We’re hard on our scarves.  Not only are they directly in line of our coughs and sneezes, but they are touched, tossed, and dropped on the floor all the time.

Washing weekly or every 3-5 wearings is the simple solution.  Plus it really doesn’t take that long- less than 10 minutes.

First, check tags for washing instructions.  Here are some common symbols you may see:

Or if you are like me and you have cut the tags out of your scarf, rest assured that most are hand washable.

100% silk scarves will need to be dry cleaned.  Most tags on cashmere scarves will also say dry clean only.

Wool, pashmina, cotton, linen, polyester, acrylic, viscose, and rayon scarves can all be hand washed with a gentle detergent.  Some polyester and cotton scarves are machine washable but I’m always afraid they will tear or get too misshapen so I hand wash mine.  

I typically wash my scarves in cold water to prevent shrinking.  This is especially important with scarves made of natural fibers like cotton or wool.

For detergent I use Woolite, or if we’re out, Dawn dish soap or a few drops of shampoo will work too.

How to hand wash a scarf

  • Add detergent-Woolite suggests a 1/8 cup per sink full- then fill sink with cool water.
  • Let soak 2-3 minutes
  • Swish scarf in the water with your hands then rinse with cool water
  • Gently squeeze out excess water

  • Roll a bath towel and place your wet scarf on the end.
  • Roll it up using a quarter of your scarf and squeeze gently to remove water.
  • Unroll and move scarf to the next dry quarter.  Reroll to remove more water

  • Use the dry half of your towel and lay scarf flat to dry.