Protect your wool base layers with Nikwax Wool Wash

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Base layers are essential kit for most outdoor activities, and for those activities undertaken in cold conditions, merino wool base layers are the choice for most.

Merino wool is used for technical base layers as the fabric is excellent at helping to regulate your body temperature during exercise, to provide insulation in the cold or to keep you cool in the heat. It also has the added benefits of reducing the build-up of odours from dirt and sweat, maintaining breathability by absorbing excess moisture, and is soft and comfortable against the skin.

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However, merino wool is a very delicate fabric, which needs to be cared for appropriately. Damage, such as holes in the garments, can occur through wear (catching the item against an object and snagging it) or from wool moths that are drawn to natural fibres, specifically wool. Additionally, washing incorrectly in detergent containing enzymes can damage wool’s delicate structure, reducing the performance of your base layers.

Enzymes found in detergents include protease which removes protein stains (such as egg) and lipase to remove grease stains. These break down and remove such particles on clothing during the wash cycle, returning garments back to a freshly laundered appearance.

So how can these enzymes damage merino wool? Well, wool contains proteins, so the enzymes in normal detergent will attack the wool fibres, as they would food stains. The damage may not appear instantly but after a number of washes you could find small holes appearing within your garments. Many people attribute such damage to the washing machine, rather than realising it’s actually caused by the cleaning product.

Wool base layers are highly wicking (they spread moisture out over a large area), helping to keep your body at an optimum temperature, whilst preventing odours from building up in the fabric. Detergents impair these wicking properties, reducing their performance.

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To ensure you can maintain the high performance of your wool base layers and the longevity of your garment, it must be washed in a specialist product. Nikwax Wool Wash outperforms detergents when cleaning merino wool. There are no enzymes in Wool Wash to destroy the fibres, plus its specifically designed water-based formulation makes it environmentally friendly too.

Easy to use in a washing machine or by hand, Wool Wash cleans and conditions your merino wool base layers, whilst reviving the natural wicking properties of the fabric and preventing the build-up of odours. Your wool base layers will remain soft and you will stay comfortable, whatever your activity and the outside temperature!

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