How Often Should You Wash Your Fave Winter Scarf?

You wear your favorite scarf nearly every day in the cold, but how often should you wash your scarf to keep it clean through winter? Do you even have to? In a word: yes.

Your scarf might not have any obvious stains on it, but you still need to wash it regularly throughout the season if you want it to last for years. TheGlow spoke with Shannon Lush, author of Spotless A-Z, explained "Everything that you wear needs to be washed or laundered in some way, because otherwise you’re shedding dead skin on it all the time, and that’s rotting protein. So it has to be removed, otherwise it breeds infection ... Lots of people don’t think about it, though, it’s just one of those things that often gets slid to the side." Ew. Don't let yourself be one of those people. Rotting protein guys — that is not cute.

According to Real Simple, your scarves need a bath at least three to five times per season. As for how to properly wash each scarf you have, turn to the tag. Whether the material is polyester, silk, wool, or viscose, there are specific rules to follow to make sure you don't accidentally ruin it beyond repair.

1. Silk Scarf

Echo Floral Paisley Bandana Silk Square Scarf, $33, Bloomingdales

For silk, hand washing is the way to go. Squirt a bit of gentle dishwashing detergent into a sink full of lukewarm water. Swish it around until the scarf gets soapy, then quickly drain the sink and fill with warm water. Plunge the scarf into the warm water, then drain it and run the scarf directly under the tap until all soap is gone.

To dry, squeeze out excess water, and then roll the scarf up in a towel. After ten minutes, your scarf is dry enough to gently iron on the backside using the silk setting.

2. Polyester Scarf

SouthWestern Scarf, $28, BP

One of the easiest fabrics to wash, this scarf is safe in the washing machine set to gentle/delicate. Air dry to ensure it doesn't shrink.

3. Wool Scarf

Donegal Wool Knit Scarf in Light Beige Heather, $48, Frank and Oak

For a wool scarf, fill a sink with warm water and milk soap. Submerge the scarf for five minutes, then rinse in clean water. Lay your scarf flat over a towel to air dry.

4. Viscose/Rayon

Infinity Loop, $63, Lily Pulitzer

For a viscose scarf, follow the instructions for silk except skip the ironing. Super easy!

Image: Rido/Fotolia