Does Merino Wool Shrink?

Merino wool is naturally made from merino sheep that are typically made from natural products. Moreover, the capacity of merino wool keeps your feet from moisture and prevents them from having a smell. Other than that, merino wool does not shrink.

Merino wool does not shrink because of the production process and its natural stretchy feature. The method of carding interlocks the fibers to protect against shrinking. Though merino wool has a natural unshrinking capacity, it may shrink when washed with hot water or extreme temperatures. 

Moreover, merino wool has natural elastic fibers that bounce back to its natural form even when stretching to 20% of its length. Merino wool can also extend 30% percent of its size without breaking. 

This only means that if the product you are wearing is made from merino wool, you can guarantee that the material is less stretched, and if your socks are made from merino wool, you can ensure that they will retain their shape, though you wear it multiple times.

Darn Tough Hike-Trek Merino Wool Micro Crew Cushion Sock (Pair) - L Olive

Darn Tough Merino Wool Socks
Check Price & Availability...
Amazon vs. DarnTough

As a side note, I'd like to provide you details of websites that have fantastic selections of Authentic Merino Wool Clothing... (from socks to pants, shirts, and cardigans/sweaters) I can't rate one higher than the other. They each have a fantastic story and all offer top quality and good value merino wool apparel.

How to Safely Wash Merino Wool?

Merino wool is hand washed mainly, but it can also be machine washed with less detergent and fabric softener. Merino socks are stink and dirt-resistant. It is discouraged to use detergent and fabric softener since it affects the lanolin in the merino wool, destroying its natural wicking capacity.

Minus33 Merino Wool 903 Day Hiker Sock Olive Green Large

Minus33 Merino Wool Socks
Check Price & Availability...
Amazon vs. Zappos

Let's face the fact that no one likes washing, so merino wool is not only good when worn, but you don't need to keep washing it from time to time. In fact, you can repeatedly use merino wool socks without a stinky smell.

Moreover, it has an anti-bacterial component, so you don't need to worry about wearing it multiple times. When required to be washed, just follow the simple steps below. 

How to Safely Wash Wool Socks in the Washing Machine?

Merino wool is washable wool and can withstand machine wash. However, you need to machine wash it on a delicate level to avoid destroying the merino fibers. 

Moreover, there are merino wool socks blended with some fabrics like spandex and rayon that are not suited for machine washing. For a step by step machine wash instructions for your merino wool socks, consider reading the steps below. 

  1. Turn the merino wool socks inside out. 
  2. Set the washing machine into the wool wash cycle or gentle wash cycle. 
  3. It is best advised to use cold water since warm water is not advisable for wool.
  4. In washing, use a mild detergent and avoid using fabric softener since it destroys the wool's natural fibers,which is responsible for making it versatile in all weather conditions. 
  5. Allow to air dry or tumble dry on low. If you want to dry your socks using a dryer, consider using dryer sheets to avoid static. If you prefer air drying, you may lay it flat or hang it. 

FALKE Women's Sensitive Berlin Diabetic Socks, Merino Wool and Cotton, Knee-High, Lightweight Soft Knit, Black (Black 3009), US 5-7.5 (EU 35-38 Ι UK 2.5-5), 1 Pair

Falke Knee-High Merino Wool Diabetic Socks
Check Price & Availability...
Amazon vs. Falke

How to Safely Hand-Wash Merino Wool Socks?

Handwashing is the best and safest method in washing merino wool socks. Since it is unlikely to have a stinky smell and is dirt resistant, you can gently scrub away the dirt using your hand. For a more detailed step-by-step process of handwashing your merino wool socks, keep on reading. 

  1. Put water in a large container or in the basin. 
  2. Add mild detergent powder to the water. 
  3. Soak it for about 15minutes.
  4. Gently loosen the dirt using your hand. 
  5. Thoroughly rinse the socks with cold water.
  6. You can hang it dry, or you can air dry the sock by laying it flat. 

Can Merino Wool Socks Be Washed?

You can mildly wash merino wool socks by hand or machine wash since they do not stink much and are dirt resistant. However, the more you clean the merino wool, the more it lessens its natural wicking capacity. The lanolin in the wool fibers can be affected by the detergent and fabric softener. 

When washing merino wool socks, it is best to know the proper ways to clean them since the merino fibers are special. 

The fibers make the socks moisture-wicking, versatile in all weather conditions, and durable; it is best to properly wash your merino socks well to avoid destroying their natural benefits.

How Often Should You Wash Merino Wool Socks?

You can wash merino wool anytime, depending on your comfort level, the number of usages, climate, and activity. So the washing time depends on you, but you can prolong the washing time to save energy and water and, of course, keep your effort if you don't like washing. 

However, you can wear merino wool for four days without the stinky smell. If laundry bothers you, you won't be annoyed washing merino wool socks since it is not necessary to wash them each after use. 

Moreover, it is unlikely to keep washing merino socks after every use since continuous washing will ruin its thermoregulation and moisture-wicking capacity. 

Can Merino Wool Go In The Dryer?

You cannot dry clean merino wool, but you can tumble dry merino wool without shrinking. Though dry cleaning may be the easiest, it is not recommended since it will destroy the natural fibers in the merino wool, and it might not last longer. Intense heat will wear out the fabrics in merino wool. 

Dry cleaning uses harmful chemicals that can result in fibers shrinking and may cause the merino wool not to be fitting enough. However, if you like to go with a dryer, you need to make sure that you read the suggested tag in the merino wool product. 

Icebreaker Merino Mens Mountaineer Mid-Calf Sock, Natural/Monsoon Heather, X-Large

Icebreaker Merino Wool Socks
Check Price & Availability...
Amazon vs. Icebreaker

Sometimes, merino wool is blended with other fabrics that may not suit dryings, like cashmere, rayon, and spandex. 

In drying the merino wool in a dryer, make sure to put it in the tumble dry on a low heat setting or turn it into a gentle or delicate setting. If you look at the tag and can't see tumble dry, you can flat dry your wool garment. Moreover, the solvents and dry cleaning detergents will degrade the wool fibers. 


Merino wool has natural fibers that wick away moisture, versatile in all weather conditions, and are durable. Though merino wool has an unshrinking capacity, you may not wash it using hot water to avoid shrinking. 

Instead, wash it with cold water. Avoid strong detergent since the chemicals may ruin the wool fibers. You can hand wash and machine wash merino wool socks. Hand washing is best recommended, but consider that you need to keep it in a low cycle if your machine washes merino socks.

Find what your were looking for?
Recent  Popular Articles
About Us
At PediDelight, we offer useful, time-saving information and some buying guides for online searchers and shoppers. 

We do research so that you don't have to. If you have a question about shoes or socks or anything related to your feet and we don't have an answer. Connect with us, so that we can provide the best resource for you!

We work hard to sift through thousands of product and brand websites, reach out to products and brands for answers that aren't available on their website. 

We read and collect honest product reviews and feedback so that we can be a one-stop shop for all the answers that you are looking for!

Pedi Delight!

We are all about feet.  Happy feet to be exact.  If you are looking for answers to questions about your foot joy, you've come to  the right place.

We talk about all things that cover your feet, like socks and shoes.  We answer all the questions you've ever asked related to your feet!
Visit Our Home Page

Affiliate Disclosure

PediDelight is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to 

We also participate in other affiliate programs which compensate us for referring traffic.

Shop For Birkenstocks
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram