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how to wash a wool beanie hat

How to wash and care for a wool hat

In the dead of winter, there's nothing that keeps your noggin warm like a pure wool beanie or hat. Wool is a naturally insulating fiber which is much warmer than synthetic fabrics like acrylic. If you've ever bought a cheap beanie that looked cute on the shelf but when you took it out into the cold realized that your ears were red and you weren't any warmer than without it, you know the value of wool.

How to wash a wool beanie crochet pompom hat

If you have a favorite wool beanie that you wear day after day in the winter, you'll eventually want to wash it. While wool is naturally odor and moisture resistant, meaning that you won't need to wash it very often, you may want to give it a good cleaning at the end of the winter season before storing it to wear again the following year. 

Because wool is a delicate fiber, special wash and care is required to keep it in its best possible shape. Read below for the instructions for washing a wool beanie hat:

Wool Beanie Hat Hand Washing Method

Hand washing is the best way to care for a knit wool beanie hat. This is the most gentle method possible and will insure that the delicate yarn is not harmed in the process.

    1. Fill the sink or a wash basin with cold water (60F).
    2. Add a wool detergent or shampoo - you'll want to use a specialized detergent for wool instead of the regular stuff you use for your regular laundry as most detergents are too harsh for the natural fibers - just imagine washing your hire with Tide detergent and you'll understand why. Wool is made of the same keratin proteins as our own hair, and so you don't want to use any old harsh cleaner on it.
    3. Add your wool hat and gently swirl it in the water for three minutes. If your wool hat is lined in fleece, you may want to turn it inside out and give special attention to the fleece lining where sweat might have accumulated. 
    4. Remove your wool cap from the soapy water and rinse it under cold water (60F) for a moment until the detergent has run off. 
    5. Let gravity due its job and wait for the excess water to run off the hat until it feels damp. Pure wool is naturally water resistant so it shouldn't be water logged. You can give it a gentle squeeze to let the water escape from the fibers. Be careful not to wring your hat as the wool fibers are delicate when wet.
    6. Place the wool hat on a towel and gently roll, squeezing out the water.
    7. Lay flat to dry in the shade. You can put a fan on the wool beanie to speed the drying process. Within 12-24 hours, your wool hat should be completely dry and ready to enjoy again!

Wool Beanie Hat Machine Washing Method

The machine washing method is only applicable if you have a machine that can run on a gentle knit cycle. It's best to wash your knits separately from other items so that they aren't thrown around rough and tumble in the wash cycle. 

  1. Put the machine on the gentle setting on COLD (60F).
  2. Add a wool detergent or shampoo. Do not use bleach or other harsh chemicals. 
  3. Follow steps 5-7 above for drying. It's important not to put your wool beanie hat in the dryer as this will cause felting and shrinkage.
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