How to Clean Filson Mackinaw Wool

If you’ve heard folks raving about Filson Mackinaw Wool, it’s not just hype. This wool is the real deal when it comes to top-tier, rugged outdoor gear. Produced from high-quality wool fibers, it’s been a go-to for adventure-seekers for years. What sets it apart? It’s super warm, impressively water-repellent, and built to last. Whether it’s a jacket or a vest, if it’s made of Filson Mackinaw Wool, you know you’re getting durability and performance rolled into one.

But here’s the kicker: Over the years, your cherished wool piece will likely face its fair share of dirt, sweat, and even the odd coffee spill or two. But don’t fret. Knowing how to care for this unique material properly can be a game-changer in keeping it looking and feeling like new for a long time.

If you’re a newcomer to the world of premium wool care, you’re in the right spot. This guide is a beginner-friendly playbook that takes you through the cleaning process for Filson Mackinaw Wool step by step. We’ll clue you in on the ‘Do’s and Don’ts,’ let you know what supplies you’ll need, and provide a comprehensive cleaning manual that’s simple to follow.

So, pull out your Filson Mackinaw Wool item and get ready to master the art of wool maintenance. You can read our review about Filson Mackinaw wool here and how it compares to competitor Stormy Kromer.

What Sets Filson Mackinaw Wool Apart

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of owning a Filson Mackinaw wool item, you know it’s in a league of its own when it comes to wool fabrics. Here’s why it’s special and why understanding these features is key to truly valuing what it brings to the table.

First off, let’s talk about its water-repellent nature. While standard wool is known for soaking up moisture like a sponge, Filson Mackinaw wool is naturally rich in oils that actively ward off water. This means you can sport it in a range of weather situations—be it a dewy morning or a light drizzle—without the worry of becoming waterlogged.

Next up is its durability. This isn’t just any wool; it’s built to endure the demands of an adventurous lifestyle—think hiking, angling, or camping trips. The fabric’s tightly knit fibers are remarkably resilient against everyday wear and tear, making it a favorite among those who aren’t exactly gentle on their clothes.

Now, the very features that make this wool extraordinary also make it a little finicky when it comes to cleaning. Those natural oils and the special way the fibers are woven mean you’ve got to be extra cautious about how you wash it. Run-of-the-mill detergents and common washing methods can strip those beneficial oils and weaken the fabric, affecting both its ability to repel water and its overall durability.

So, taking special care isn’t just a good idea—it’s non-negotiable. Having the right care in place will ensure that your Mackinaw wool retains its original excellence, making your investment worthwhile for years to come.

What You’ll Need: Tools & Supplies

Cleaning Filson Mackinaw wool doesn’t require a plethora of specialized tools, but having the right supplies on hand can make the process smoother and more effective. Here’s what you’ll need:

This blog post may contain affiliate links. If you click on these links and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

  1. Mild Wool Detergent: Look for a detergent specially formulated for wool.
    • Alternative: Baby shampoo can be a gentle substitute.
  2. Soft-Bristled Brush: For spot cleaning and removing surface dirt.
    • Alternative: An old toothbrush will do the trick.
  3. Large Sink or Basin: A clean area large enough to submerge your garment for soaking.
    • Alternative: Your bathtub can also serve this purpose.
  4. Cold to Lukewarm Water: For soaking and rinsing the wool.
  5. Clean, Dry Towels: For laying the garment flat to air dry.
  6. Mesh Laundry Bag: If you opt for machine-washing, a mesh bag will help protect the garment.
    • Alternative: A pillowcase tied at the top can be used instead.
  7. Wool Dryer Balls: If you must machine dry, these can help reduce static and speed up drying.
    • Alternative: A clean tennis ball wrapped in a sock can be a makeshift dryer ball.
  8. Lint Roller: To remove any loose fibers or lint post-washing.

Having the right tools makes cleaning your Filson Mackinaw wool garments a breeze, but as you can see, common household items can also serve as effective alternatives for specialized products.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Filson Mackinaw Wool

Taking proper care of your Filson Mackinaw wool garments ensures they’ll last for years, providing the same warmth, durability, and water-resistance you’ve come to love. Let’s dive into the step-by-step guide.


  1. Preparation

    Remove Loose Dirt: Gently shake the garment to remove any loose dirt or debris. A soft-bristled brush can also help you get rid of surface dirt.

  2. Spot Cleaning

    Prioritize treating any obvious stains or spots before submerging the garment for an overall wash. Look for any visible stains like food spills, mud, or oil. Dab a small amount of mild wool detergent or baby shampoo onto the stain and gently scrub with a soft-bristled brush or old toothbrush.

  3. Hand Washing

    Hand washing is the safest way to clean your Filson Mackinaw wool garment. Fill a large basin or sink with cold to lukewarm water. Add Detergent: Add a small amount of mild wool detergent or baby shampoo to the water and mix until it’s fully dissolved. Place your wool garment in the water and gently agitate it with your hands. Let the garment soak for about 20-30 minutes. Drain the soapy water and fill the basin with clean, cold water. Gently submerge the garment to rinse off the soap, repeating if necessary. Carefully lift the garment without wringing it. Press it between clean towels to remove excess water.

  4. Machine Washing (Optional)

    If you’re pressed for time, machine washing can be an option, but it’s riskier. Place the garment in a mesh laundry bag or tie it in a pillowcase. Use the gentle or wool cycle on your washing machine, making sure the water temperature is set to cold or lukewarm. Use mild wool detergent and avoid any fabric softener.

  5. Drying

    Drying your Filson Mackinaw wool properly is crucial to maintain its shape and quality. Lay the garment flat on a clean, dry towel away from direct sunlight or heat sources. If you absolutely must use a machine dryer, use the lowest heat setting and include wool dryer balls or a tennis ball wrapped in a sock to minimize static.

By following these steps, you’ll ensure that your Filson Mackinaw wool garments are not only clean but also remain in great condition for many more adventures to come.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Filson Mackinaw Wool Care

Caring for your Filson Mackinaw wool apparel doesn’t have to be a daunting task, but there are definitely some rules of thumb to follow and pitfalls to avoid. Here’s a breakdown of the do’s and don’ts to keep your garments in top shape.

The Do’s:

  1. Read the Care Label: Always consult the care label on your garment for any specific cleaning guidelines.
  2. Spot Clean: For minor stains or spills, consider spot cleaning with a mild soap to prevent overwashing the entire garment.
  3. Use Cold or Lukewarm Water: Wool fibers can shrink or become distorted in hot water. Stick to cold or lukewarm temperatures for washing.
  4. Mild Detergent: Use a wool-specific or gentle detergent. They are designed to clean wool without damaging the fibers.
  5. Air Dry: Whenever possible, air-dry your Filson Mackinaw wool items by laying them flat on a clean, dry towel to maintain their shape.

The Don’ts:

  1. Avoid Bleach: Never use bleach on Mackinaw wool. It will weaken the fibers and compromise the garment’s quality.
  2. No Hot Water: As mentioned, hot water can shrink and deform wool fibers, so avoid it at all costs.
  3. Skip the Fabric Softener: Fabric softeners can leave a residue that decreases the wool’s natural water-resistance.
  4. No Wringing: Wringing out woolen garments can distort their shape. Instead, gently press out excess water.
  5. Avoid Direct Heat and Sunlight: While drying, don’t place the garment near heaters or in direct sunlight, as this can cause fading or shrinkage.

By following these simple yet effective guidelines, you’ll avoid common mistakes that can drastically shorten the lifespan of your Filson Mackinaw wool garments. Trust us, a little bit of precaution goes a long way in keeping these special garments looking and feeling their best.

More Ways to Keep Your Filson Mackinaw Wool Looking Great

Taking good care of your Filson Mackinaw wool items isn’t just about cleaning; it’s about giving them the right kind of attention in other areas as well. Here are some more tips to ensure they stay as splendid as they are functional for years to come:

  1. Storing Smartly: Opt for a cool, dry space for storing your Mackinaw wool pieces. Garment bags are a good idea to shield them from dust and potential moth damage.
  2. Scent and Safety with Cedar: To keep moths at bay and maintain a fresh aroma, consider placing cedar blocks or sachets where you store your wool items.
  3. Regular Brushing: Make it a habit to gently brush your wool garments with a soft-bristle brush. This helps to eliminate surface debris and lint, making the fabric look fresh and eliminating any potential moth attractants.
  4. Wear Rotation: If you’re lucky enough to own more than one Mackinaw wool item, alternate between them. This helps to minimize constant stress and wear on any individual garment.
  5. Choose Steam Over Iron: If wrinkles happen—and they often do—go for a steamer instead of an iron. Steaming is gentler on the fabric and can ease out wrinkles without compromising the wool’s integrity.

By being diligent with these extra steps, you’re not just maintaining your Filson Mackinaw wool garments—you’re extending their life, ensuring they remain resilient, attractive, and functionally superior for the long haul.

Final Thoughts

Caring for your Filson Mackinaw wool items isn’t just about ticking off a to-do list; it’s a commitment to preserving their quality and longevity. Designed for both toughness and the ability to fend off the elements, these wool garments are more than just clothing—they’re your trusted allies in the great outdoors. But they do ask for special attention in return.

Whether you’re hand-washing or venturing to use a machine, adhering to the guidelines presented in this guide is crucial. Every phase—from pre-wash preparations to the final drying stage—is meticulously crafted to make sure your Mackinaw wool remains in pristine condition. Routine upkeep, encompassing everything from targeted cleaning to mindful storage, will extend the lifespan of these unique items, keeping them as robust and eye-catching as when you first got them.

So, don’t consider their upkeep a burden; view it as a privilege. A Filson Mackinaw wool item that’s well-cared-for will reward you with durability, comfort, and style for many years. Armed with this guide, you have all the knowledge you need to ensure your wool pieces retain their excellence for the long run.

FAQ about Filson Mackinaw Wool Care

Can I use regular detergent on Mackinaw wool?

Though you might be tempted to reach for regular detergent, doing so could be detrimental to your Filson Mackinaw wool items. Standard detergents often contain chemicals that are too abrasive for the delicate wool fibers, risking the removal of the natural oils that make the wool both water-resistant and soft to the touch. Over the long term, using ordinary detergent can erode the fabric’s quality, rendering it less resilient and more susceptible to wear and tear.
For optimal care, opt for a detergent that’s specifically designed for wool. These formulas are crafted to gently cleanse the fibers while maintaining their inherent properties. If a wool-friendly detergent isn’t readily available, a mild baby shampoo can also be a suitable substitute.
By choosing the appropriate cleaning agents, you’re not just cleaning your Mackinaw wool items—you’re investing in their longevity, ensuring they remain functional and aesthetically pleasing for the long haul.

How often should I wash my Mackinaw wool garment?

Filson Mackinaw wool is prized for its inherent toughness and natural ability to fend off both odors and stains. Because of these qualities, it doesn’t require as much laundering as some other fabrics. Overwashing can actually be counterproductive, stripping the material of its essential oils and thereby diminishing its long-term quality.
Here’s a quick guide to help you gauge when it’s time to wash your Mackinaw wool pieces:
Infrequent Use: If you’re only donning the garment now and then for brief intervals, a wash once or twice per season should suffice.
Regular, Light Wear: If the garment is a part of your regular rotation but isn’t exposed to activities that make you sweat or accumulate dirt, plan on washing it every 4 to 6 weeks.
Intensive Use: If you’re engaging in activities that are more demanding, like hiking or outdoor work, where the garment is likely to get dirty quickly, a wash every 2 to 4 weeks is recommended.
Spot-Cleaning: For isolated stains or minor odors, spot cleaning is often sufficient and less damaging than washing the whole item.
The Sniff Test: Since wool is naturally adept at moisture wicking and odor resistance, a smell check can be a good indicator. No scent? No need to wash just yet.
If in doubt, it’s generally better to wash less, not more. Instead, try airing out the item in an open space to rejuvenate it.
By paying attention to your garment’s specific needs and washing it only as needed, you’ll help to preserve the quality and extend the life of your Filson Mackinaw wool items.

What should I do if my garment gets soaked in rain?

If your Filson Mackinaw wool piece gets drenched in a downpour, there’s no need for alarm. The wool’s inherent water-repellency will serve you well, but proper aftercare is essential to keep the garment in optimal condition.
Avoid Wringing: Resist the urge to wring out the soaked garment, as it can harm the wool fibers and distort the shape of the piece.
Opt for Gentle Pressing: Instead, lightly press the garment to expel excess moisture. Another option is to lay it out on a clean, dry towel and roll it up to soak up additional water.
Dry Naturally: Unfurl the towel and place the garment on another dry towel or on a drying rack, ensuring it retains its original shape. Keep it away from direct heat sources, like heaters or sunlight, to prevent shrinkage or fading.
Flip Periodically: Turn the garment over occasionally to facilitate even drying.
Ensure Good Airflow: Dry the garment in an area with good ventilation to speed up the process and help dispel any residual odors.
Inspect for Residual Stains: Rainwater may carry impurities that could stain the wool. Examine the garment for any such marks and spot-clean them as needed.
Storage Considerations: Store the garment only when it’s thoroughly dry to fend off mildew.
Smell Check: Finally, do a quick sniff test on the fully dried garment. If odors persist, you might need to wash the garment, keeping in mind the care guidelines mentioned earlier.
By adhering to these care steps, you’ll ensure your Mackinaw wool item bounces back nicely from its wet-weather experience, remaining in excellent shape for more adventures ahead.


Stan is an adventure enthusiast with a love for the outdoors and American heritage brands like Red Wing and Filson. With a background in environmental science, Stan combines his outdoor experiences with a commitment to sustainability. His reviews go beyond functionality, exploring the brand ethos and craftsmanship. Stan inspires readers to choose gear that's durable, environmentally responsible, and true to American craftsmanship, making his advice indispensable for outdoor aficionados.

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *