How to Care for your Ibex Merino Wool: Troubleshoot Edition

Ibex Merino wool under normal circumstances is ridiculously easy to care for. Hang it out in the sunshine for normal “airing out” needs. Toss it in the washer with a gentle soap or mild detergent when you’ve put in some serious sweat-time. Then you lay it flat to dry. Done.

If only life were as easy as Ibex Merino wool laundry. (If I had a nickel for every time I’d said that…)

We drink wine; we have babies; we mountain bike; we cook; we roll around in the grass while playing keep-away with the dog. We spill the wine; the baby’s diaper leaks; we fall and bleed; the once-blissful scent of bacon has now taken permanent and unwanted residence in our clothes; the dog wins. We wouldn’t want it any other way.

After a full day of living – however you go about it – here are some troubleshooting tips to keep your Ibex Merino wool clothes in as good of shape as your psyche.

That Rioja is so good you share it with your sweater: Time is of the essence when you spill a rich-colored beverage (red wine, grape juice, whatever your bent). Mix three parts rubbing alcohol (a.k.a. surgical spirit) to one-part water and dab the stain gently with a clean cloth. Repeat for what will seem like an eternity, but will be worth it in the end.

Your bundle of joy (of the human or canine variety) peed on you. First, take a moment to remind yourself that they were probably just really excited to see you. Then, act fast. Blot with a dry sponge or absorbent cloth until you’ve soaked up the urine. Switch out for a clean cloth and dab gently with undiluted vinegar. No, this is not going to smell good, but keep an eye on the odor-free, long-term prize. Dab until your satisfied the urine is gone – in presence and scent – rinse with cold water, and launder as normal.

Camping was great other than that last-day rainstorm. You threw everything into the car in a hurry, only to find a sopping, stinking, mildewy Woolie base layer at the bottom of your pack five days later. Before you wash your Woolie, spray it liberally with lemon juice (from a spray bottle for even application). When the garment is lemony damp all over, shake on lots of salt. Do not be tempted to add tequila; this will not solve your problem. Gently rub in the salt, without being too vigorous. Let it sit for a while, rinse with clean water, wash as normal.

You’ve been down the “moth-road” before with wool. It was washboard, unpleasant, and expensive. Don’t be that guy. It’s fall and you’ve had a fantastic year of cycling, made even better by the (re)discovery of wool jerseys and shorts. Now is the time to put them away…properly…for their long winter’s rest. After the last ride of the season, while you’re still wearing your kit, give yourself a brush outside. As gross as it sounds, gently brushing your wool kit will knock off any insects you’ve picked up on ride. Here’s the non-negotiable: WASH your wool gear before you store it. Wash as directed and allow to dry thoroughly.

Next, fold them nicely and pack ‘em up in an airtight container, big Ziploc bags, or those vacuum-sealed garment bags you can pick up at the drugstore. The airtight element is critical. Bonus points if you can then store the boxes or bags in a cold (under 40˚ F), dry place like an unheated garage.

For more tips, check out “Caring for Merino Wool” on the Ibex website.

Common sense tip: Always check the label for specific wash and care instructions, which may vary among different Ibex pieces.