Doing laundry often enough to make sure you always have clean underwear and socks around can be a challenge unto itself. But, while we hate to pry, how long has it been since you’ve washed your winter scarves? Without a show of hands, we’ll just say this: It can be kind of easy to let an accessory fall by the wayside, especially when it’s one you only wear seasonally. But we called in a couple experts who gave us some simple tricks of the trade for how and how often we should be washing our favorite pieces to get wrapped up in.
Corinna and Theresa Williams are the sisters and women behind Celsious, an environmentally sound laundry mat in Williamsburg. Not only has the pair broken the mold with a chic, bright location to safely and consciously wash your clothes—while hanging out and sipping on a latte, to add—but they’re also experts when it comes to getting clothes clean. Ahead we broke down their must-know tips for washing your winter scarves and the number one drying do that’ll change your laundry routine for good.
Rule of 5
For starters, we asked Corinna and Theresa flat out: How often should we be washing our scarves? “Definitely more often than most of us do!” they replied. “Think about it: Our winter scarves are not only exposed to harsh elements but makeup, perspiration, and your body’s natural oils. You should consider a wash at least every five wears.”
“If we’re talking wool and cashmere scarves, unless you have a washer with a specialty wool setting at home, the washing action and spin of a regular wash cycle could damage the delicate natural fibers of your favorite scarf,” the sisters tells us regarding which scarves are safe to throw in the machine and which are not. “Washing by hand at home is a viable alternative. All you’ll need is a small tub or a sink with a stopper, so you can fully submerge the scarf and a natural liquid detergent for wool.”
Style du Monde
It’s important to read the care labels on your scarves before you wash them, and you should also be familiar with its material composition. “Washing wool in warm or–laundry gods forbid!–hot water can lead to shrinkage and felting,” warns Corinna and Theresa.
It’s not just scarf washing that deserves proper attention—it’s also what follows. “After rinsing, always squeeze out the majority of water between two clean towels, and then dry flat (never hang!) on a third dry towel–instead of wringing the scarf dry,” says Corinna and Theresa. “The wool fibers are most vulnerable when they’re saturated with moisture (exactly like you are not supposed to brush your own hair while it’s still wet).”
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Know Your Ingredients
As ecofriendly practices are a huge part of Celsious, its founders have some strong advice on how to choose a detergent. “Many conventional detergents contain enzymes that break down food and other organic stains. Since wool is a protein fiber, most standard detergents will actually attack the molecular structure of the wool in your scarf. This can ultimately lead to tears and holes in your favorite winter accessory.” As for their favorites? “We love the Olive Laundry Liquid for Wool & Silk by Sonett. If you’re going for extra softness, try the brand’s Wool Care Conditioner.”
Before You Store
Perhaps you didn’t keep up with washing your scarf quite as often as you should have. No worries. Just make sure you show it some TLC once winter ends. “Don’t forget to give your scarf one last wash at the end of the season before stashing it away over the summer,” the sisters advise.