Additional reminders when washing wool gloves

  • Check the label. While the steps above are applicable for most wool gloves, you must always check the tag of your gloves. Manufacturers always indicate washing instructions to prevent damages on the fabric.
  • Always use a gentle detergent. If a dedicated wool detergent isn’t available, make sure that you use gentle soap or detergent. This is very important, especially if your wool gloves are dyed.
  • Never wring wool. One of the biggest mistakes you’ll do when washing wool is twisting and wringing it. This will cause the shape of the wool gloves to become misshapen.
  • Avoid the machine. As much as possible, avoid the washing machine when cleaning wool gloves. If the manufacturer allows machine washing, you should use a gentle cycle.
  • Soak it first. Before you scrub and wash the wool gloves, soak it in soapy water first. This will allow the material to absorb the water and for the dirt to soften.
  • Re-shape the glove. After washing and squeezing the wool gloves with a towel, always reshape it. You can also wear it back then take it off to restore the shape before the gloves dry.

How often should I wash my wool gloves?

If your wool gloves are in active use, you must wash it three to five times per season. If the gloves become soiled, stained, or smelly faster than usual, it’s best to wash it as well.

It’s important to wash your wool gloves or mittens regularly. During the winter season, the transmission of the flu virus becomes rampant. Your wool gloves can be a harborage of viruses waiting to infect your body.

Make sure that you use mild detergent so the wool fibers will not get damaged. It’s best to have another pair of wool gloves to rotate so your first pair won’t get damaged fast.

Do wool gloves shrink when washed?

Wool is notorious for shrinking so you should be careful when washing your gloves. Depending on the type of wool, you’d need to use cold or lukewarm water. You should also avoid machine washing and drying so your wool gloves won’t shrink.

Also, if the manufacturer indicates a shrinking level, you may need to size up so the gloves will fit you snugly once it gets past its shrinking phase.

Aside from that, you should not twist or wring wool gloves since it contributes to the shrink factor.

Still, there’s a way to unshrink a shrunk wool glove. After all, your tiny gloves are no lost cause. Simply mix two tablespoons of fabric softener on lukewarm water. Soak your gloves in it for 20 minutes, empty the basin of water, then squeeze the gloves against the basin.

Slowly stretch the wool gloves back to its shape and size. This process is called blocking where you pull the relaxed wool fibers so it stretches out back in place. After that, pin the gloves on a corkboard so it will not shrink as it dries.


Knowing how to wash wool gloves properly will prevent it from shrinking. Aside from that, washing will help remove dirt and smell that have accumulated on the wool fibers. Remember that hand washing is a foolproof way if you want your wool gloves to last long.

Scroll to Top