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How to Get the Itch Out of Wool

by S.R. Becker, studioD

Wool comes from the coat of an animal, typically a sheep. Some types of wool are softer than others -- for example, those with a wool sensitivity might find that merino and lambswool don't irritate their skin as much. Coarse wool with a short staple, or fiber length, often causes more itching. If you're suffering through the itch to wear a garment you love, soaking the garment with conditioning agents reduces the discomfort you experience.

Step 1

Fill a sink with lukewarm water and add a capful of moisturizing, silicone-free shampoo. Swish the water to mix in the shampoo. Add the garment to the water and gently squeeze the suds through. Let the garment soak for 30 minutes.

Step 2

Drain the sudsy water and rinse the garment under lukewarm running water. Squeeze gently to get the shampoo out.

Step 3

Refill the sink and add 1 capful of silicone-free hair conditioner. Soak the garment for another hour and rinse again as you did in step 2.

Step 4

Fill the sink with lukewarm water a final time and add 2 tablespoons of liquid glycerin. Soak the garment for another 30 minutes. Do not rinse.

Step 5

Squeeze the water out of the garment by pressing it against the bottom of the sink. Roll it in a large bath towel to absorb any remaining water. Lay it flat on a drying rack or another towel and allow it to air-dry.


  • Silicones are synthetic oils whose names end in -cone or -conol, such as dimethicone, dimethiconol and cyclomethicone. Just as they can build up on human hair, they can build up in the fibers of clothing.


  • Do not twist or wring wool garments when washing, as this can cause them to stretch out of shape.
  • Never wash a 100-percent wool sweater in hot water, as this can cause it to shrink.

About the Author

S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.

Photo Credits

  • David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images