How to Make Merino Wool Less Itchy- Enjoy Your Merino Wool in Peace

How to Make Merino Wool Less Itchy? Merino wool has great characteristics that make it a quality fabric for both winters and summers.

It is breathable, super durable, and warm, and feels luxurious against your skin. However, the merino wool is known to make you itch.

If you’re considering buying a lovely merino garment but wondering how to make merino wool less itchy, you’ve come to the right place!

You can make merino wool less itchy by washing it with a special detergent, using shampoo and conditioner, vinegar and salt, and steaming or freezing. Read to find out more.

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Why Is Merino Wool Itchy?

Merino wool is a high-quality type of wool that comes from merino sheep. These sheep are bred specially for this wool, which is high quality compared to regular wool. The diameter of the fibers determines the usual ‘itchiness’ that we associate with wool.

These fibers are measured in microns or micrometers (μm), one-thousandth of a millimeter. For example, the diameter of human hair is 50 to 75 microns, which is why it feels itchy against your skin.

High-quality merino wool does not cause itchiness, as the diameter is less than 20 microns. Merino wool is ultra-fine fabric because the count is so low.

Low-quality merino wool with a diameter higher than 22 microns irritates. The fibers are larger, broader, and less flexible, resulting in a prick when pressed against your skin.

Some people can wear their merino wool and not feel no irritation. However, those with sensitive skin might feel like torture! The irritation may stop after 5 to 6 wash cycles, or you can opt for the following methods.

merino sheep enjoying blades of grass

(merino sheep enjoying blades of grass)

How to Make Merino Wool Less Itchy?

Below you will see various ways to make your merino wool less easy. This involves techniques with things you probably have at home, so there is no cost.

These methods have a low chance of shrinking your merino wool; however, you should be careful. 

#1- Use a Special Wool Detergent

Special wool detergents can be bought for your merino wool garments.

While this may cause your garments to fade, using a small amount at a time won’t cause harm. Remember, merino wool is not meant to be washed all the time.

Mix some detergent in water and leave the garment to soak for an hour. Use warm water to rinse the merino wool fabric and remove the detergent.

Use a big soft towel to squeeze the excess water. Then, use another big towel to leave your wool item to dry. 

#2- Dry Hair Shampoo and Conditioner

Shampoo and conditioner work well to clean your hair and soften your merino wool to make it less itchy. You must use a shampoo/conditioner for dry hair for the best results. 

Wash your garment as normal with the shampoo. Then apply conditioner on both sides and leave it to set for 4 minutes.

Rinse the merino wool garment properly to remove the conditioner. Hang it to dry on a clothesline.

women holding a stack of wool garments

(women holding a stack of wool garments)

#3- Vinegar and Salt Solution

Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that can also help make your merino wool less itchy.

Mix one teaspoon of salt and vinegar with 5 liters of cold water, and soak your itchy garment for half an hour. Rinse it properly to get rid of the strong smell.

Avoid putting your merino wool in the dryer; let it air dry. 

#4- Steam the Wool Item

Steaming merino wool requires great care, as too much heat can cause it to stretch or shrink. If you don’t have a steamer, you can use your iron on high to steam the garment.

Put the merino wool item on a hard surface or ironing board. Make a citric solution and soak a cloth in it. Place it on the garment.

Begin the steaming process by pressing the iron or steamer on the fabric. Once you do one side, turn it over and repeat the process.

#5- Use Glycerin

Glycerin can also help soften merino wool in the same way as vinegar, but without the strong smell. Use a teaspoon of glycerin in 1 liter of water and leave your wool garment to soak.

This is also best for people who want a pleasant smell on their clothes before wearing them. 

baking soda

(baking soda)

#6- Use Mustard Powder Solution

Mustard powder was an ancient method of cleaning and softening fabrics before we had detergents. This solution softens the fibers, which reduces the itchiness and makes them more comfortable to wear. 

Mix two tablespoons of mustard powder in a bucket of water. Soak your merino wool in this solution for an hour, then rinse with cold water. 

#7- Put the Merino Wool in the Freezer

Cold temperatures can soften an itchy garment because it makes the split fibers (which causes the itchiness) fall out. This makes the garment softer and more comfortable on the skin. 

Place your merino wool garment in a plastic bag and leave it in your freezer for a day. When you want to wear it, leave it for about half an hour to unfreeze, rinse, and dry. 

wool garments

(wool garments)

#8- Baking Soda with some Ammonia

Baking soda and ammonia are also lifesavers when helping an itchy garment. Combine 10 liters of water, four drops of ammonia, and one teaspoon of soda.

Mix the ingredients properly to make an anti-itchy solution to soften your merino wool.

Let the wool soak for about 30 to 40 minutes. Take out the item from this solution and rinse thoroughly with cold water.


How to Tell if You Have a Wool Allergy

Contact with wool can cause irritated, itchy skin and watery eyes. You can also have a runny nose if you are allergic to the material.

Wearing a merino wool scarf, sweater, or hat can even result in the development of painful lumps or very dry skin, which cracks and bleeds.

What Type of Wool Is the Least Itchy

Merino wool. Unlike other synthetic materials and wool, merino wool does not itch as much. This is because the micron count is low, which makes the fibers softer against the skin.


Since there are various methods to make your merino wool less itchy, you can always use trial and error to find one that works for you.

These methods can also be used for other types of wool. Don’t let that one merino wool garment sit in the cupboard. Wear it out!

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