Wear often. Wash easily.

How to wash Merino wool.

We love Merino wool for its natural odor-resisting and moisture-managing abilities. Whether we’re running, biking, hiking trails, hunting, and skiing or snowboarding, Smartwool socks, base layers, and apparel help us keep us comfy and dry all day long. And with the right care, you can keep your Merino wool gear in good shape wash after wash. 

Review your labels.

Always check your garment tags for best results. Some of our products should be hand-washed or air-dried to preserve the Merino wool technology built in; be sure to check the label for specific care instructions.

Learn more about Merino wool.

Less stink. Less washing.

Did you know Merino wool can be worn multiple times before going in the wash? Turns out, you can help lower your footprint by wearing Merino wool again and again… and again. Odor-causing bacteria is absorbed by Merino wool fibers—keeping them from reproducing or growing on the surface of Merino fibers. This helps your socks, shirts, and bottoms stink less.
Less stink = less washing.
And by washing less, you’re reducing your environmental impact. Laundry requires a substantial amount of water and energy.

Intraknit™ Apparel
care instructions.

With fewer seams and an articulated performance fit, our Intraknit™ Merino wool apparel is designed for next-level performance — so extra careful washing is crucial.
Follow this checklist of do’s and don’ts on your next wash day.

Merino wool Care FAQ

How much wool is in Smartwool® products?

Every product is different. Many Smartwool® products are made of 100% Merino wool, while some are blended with other materials built for performance. For specific content information, check out the product’s label.

How do I hand wash Merino wool?

Turn your Smartwool Merino wool socks and garments inside out. Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a mild detergent. Next, submerge your laundry in the soapy water and gently move them around to loosen dirt and impurities. Let everything soak for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse in clean lukewarm water until all detergent is removed, and the water runs clear. Lay socks and clothing flat on a soft towel and reshape them to air dry, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Avoid wringing or twisting your garments.

Can Merino wool go in the dryer?

Technically, yes. But you'll want to always air-dry your Merino wool socks and apparel to keep your gear in good shape. The dryer could damage the natural performance fibers of Merino wool, or shrink your clothing and socks.

Can I iron my wool clothes?

Items made of 100% wool can be ironed on a low setting. It’s best to turn the item inside out. Apparel made from a blend of wool and synthetic fibers shouldn’t be ironed. We recommend steaming them to get out any wrinkles—you can even put those garments on a hanger in the bathroom while you shower. Always check the care instructions on each garment.

Can I dry-clean my wool clothes?

Sometimes. Be sure to check the tag on the individual item. Most wool clothes can be dry-cleaned, but keep in mind that dry cleaning reduces the lifespan of any garment.

Does Merino wool pill?

Merino wool is a naturally durable fiber, making it less likely to pill compared to other wools. Because Merino fibers are so technical, pilling can potentially occur with improper washing and drying. That’s why we recommend gentle washing and air drying for all Smartwool® socks, apparel, and gear.

How often can I wash Merino wool socks and clothing?

As often as you like! But we like to say the less often, the better. Merino wool is a durable, odor-resistant and moisture-wicking performance fabric that can be worn dozens of times before going in the wash. Not only do you get more adventures out of your Smartwool® gear, but you also have a lower environmental impact by washing and drying way, way less.

Should I use fabric softener when washing Merino wool?

No, it's best to avoid using fabric softener when washing Merino wool as it can leave a residue on the fibers and affect their natural properties, such as moisture-wicking and odor resistance.

How should I store Merino wool clothing?

Store Merino wool clothing in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and damage. It's also a good idea to fold garments neatly rather than hanging them to maintain their shape.

Can I use bleach on Merino wool?

No, bleach should never be used on Merino wool as it can damage the fibers and cause them to weaken and break down. Instead, opt for gentle, wool-safe detergents when laundering Merino wool items.

What should I do if my Merino wool garment shrinks?

If your Merino wool garment shrinks in the wash, you may be able to gently stretch it back into shape while it's damp. Lay the garment flat on a clean towel, gently reshape it to its original dimensions, and allow it to air dry completely.

How do I remove stains from Merino wool clothing?

For minor stains, spot cleaning with a mild detergent and cold water is usually sufficient. For tougher stains, you can try soaking the garment in a mixture of cold water and gentle detergent before laundering as usual. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the stain, as this can damage the fibers.