Why Doesn’t Merino Wool Smell? Plus, 3 Fail-proof Tips to Keep Merino Wool Odorless

Why doesn’t Merino wool smell? This common question arises because when worn next to the skin, most natural fibers, like cotton, linen, and silk, tend to develop an unpleasant odor. But Merino wool tells a different story.

Merino wool doesn’t smell because it can wick away moisture, which helps prevent bacterial build-up that causes foot odor. The fibers in this wool absorb moisture and evaporate it from deep within the structure of the fabric. This inhibits bacteria from forming so your feet don’t stink.

Merino is the new way to go if you don’t like smelly feet. Not only will your feet stay confident and clean, but they’ll also be protected from blisters and irritations. I’ve got more to tell you. Keep reading.

Tips to Get the Smell out of Merino

Merino wool is a soft, luxurious natural fiber that is naturally odor and wrinkle-resistant. It is softer to the touch than silk and warmer than cashmere. The most critical aspect of Merino is that it feels great on your skin and can be worn for days without any odor.

Four days is about all you can go without washing Merino, though. After that, it will start to smell. Here are some tips on how to get the smell of Merino out of your clothes:

Regular Washing

If you find that your Merino wool is beginning to smell, don’t despair. It may be a simple case of washing the item in the machine or hand washing it in cool water with mild detergent. Before washing your Merino wool, check the tag and read the instructions. The most common tips are as follows:

  1. Turn the Merino wool clothing inside out.
  2. In order to keep the Merino wool soft and fluffy, hand wash it in warm water.
  3. To avoid shrinkage, never dip Merino wool in hot water.
  4. When washing wool clothing, use mild soap and a fabric softener sparingly. Soap and fabric softeners destroy the wool fibers and make them less effective at wicking moisture and regulating body temperature.
  5. Tumble-drying the wool is okay, but air-drying is better for the environment and will extend the product’s lifespan.
  6. When drying a merino wool garment, lay it flat on a table rather than hanging it from a clothesline to avoid distorting its natural shape. And if you choose to use a dryer, be sure to select the low heat setting.

Use Vinegar

Merino wool can smell like burnt toast when you wash it. This is usually the result of washing it with hot water or hanging it in a smoky environment. The good news is that you can get rid of the odor quickly by washing Merino wool clothes with cold water and vinegar, as well as hanging them out to dry in the fresh air.

Here’s how to get the smell out of your Merino wool using vinegar:

  1. Fill a sink or bucket with clean, cold water. Not cold, but at room temperature.
  2. Wash the wool by hand with a mild detergent.
  3. Once you have finished washing the Merino wool, rinse it with plain water.
  4. Drain the used water from the tub.
  5. Fill the container with 50% water and 50% vinegar.
  6. Rinse your Merino wool in the vinegar-water solution.
  7. Gently wring water out of the woolen article.
  8. To avoid wrinkling the Merino wool, hang or lay it flat to dry on a towel.
  9. When your Merino wool is dry, please don’t put it away in your drawers immediately. Instead, leave it out for a few days to allow it to absorb any vinegar that might have been applied.

Dry Method

There is another way to eliminate the burnt smell in your Merino wool. This method is called the dry method of odor removal.

What you’ll need:

  • Deodorizers: you can choose among baking soda, plain charcoal briquettes, white vinegar, and coffee grounds.
  • A container, e.g., a cooler, a box, or a cabinet.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to remove burnt smells from Merino wool using the dry method.

  1. First, choose a deodorizer, be it baking soda, plain charcoal briquettes, white vinegar, or coffee grounds. Coffee grounds are the most effective at neutralizing odors, but you should be aware that after using them, your Merino wool may smell like your favorite café.
  2. Select your preferred container. A cooler, box, or cabinet will suffice.
  3. Place the wool as flatly as possible on the bottom of the container.
  4. The next step is to put a bowl of deodorizer inside the container, close it and let it sit for several hours or overnight.
  5. Repeat the steps listed above until the smell is gone.

Can You Use Febreze on Merino Wool?

Merino wool is an excellent choice of material for many reasons, including its softness and warmth. However, these properties can also make it a target for odors. Luckily, there’s a way to deodorize your Merino wool while still keeping it fresh and clean smelling: Febreze Fabric Refresher.

You can recharge your Merino wool with Febreze Fabric Refresher by simply misting it in an open space, using either a spray bottle or a steam cleaner. The product contains two powerful ingredients—water and alcohol—that act together to restore your Merino wool to its signature lovely scent.

Why Does Merino Wool Smell After Washing?

Merino wool is sometimes associated with a bad smell after washing. The smell is commonly compared to a wet dog, burned hair, or a perm. These smells are caused by the lanolin inside the wool reacting to water, heat, and air. While this is normal for the material, it can be avoided by following special care instructions.

Lanolin is the natural substance that makes Merino wool wicking, stain-resistant, soft to the touch, elastic, and resistant to odor and bacteria. The more you wash Merino wool, the more likely it is to smell when wet because washing dissipates lanolin.

Final Thoughts: Why Doesn’t Merino wool smell?

Merino wool is easily one of the most durable natural fibers known to man. It can withstand being pulled, stretched, frozen, or boiled without losing shape or performance capabilities. However, Merino wool tends to have a unique odor when wet.

While lanolin naturally found in wool helps make it so durable, it also causes said wool to smell if you don’t wash it for a few days. Thankfully, this smell will go away entirely if you decide to wash your Merino wool just once or twice more.

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