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One of the benefits of wool is that it naturally resists odors, which means it doesn’t need to be washed as regularly as other fabric types.  However, if you spill your morning coffee, sauce, or wine or your wool sweater, or somehow get a grass stain or ink mark on it, you’ll want to know the best way to safely remove the stain.  Learning how to get stains out of wool properly can be the difference between preserving your favorite wool items or ruining them.  So, keep reading if you’re ready to discover the best methods to remove stains from wool!

Removing Stains from Wool

Before we share how to get a stain out of wool garments, blankets, and other textiles, it is important to note that not all stains are the same.  Grease and oil stains, for example, have very different properties than red wine stains.  This means that the type of stain will impact the best removal method; there is no one-size-fits-all approach for removing stains on wool.

Fear not; we’ve put together step-by-step instructions to help you tackle some of the most common stain types and remove them properly from your wool garments.  Before we get started, it is important to note that wool is different from other fabric types; so your tried-and-true technique for removing stains from synthetic fabrics or cotton may not be suitable for wool fabrics.  You want to take care to avoid damaging your favorite items, so follow our suggestions to safely remove stain from wool items.

Removing Black Coffee Stains

  • If black coffee spills on one of your wool items, you should try to rinse it out immediately.  This will dilute the coffee and may remove a lot of the stain from the wool.
  • If you’re unable to rinse the stain right away, and it has already dried, combine 1 cup of tepid water with ½ teaspoon of baking soda.  Use a lint-free cloth and soak it in the solution for a moment.  Then, use the soaked cloth to dab at the stain to release it from the wool.  Follow-up with an absorbent cloth to pull the stain and solution out of the garment.
  • If either of these techniques do not fully remove the stain, then mix together 1 part cold water with 3 parts rubbing alcohol or surgical spirit.  Apply the solution to the stain and use an absorbent cloth to gently press on the stained area.
  • You may need to repeat some of the steps above to fully remove the stain from the item.
  • Once the stain has been removed, rinse any remaining solution off of it and hand-wash the garment using a wool-safe detergent.

Removing Milk, Tea, White Coffee, and Chocolate Stains

  • Dilute a wool-safe detergent with some tepid water and soak a lint-free cloth in the solution.
  • Use the soaked cloth to gently dab the edges of the stain.
  • Use an absorbent cloth to blot up the excess liquid and stain.
  • Sometimes, there may still be a bit of an oily stain left on the wool.  If this is the case, soak a lint-free cloth in white spirit and dab the cloth gently around the edges of the stain.  Use a clean absorbent cloth to remove the excess solvent and allow the area to fully dry.
  • After the area has dried, hand-wash the garment with a wool-safe detergent.

Removing Red Wine, Fruit Juice, and Fruit Stains

  • Use cold water to remove any excess liquid.
  • Dilute a wool-safe detergent with tepid water and apply the solution to the stain.
  • Dab around the edges of the stain using a lint-free cloth soaked in the detergent solution.
  • If this does not fully remove the stain, mix 1 part cold water with 3 parts rubbing alcohol or surgical spirit.  Dab the stain using the solution, and blot it with an absorbent cloth to remove excess liquid.
  • Rinse the area to remove any remaining solution, and hand-wash the item using a wool-safe detergent.

Removing Alcoholic Drink Stains

  • Use a lint-free cloth to dab the stain and remove excess liquid.
  • Mix equal parts warm water and rubbing alcohol or surgical spirit.
  • Gently dab the area using a lint-free cloth soaked in the mixture.
  • Rinse the stained area to remove the solution.
  • Hand-wash the item with a wool-safe detergent.

Removing Grease, Butter, and Sauce Stains

  • Use a blunt knife to carefully scrap any excess oil or debris off of the stain.  
  • Cover the surface of the stain using baking soda or cornstarch and allow it to sit on the stain for at least one hour.
  • Brush the baking soda or cornstarch off.  If the stain still remains, place more baking soda or cornstarch over the stain again.
  • After an hour, if the stain is still there, mix a little bit of vinegar with cool, sudsy water. 
  • Soak a lint-free towel in the solution and dab the stain.
  • Blot the stain dry using an absorbent cloth.
  • Hand-wash the item using a wool-safe detergent.

Removing Egg and Milk Stains

  • Combine 1 cup of tepid water with ½ teaspoon of salt.  
  • Soak a lint-free cloth in the solution, and use it to dab the stain.
  • If this doesn’t fully remove the stain, combine 1 cup of warm water and 1 teaspoon of biological detergent.
  • Apply the solution to the stain and allow it to sit for 15 minutes.  
  • Rinse the area well.
  • Soak a lint-free cloth in diluted white vinegar and place it over the stain to sit for 15 minutes.  This will neutralize the biological detergent.
  • Hand-wash the item using a wool-safe detergent.

Removing Makeup and Shoe Polish Stains

  • Soak a lint-free cloth in white spirit.
  • Gently dab the edges of the stain.
  • Use an absorbent cloth to soak up the solvent and stain.
  • Let the area dry fully.
  • Hand-wash the item with a wool-safe detergent.

Removing Ink and Ballpoint Pen Stains

  • For water-based ink pen stains, dilute a wool-safe detergent with some water.  
  • Soak a lint-free cloth in the detergent and dab the edges of the stain.
  • Use an absorbent cloth to remove the excess solvent from the stain.
  • For ball-point pen stains, soak a lint-free cloth in rubbing alcohol or surgical spirit and use it to dab the edges of the stain.
  • Remove any excess liquid from the stain using an absorbent cloth.
  • After removing the ink or ballpoint stain from the wool item, do not allow the garment to dry.  Hand-wash it immediately using a wool-safe detergent.

Removing Blood Stains

  • Immediately remove any excess blood from the garment by blotting the stain with an absorbent towel.
  • Soak a lint-free cloth in white vinegar (undiluted), and use it to dab the area.
  • Soak a lint-free cloth in cold water, and use it to dab the area.
  • Hand-wash the item with a wool-safe detergent. 

Removing Grass Stains

  • Apply a mild tablet soap over the stain.
  • Soak a lint-free cloth in rubbing alcohol or surgical spirit and use it to dab the stained area.
  • Hand-wash the item using a wool-safe detergent.

Final Word

Do you feel a little less intimidated by that stain on your wool sweater or blanket now?  Hopefully the tips we shared have helped you learn proper stain removal techniques to keep your wool items looking their best and ready to be worn or used again!