People love buying custom beanies as gifts. Quality Logo Products sells over 180,000 each year, and we’ve had our fair share of emails from customers like you asking how to wash a beanie.
If your winter hats were sitting in the closet for a year, they probably aren’t very clean. They might even stink! Get your beanies washed by using this helpful guide.
Should You Wash a Winter Hat Before Wearing It?
You should definitely wash a winter hat before wearing it. Hats are made in dirty factories and then sit on shelves at stores where they’re touched by random people. By washing a new hat, you’re removing any harmful germs that may be lurking on the fabric.
There are many good reasons to wash a beanie before putting it on your head. By cleaning it, you’ll remove:
- Extra dye before it can be transferred to your skin or other clothing
- Bacteria that could cause you to get sick
- Chemicals that could irritate your skin
- Dust that may have accumulated
- Mites or lice that are too small to see
42% of Americans do not wash new clothes before wearing them. If you find yourself in that group, it’s time to get into the habit of cleaning them first!
Try on your winter hat, remove the tag, and put it in the washer right away. Keep in mind, you should always wash new clothing separately from your other laundry.
Can You Wash a Winter Hat in the Washer?
Winter hats made from wool, cotton, polyester, acrylic, or a cotton blend are usually machine washable. Be sure to check the care tag for specific cleaning instructions.
How to Wash a Beanie
It’s time to wash your beanie! Follow these steps so you don’t destroy your hat during the cycle:
- Check the care tag to verify that your beanie is safe for the washing machine.
- Put the hat in a laundry bag or inside a pillowcase.
- Use a mild detergent, cool or warm water, and a gentle cycle.
- Maintain the hat’s shape by stuffing it with plastic bags while still damp.
- Hang the beanie up so it can air dry.
Not all beanies are safe for the washing machine. Always check the care tag before cleaning. If there is no tag, you should contact the hat’s manufacturer directly to ask how best to clean.
Before you put it in the washer, throw your beanie into a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase. This protects the fabric so it doesn’t end up unraveling or stretching during the cycle.
You should wash beanies with a mild detergent and cool to lukewarm water on a gentle cycle. Hot water may cause the hat to lose its shape.
Is your beanie limp and lifeless after washing? Bring it back to its original shape by stuffing it with a few plastic bags while it’s still damp. You can also use paper towels.
Pin your beanie to a clothesline (or your shower rod) so it can naturally air dry. Do not put the hat in the dryer or dry it outside if it’s cold. This could cause the hat to freeze.
You can clean your beanies by hand if it’s easier, or if you don’t have access to a washing machine. Do this in the sink using cool water and one teaspoon of a mild detergent.
*Disclaimer: Quality Logo Products® is not responsible for any damage caused by washing your beanies or winter hats in the washing machine. Follow the instructions on the care tag, and if you’re still not sure, ask the hat’s manufacturer directly for more information.
Can You Put a Beanie in the Dryer?
You should not put your beanie in the dryer. The heat from the machine may damage the fibers or cause them to stretch out or shrink. Air dry your winter hats whenever possible.
Will My Beanie Shrink in the Dryer?
It’s not always the case, but some beanies will shrink if they go in the dryer. This is fairly common with hats made from cotton, acrylic, or wool. Wrap your beanie in a clean towel if you need it to dry faster.
How Do You Reshape a Beanie?
Beanies are often one-size-fits all, which means they may be too big. If you need to make your hat smaller, try putting it in a pot of boiling water and hanging it up to air dry. You can reshape it while it’s damp by stuffing the hat with tissues or grocery bags.
How to Wash Winter Hats
Most beanies can go in the washing machine, but some winter hats need to be washed by hand. This includes crochet hats, hats with embellishments, or hats that have fur linings or pom poms. Clean in the sink using cool water and a mild detergent.
Are you ready to do laundry? Here is how to wash different winter hats!
How to Wash Hats With Pom Poms
Pom pom hats need to be handled with care. To wash, turn the hat inside out and wash the main part with cool water mixed with a mild detergent. Do not soak the pom in the water, but instead, lightly rinse it using the faucet or showerhead.
How to Wash Knit Hats
Do you have a handmade knit hat? Prevent it from falling apart by washing it by hand with cold, soapy water. Do not wring the hat, but instead roll it up in a towel to dry.
How to Wash Hats With Fur
You can wash a hat with a fur lining in the sink or bathtub. Use cool water and a mild detergent, but avoid chemicals since these can damage the hat. Brush the fur with a soft bristle brush and let air dry.
How to Wash Berets
Remove the dust and lint from a beret and then you can wash it by hand in the sink. Do not use bleach, powder detergents, or hot water. Cold water and a mild soap are best for cleaning.
How to Wash Visor Beanies
The brim on a visor beanie could end up warped if it goes through a washing machine. For that reason, you should wash it by hand in the sink using cool water and a mild detergent.
How to Wash Beanies With Strings
Because the strings may tangle in the cycle, it’s best to wash earflap beanies by hand. Wash in the sink or tub with cold water and a mild detergent. Don’t soak the strings since they’ll take forever to dry.
How to Wash LED and Bluetooth Beanies
Technology and water are not friends! This makes cleaning LED or Bluetooth beanies a little tricky. Your best bet is to remove debris with a lint roller and then use a damp washcloth and mild soap to spot clean certain areas.
It’s easy to clean most types of hats and definitely worth the effort. Your hat can get covered in sweat, dirt, makeup, leaves, and all kinds of germs, so a deep cleaning is recommended a few times each winter.
How Often Should You Wash a Winter Hat?
Aim to wash your winter hats at least once a month. You may need to clean them more frequently if you’re wearing the same one every day, or putting it on for outdoor exercise.
How to Remove a Bad Smell From a Winter Hat
Does the inside of your beanie smell kind of weird? Use these household items to make it smell fresh as a daisy!
To get rid of a gross smell in your beanie, sprinkle baking soda inside and let it sit for 30 minutes. Shake the grains out over the garbage and then suck up any remaining particles with a handheld vacuum.
Essential Oil & Newspaper
Soak a few pieces of newspaper in your favorite essential oil and stuff it into your hat. You can leave the wads of paper in the hat overnight and remove in the morning. The smell should be gone!
In a spray bottle, mix a teaspoon of white vinegar with 10 to 15 drops of essential oil. Spritz the inside of your hat, and the smell should go away.
Lime or Lemon Peels
Did you make guacamole? How about a pitcher of lemonade? Save the leftover rinds so you can deodorize your beanie. Leave them in the hat overnight and remove in the morning.
For a mild odor, soak your beanie in cool water with ¼ cup of fabric softener. Leave the hat in the water for about 30 minutes and then leave it on a clean towel to dry.
It would be embarrassing if your hat smells weird. Try any of these deodorizing solutions. You can use them while cleaning other hats as well!
How to Wash a Custom Beanie
Do you have a beanie hat that’s embroidered with your favorite company’s logo? Maybe it’s a fun beanie with a cartoon graphic printed on front. Wash it inside out inside a pillowcase! This protects the design from peeling off or unraveling in the wash.
Is It Okay to Sleep With a Beanie On?
While it’s okay to fall asleep in a beanie every once in a while, you should try to avoid it whenever possible. Your hair will stick to the fabric, leading to a serious case of bedhead in the morning!
It’s also possible to overheat if you fall asleep in a beanie. When it’s too hot, you’ll struggle to fall asleep and may even wake up frequently throughout the night. None of this helps you get a good night’s sleep!
Why Should You Clean a Winter Hat?
Sweat and water are breeding grounds for bacteria, and if that’s not bad enough, your hair is also crawling with oil and dead skin cells. These are all good reasons to wash your beanie on a regular basis.
Luckily, it’s not that difficult to wash your winter hat. Throw it in the washer on laundry day with clothes of the same color, and you’re good to go!
The Bottom Line
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Tommy John. (2019, December 5). 42% of Americans Say They Never Wash New Clothes Before Wearing Them. Retrieved from,
Delusion MFG. (2020, January 24). Keep ‘Em Clean! Guide to Washing Your Beanies. Retrieved from,
Leverette, M. (2021, January 4). How to Wash a Knit or Crochet Hat. Retrieved from,
The Laundry Basket. (2019, May 1). Which Fabrics Shrink the Most in the Wash? Retrieved from,
Whirlpool. How Often Should You Wash Your Clothes? Retrieved from,
Groth, L. (2019, November 19). 10 Ways Your Winter Gear is Making You Sick. Retrieved from,
Calderone, J. (2019, August 5). What to Do When It’s Too Hot To Sleep. Retrieved from,
Hats in the Belfry. How to Clean a Hat. Retrieved from,
Types of Hats. (2021, July 20). How to Wash & Clean a Fur Hat? Quick & Easy Cleaning. Retrieved from,
Types of Hats. (2021, July 13). How to Wash and Clean Wool Berets – The Right Way. Retrieved from,
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