Should You Wash Beanies Or Will Washing Them Ruin The Shape & Fit? — VIDEO
Beanies are a winter style staple for lots of people. Not only do they keep your head warm, but they also look cool and are great at covering up a bad hair day. But something you might not be asking yourself is should you wash beanies? After all, you are wearing them on your head, so you probably want them to be clean. Not to mention between sweat, makeup, and hair products, there are plenty of opportunities for your hat to get gross, and no one wants that. The short answer? Yes. Yes, you absolutely should be washing your beanies.
"You wouldn’t go without washing your hair, right?" Jennifer Ahoni, senior scientist at Tide, tells Bustle. "Well many of the 'gross' things you are washing out of your hair are also ending up on your hats, which makes it important to wash them regularly to keep them clean."
To really put things into perspective, Ahoni goes on to note just how dirty anything we wear on our bodies can get in just a single day. "Our bodies produce a liter of sweat, 40 grams of sebum — that greasy, oily substance that our skin produces — two billion skin cells, and 10 grams of salt," she explains. "We don’t think about it, but some of that sweat, sebum, and dead skin is produced on our scalps and ends up on our hair. As you wear hats, these substances are transferred to the fabric and build up over time which can cause them to get dirty and maybe even smelly."
Just like any other knit item, the first step should always be to look at the tag for care instructions. Hopefully your beanie won't require hand washing (because who has time for that), but if it does, use your best judgement. I personally believe that most hats are pretty sturdy and could therefore be thrown into the washer on a delicate cycle and be fine, but if your hat looks delicate, or was knit by your grandma, I would recommend washing it by hand in cold water with gentle detergent, just to be safe. I'm personally a fan of The Laundress' Delicate Wash soap.
But regardless of whether you wash your beanie in a machine or not, you should let it air dry, rather than throwing it in the dryer. There are two different ways you can do this. If you happen to have a wig stand (looking at you, Kylie Jenner), then you can place your beanie on the wig stand to keep the round head shape as it dries. If you are like most people and do not have a wig stand, you can just lay it flat to dry. Voila! You now don't have to worry about getting breakouts on your forehead from a dirty beanie!
Still unsure how to wash your knit beanie? Watch this how-to tutorial from Dadaglobal. It'll show you exactly how to wash your beanies or knit hats, especially if they are on the more delicate and elastic side.
If you're still nervous about washing your beanie, take it to the dry cleaners. It won't cost you much, and you can bet they'll take good care of it!
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This post was originally published on Dec. 15, 2015. It was updated and republished on June 24, 2019. Additional reporting by Kayla Greaves.