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.

01

Turn your socks and clothing inside out.

02

Machine wash on gentle cycle in warm or cool water.

03

Use mild soap. Never wash with bleach or fabric softener. 

04

Lay your wool clothes flat to dry and retain its shape. If you prefer the dryer, tumble dry on low.

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.

Learn More

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™ care instructions. 

With fewer seams and an articulated performance fit, our Intraknit™ Merino wool 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.

  • Do's
  • Don'ts
  • Hand wash in cool or lukewarm water with mild detergent. If machine-washing, use a gentle cycle.
  • Machine wash in hot water with bleach or fabric softeners
  • Turn socks and garments inside out and separate by color
  • Overload the washing machine
  • Rinse thoroughly and air dry flat
  • Wring out or twist the socks, or toss in the dryer
  • Reshape socks while drying to prevent stretching
  • Never dry clean Merino wool socks or apparel
  • Store clean and dry to prevent mildew and odors
  • Avoid drying in direct sunlight to protect fibers
  • Do's
  • Hand wash in cool or lukewarm water with mild detergent. If machine-washing, use a gentle cycle.
  • Turn socks and garments inside out and separate by color
  • Rinse thoroughly and air dry flat
  • Reshape socks while drying to prevent stretching
  • Store clean and dry to prevent mildew and odors
  • Don'ts
  • Machine wash in hot water with bleach or fabric softeners
  • Overload the washing machine
  • Wring out or twist the socks, or toss in the dryer
  • Never dry clean Merino wool socks or apparel
  • Avoid drying in direct sunlight to protect fibers

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.

What if I get a hole in my sock?

If you do get a hole or aren’t completely satisfied with your Smartwool® socks in the first two years, we offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee; see link for details. 

You can also send us your unwanted socks (clean pairs only, please!) and we’ll recycle them to turn them into a fresh new pair. Learn more about our sustainability efforts with the Second Cut Project.

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.

What about products with built-in DWR?

Some of our jackets and vests contain a DWR (durable water repellent) finish that works great to help keep you dry. An accumulation of dirt and oil over time may reduce the effectiveness of DWR, making it less water-repellent. But occasional washing will help keep your DWR working efficiently. Repeated washing can eventually wash off the DWR treatment and it may need to be reapplied after a certain number of wears and washes.