How to Wash a Scarf

how to wash a scarf



When you invest in a good scarf – or find a favorite scarf
that you love – you must properly care for it to get
many years of good use from it.

Keeping your scarf clean is one way to prolong its life. If
your scarf has special washing instructions on the label, be
sure to always follow them.

If the label says the scarf is machine washable, it’s most
likely safe to use the washing machine, though hand
washing is always better for the fabric.

Even if a scarf’s label says you can use a dryer, remember
that air drying is a much more gentle method.


How to hand wash your scarf in nine easy steps:

  1. Fill a sink or large bowl with cool water.
  2. Add a small amount of mild detergent to the water and create suds.
  3. Submerge your scarf fully in the water. Knead and squeeze it through the suds until it’s totally wet.
  4. Let the scarf sit in the water for around 15 minutes.
  5. Drain or pour out the water.
  6. Rinse your scarf by holding it under cool tap water. Squeeze and run it under the faucet until the water runs clear through the scarf and there are no suds left.
  7. Squeeze water out of your scarf – be gentle! Don’t wring the fabric too hard.
  8. Lay your scarf on a towel and roll the towel; this will eliminate a good amount of dampness so it can dry.
  9. Unroll the towel and lay your scarf on a dry towel to completely dry. Never hang a scarf to dry – this could damage its fibers!


Silk is a delicate and expensive fabric that is prone to snagging, and its dye will bleed in water. To avoid damaging your silk scarf, never clean it in a washing machine. Instead, follow these easy instructions.



washing scarves






Add a few drops of
soap to lukewarm
water. Adding a
small amount of
table salt will
help prevent dye from running.
Swish the scarf
around for about
five minutes.
Gently knead and
rub the scarf in
the water.
Rinse the scarf
under cool and
clean water until
the water runs clear.
Fill the sink or container
with cool water and
add a small amount
of distilled white vinegar. Submerge
the scarf.
This will remove soap residue and keep the
silk shiny.
Rinse the scarf under cool, clean water until all soap and vinegar is removed.


taking care of scarves










Squeeze out excess
water gently. Do not
wring the fabric –
this will damage the
silk’s fibers!
Dry your scarf by
laying it flat between
two towels. Don’t let
layers of a colorful
scarf touch; this could
lead to dye transfer.
Remove wrinkles while
the scarf is still wet
by using an iron on
a low setting. Lay the
scarf flat to dry.



Want more tips on how to wear and care for scarves? Download our free eBook, All Tied Up!






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  • Reply Tesettür Giyim December 31, 2015 at 4:47 am

    Thank you for posting the instructions for cleaning a silk scarf.

  • Reply Nicole December 27, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    So I washed my two scarves and threw them in the dryer not even thinking, then they came out all stuck so I threw them in to see if I could reverse it. When that didn’t work I washed it again and hung it to dry. Then I saw your post and tried your instructions and it seems to be a little better but it’s still sticking together. I know everything I did before I actually looked at the instructions doesn’t help at all but do you have any suggestions on what else to do?

    • Reply Brianna January 24, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      Wash it in a sink with cold water and lots of ( trust me ) cheap Hair Conditioner! Then hang dry it but do not let any parts stick together till completely dry. It’s the Only thing that works.

      • Reply amber February 13, 2016 at 6:40 am

        thanks so much Brianna, i tried this hair conditioner thing and my silk/wool scarf that came out of the washing machine looking like a curled up rag is 70% back to how it was. can only blame myself for not reading the washing instructions!

  • Reply Barbara Pagani December 19, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Hello! Okay so I need help I am collecting scarfs I have about 18 and I need to clean some remove fuzzy balls and stuff but I don’t know what type of fabric they are made out of and Im scared because I don’t know how to wash them please please help I want to learn how to wash each of them and sort them out by fabric and knowing the type of fabric of each

    • Reply Barbara December 24, 2014 at 8:12 am

      i can’t see the rest of the response i don’t know why can you just email me?

  • Reply Julia November 4, 2014 at 1:33 am

    I would like to use a washing machine for better result by using a detergent with a vinegar for better result to avoid the efforts in the hand wash.

  • Reply Marilee Lake June 1, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    I received a silk scarf from my uncle approximately 60 yrs ago….I have never worn the scarf. It has been in a cedar chest since that time, as my mother would not let me wear it as a child and as an adult I didn’t want to ruin it. I am looking to hang it on the wall and it needs to be cleaned before I frame it and need to know if your instructions to clean it (since it is 60 years old) are safe for the age of the silk to use. Thank you. I will not do anything until I receive a response from you via email. Thank you for posting the instructions for cleaning a silk scarf.

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