If you have ever irretrievably felted a sweater, you know that heat + water + soap + agitation will cause wool to shrink, so I don’t recommend it for your felted items, unless you want to felt them even more!
Here’s what I do:
If a felted item gets dirty, first I try brushing off any dirt, and then spot clean with a damp cloth. It it gets wet, just reshape it and let it dry–felt has a memory and will retain that ahape when dry.
If it was trampled by wild unicorns into the mud, more serious cleaning will be needed:
- Fill a sink or bowl with barely warm water and add little mild shampoo or wool wash. Don’t use hot water, and don’t shift from hot to cold water, unless you want more shrinkage.
- Push the felt under the water and let it soak. DON’T wring it or twist it.
- Gently lift it out, and then fill a bowl with clean water at the same temperature, and let it soak again.
- Blot out excess water with a towel, then reshape and let it air dry.