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How to Wash a Military Wool Blanket Properly in 5 Steps?

Written by Everett Bledsoe / Fact checked by Brain Bartell

how to wash a military wool blanket

Wool blankets, even ones intended for military use, are delicate. So, it is very important that you are careful with how you wash them.

Although military blankets are often not made of 100% wool and are more durable, knowing how to wash a military wool blanket is still essential to avoid shortening its service life. In this guide, we will show you exactly how.

By the end, you should be able to safely wash and dry a wool blanket used in the military.

How to Wash a US Military Wool Blanket Without Shrinking It

What you will need to prepare:

  • Mild detergent (or white vinegar/clear club soda)
  • Clean microfiber cloth
  • Basin/large bucket
  • A clothesline
  • An electric fan (optional)

Step 1: Get rid of any surface filth on the blanket


Hold your wool blanket with each hand on either end. Give it a good shake to get rid of anything that is accumulating on it, like dust and dirt.

Alternatively, you can hang the sheet on a clothesline and pat it clean. Take the time to do this carefully. The more thorough you are in the step, the easier the later steps will be.

Step 2: Determine the stained spots


Now, identify all the stains on your wool blanket. Knowing their locations beforehand helps you save time and effort. Plus, it’ll ensure that there won’t be any unsightly blemishes left in the end.

Check the tag to see whether there are recommended cleaning solutions for pre-treating the stains. If there are, follow the suggestion. If there are none, use the ones in the step below.

Step 3: Make and apply a spot-treatment solution


When it comes to pre-treating wool blankets stains, you have three main options:

  • A combination of mild detergent and cold water to a ratio of 1:12 or 1:18.
  • ⅓ cup of white vinegar and ⅔ cup of cold water
  • ½ cup of clear club soda and ⅔ cup of cold water

Apply one of the previously mentioned mixtures to the stains on the blankets. Then, use a white microfiber cloth to gently dab on the dirty spots until they either disappear or fade considerably. If the cloth has colors, remember to test it first to see whether the fabric dye transfers.

Afterward, soak the blanket for 20–30 minutes in cold water mixed with a few drops of detergent. Never use hot water—it’ll shrink the wool.

Step 4: Wash the military wool blanket


When it comes to the actual cleaning process, you can choose to either wash the blanket by hand or put it in washing machines.

Option 1: Hand wash

Ideally, you should wash the wool blanket by hand to minimize the potential damage done to the delicate material. The good news is the majority of the process involves soaking the blanket in a basin for 20–30 minutes in cold water mixed with a few drops of detergent.

After half an hour, put your hand in the basin and gently swirl the blanket around. Should there still be any remaining stain left, lightly rub your hands against the fabric to get rid of the blemish. If it doesn’t go away, then chances are it’s a lost cause—don’t try to scrub the wool together, as it’ll do more harm than good.

Option 2: Machine wash

Put the blanket in the washing machine and launder it in a 3 to 5 minutes cycle. Then, set the machine to rinse mode. When everything is completed, you can head to the next step for drying.

Step 5: Air-dry the blanket


As soon as the washing cycle is finished, dry your wool blanket. Absorb as much moisture from it first with a white towel. You can use the towel to pat, blot, or roll over the blanket. But do not try to draw out moisture by wringing the blanket. This can cause damage to the wool.

Next, hang it on a clothesline where there is plenty of wind but no direct sun exposure to air-dry. You can also use an electric fan to speed up the process. However, refrain from applying high heat—you’ll surely shrink the fabric.

Wait until the wool blanket is completely dry before you use it again.

Note: You can also apply this process to clean woolen blankets in general. For example, to wash a Pendleton blanket, wash a vintage wool blanket, wash Mexican blankets, etc.

Tips for Proper Storage

When you are not using your wool blanket, you should store it away properly. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Never put the blanket under direct sunlight, as it can cause discoloring
  • Places with high moisture can damage and promote mold growth in wool blankets.
  • Dusty places may leave tough stains on your blankets.

Ways to Keep Your Military Wool Blanket Clean Without Washing It


#1 – Keep it Ventilated

Here, the idea is to keep your wool blanket regularly aerated. One quick and simple approach is to hang it on a clothesline. The fresh air will do the rest of the job.

If you do not have an outdoor space, you can hang it indoors with the windows opened or a fan.

#2 – Brush it Occasionally

Brushing your wool blanket is also a good upkeeping method. You just need a soft-bristled brush to get the job done.

Lay the blanket out on a flat surface and work in small sections – don’t forget to brush along the wool’s grains. This is also a chance for you to take note of any stains that require immediate spot treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Can I machine wash a wool Army blanket?

Typically, yes. You can clean wool blankets in the Army with a washing machine because they are made to be heavy-duty and durable. However, it is always a good idea to check the tag just in case before you throw the wool in a washing machine.

As pointed out, you should go for the gentle cycle setting and use a washing machine that does not have an aggressive central agitator.

In any case, it is best to skip fabric softeners and bleach. These can cause damage to the integrity of the wool.

Can you put a wool Army blanket in the dryer?

You should not put a wool blanket in the dryer. There is a high chance it is too hot for your blanket. The wool can be damaged, discolored, and even shrunk. So, it is best to air dry it.

How often should I clean my wool blanket?

It is alright to wash your wool blanket once every three months, and this applies to the military as well as civilian ones. For instance, if you were to clean Pendleton wool blankets, then sticking to a one-every-three-month schedule will suffice.

However, if you have spilled something on it or stained it, you want to wash it as soon as you can before it settles deeply. In this case, spot treatment will be enough.


Washing a military wool blanket is not as daunting as it seems. You just need the right materials and the right steps, and we listed both for you above. Simply apply what you have read to get the job done.

You can bookmark this “How to wash a military wool blanket?” guide for future reference. If you have other questions, leave them in the comments below. We will surely get back to you!

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