Scarves are fabulous fashion accessories and no wardrobe is complete without a range of different types of scarves. But do you know how to wash a scarf to keep it looking great? Scarves don’t need to be washed every time you wear them unless you get something on them, but they do need to be washed periodically. Winter scarves need to be washed frequently to get rid of germs, salt, and other debris that can build up when you’re out in the weather every day.

Different types of scarves require different cleaning methods. Beautiful wool pashmina scarves and shawls need to be washed very carefully. Heavy wool winter scarves can be thrown into the wash with towels or sweaters. Delicate chiffon and light cotton scarves need to be washed by themselves. If you’re not sure how to wash a scarf, here are suggestions that will help you choose the right cleaning method for your favorite scarves:

Spot treat scarves before washing: If you get a stain on your favorite scarf and you can’t wash it right away you can spot treat it. Sometimes you may be able to get the stain out and not have to wash the entire scarf. Mix a mild all natural detergent in a spray bottle with some vinegar and cold water. Spray the mixture on a rag or clean cloth and dab it on the scarf. If the stain is stubborn you can spray the mixture directly on the stain. The natural detergent and vinegar will break down the stain without damaging the fabric of the scarf.

Use a lingerie bag: If you are washing scarves in a washing machine always put them in a mesh lingerie bag or use a zippered pillowcase protector to keep them from getting tangled. Scarves can get tangled around other clothes or in the washing machine agitator during the wash cycle. That can damage the scarf, the clothing, and the washing machine. Lingerie bags are inexpensive and they are essential for washing items like scarves, delicate sweaters, and lingerie.

Use shower rings to hang your scarves to dry: Scarves should never be put into the dryer. The heat from the dryer can ruin them. Always let your scarves dry naturally. Press them in a towel to squeeze off excess water. Then use plastic shower curtain rings to hang your scarves from a drying rack, hanger, or even the shower curtain rod to dry. If your scarves are dripping water hanging them on the inside of the shower curtain will let the water drain off the scarf into the tub so there’s no mess.