How to Care for Your Scarves: Tips and Tricks

Scarves Care Feature Image

Scarves are a fun and versatile fashion accessory. However, unlike jackets, scarves often require precise care to maintain their shape and form. Therefore, it’s imperative that anyone who enjoys wearing scarves also learns how to care for them properly. This includes washing techniques, storage options, and more.

Washing Your Scarves

Because scarves are delicate clothing accessories, you must execute care when washing them. Even then, the exact washing method will vary based on the scarf’s materials. Therefore, we’ve provided washing tips based on the fabric your scarf is likely made of.

Scarves Care Washing
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Silk Scarves

  • Dry clean or hand wash; do not machine wash
  • When hand washing, always use cold water
  • Gently swirl in water with specialty detergent; do not soak
  • Air dry in natural sunlight
  • Never spin dry or wring scarves to dry
  • Do not spin dry or wring your scarf dry
  • Steam press on low settings to remove wrinkles if needed

Cashmere, Pashmina, and Wool Scarves

  • Dry clean or hand wash; do not machine wash
  • If hand washing, use specialty detergent made for wool and cashmere
  • Use cold water to hand wash
  • Do not spin dry or wring out excess water
  • Steam press with a protective covering to avoid scalding or stressing fabric

Cotton or Modal Scarves

  • Dry cleaning or hand washing is best
  • If machine washing, use a laundry bag to prevent damage to scarf
  • Hang to dry; do not spin dry
  • Steam press; do not iron

Removing Stains From Scarves

Unfortunately, basic washing instructions don’t account for stain removal. If you wear scarves frequently, you will likely spill something on it and need to remove a stain. The best option for stain removal is always to take the scarf to your local dry cleaner.

However, if you cannot take your scarf to the dry cleaner or want to try removing the stain at home, you can follow these suggestions:

  1. Gently blot any liquid and remove excess with a clean, white cloth. Do not rub!
  2. Dab the stain with cold water. Check the stain after to see if it’s gone.
  3. If water does not work, apply a small amount of liquid detergent to the stain. Let it soak for five minutes, then rinse with cold water.
  4. If liquid detergent doesn’t work, try a spray wash or enzyme cleaner on the stain. However, you should first test the product in an area that is almost never visible, and use small amounts of the cleaner to avoid damaging the fabric.

Scarf Storage

After washing your scarves, you will need to properly store them to avoid damage to the fabric or other problems. The best way to do this is by finding a way to store them that lets them rest in a flat position where they won’t develop wrinkles or become stretched. To store them this way, you can try one of several methods, based on the amount of space you have and how your bedroom closet is laid out.

Scarves Care Storage
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Some examples include:

  • Plastic or fabric bins on a closet shelf
  • Drawer dividers in your dresser
  • Fabric-lined wicker baskets (to prevent snags)

If you don’t have enough room to store them in a basket, bin, or drawer, you can also hang your scarves. When hanging them, you will want to look for methods that don’t stretch them out or risk snags in the fabric.

Some methods to hang your scarves may include:

  • Using non-slip velvet hangers in your closet
  • Buying ring-style scarf hangers
  • Installing wall hooks in your bedroom or entry
  • Purchasing a decorative ladder to hang and display them
  • Setting up a towel bar in your closet

Traveling With Scarves

Scarves can be hard to travel with because you must throw them into a suitcase. However, you can try a few different options to ensure the scarves you take don’t get damaged before you reach your destination.

Scarves Care Travel
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For example, you can use a storage pouch or small bag to keep your scarves separate from the rest of the items in your suitcase. These items can keep the scarves flat and prevent snags or other damages to the fabric that may occur when caught near zippers or liquids.

Even if you don’t put your scarves into storage pouches, you should fold them and pack them in an entirely separate compartment than items like perfumes, shampoos, or makeup.

Take Care of Your Scarves

Scarves are amazing, versatile fashion accessories that you can wear in many ways. By properly washing, storing, and caring for your scarves, you will get years of use out of them.

For more tips like these, check out our guide on organizing your entire wardrobe.

Image credit: Pexels

Megan Glosson

Megan Glosson is a passionate writer based in Nashville, TN. She enjoys writing about topics related to health, wellness, and everyday life, especially when the topic has a personal connection to her own life. Megan is currently published on over a dozen websites, including YourTango, Feel & Thrive,, and The Mighty. Megan also serves as a content editor for Unwritten, a digital publication focused on millennial lifestyles.