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A Practical Guide For Washing And Cleaning Wool Hats

Views: 279     Author: Kaylee     Publish Time: 2023-10-25      Origin: Site


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A Practical Guide For Washing And Cleaning Wool Hats

I was so happy wearing pure fresh wool beanies and bobbles that when I first moved from wearing synthetic hats, I didn't want to take them off. On chilly days, keeping me warm, but keeping me cool on warm days. Wearing wool has a variety of alleged advantages, some of which are listed in our previous blog post here. The delicate nature of natural wool and the fact that its qualities are extremely dissimilar from those of synthetic man-made materials got me wondering how to take the best possible care of my Scottish wool hat and come up with a cleaning regimen that actually works.

After experimenting with various wool care and cleaning methods, I've found that letting my woolly hat air out as much as possible between uses, with the option of doing a surface spot clean if necessary, is the cleaning method that actually works. In the event that washing is unavoidable, I hand wash the wool hat in cold water with a very mild organic wool cleanser. I gently reshape my wool hat after a single cold rinse, lay it flat on a drying rack at room temperature, and squeeze it gently (the towel approach works best). This is the most effective cleaning procedure I've found for caring for wool hats.  

I was first concerned that converting to wearing raw, pure wool caps would make it much more difficult to maintain my goods because I was so accustomed to tossing my clothes into the washing machine and not thinking too much about them shrinking or stretching. I was quite scared that keeping them clean would lead to the washing machine destroying my priceless caps. My search for a cleaning procedure that actually works for me and for a technique to take care of my Scottish woolen hats was sparked by this.

1. Drying The Wool Hat After Each Use

Wool's natural capacity to withstand dirt and spills and its ability to stop germs growth make it seem like it can practically clean itself. Wool absorbs moisture from spills, so all that is required to remove a spill or stain from the surface is a clean cloth. You can test this for yourself by introducing a small amount of water to a wool surface and watching to see if it is immediately repulsed. Wool fiber is made up of two different types of cells that absorb different amounts of moisture. As a result of one type of cell expanding more than the other, there is ongoing friction between the two. This trait produces a self-cleaning effect automatically. Wool is also anti-microbial, so unlike synthetic materials used in other textiles, it won't retain unpleasant odors or scents. It also has a high level of mold and mildew resistance.

It is very effective to actively wick moisture away by letting your wool clothing air out between uses. Daily exposure to the air helps your hat remove any moisture and maintain its freshness. My Scottish wool hat may now be worn more frequently without needing to be washed in between usage thanks to airing.

2. Spot Cleaning Rather Than Washing Your Wool Hat

You'll surely discover that stains appear on that treasured woolly hat, no matter how hard you try to keep it clean, if you wear your wool hat as frequently as I do, which for me includes chilly summer evenings due to the location of our home in the Inner Hebrides. However, I discovered that a local spot clean works wonders on daily stains on my Scottish wool hat instead of washing it.

For most typical stains, I combine a liquid with white vinegar (about half and half) and cold water, depending on the cause of the stain (for instance, red wine definitely needs a different solution than mascara). I gently dab the stain on the hat with a clean cloth that has been soaked in the liquid, taking care not to rub it too vigorously. This helps me get rid of the majority of stains from daily wear.

Why is vinegar? By bringing the pH (acidity) of the water closer to that of your wool clothing with the use of vinegar, you can clean it without causing any harm. It works well as a fabric softener as well. While you're washing it, it might not smell so pleasant, but as it dries, the vinegar smell will be gone. To give it a pleasant aroma, I frequently add a drop or two of my favorite essential oil.

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3. Hand Washing With Wool Detergent In Cold Water

I wash the entire wool hat when it need a little more than a spot clean. I typically manufacture the majority of my cleaning products at home with natural, non-toxic components like soap nuts, but there are some excellent specialized wool cleaners available.

Because biological detergents include enzymes that actually "eat" their way through protein stains like food, including the wool fibers of your natural woolly hat as they are formed of proteins, I discovered that using them on natural wool is not recommended. I thus use a non-bio detergent made for sensitive clothes if I don't use my own detergent. Since shampoo is made for hair, I think it makes logical that some people use it, but I haven't tried it myself.

My experience has shown me that cleaning is not a good idea to run water directly onto wool clothing. Instead, I have found that it is preferable to first fill a small tub or sink with water, add the detergent (I just use a small amount of soap), then add the wool hat. I only let it sitting long enough for the water to infiltrate. I gently press it down to completely immerse it. I've heard that agitating wool too much will cause it to feel. So far, I've been able to avoid this.

I give it one or two rinses in clean water before starting the drying process.

4. Drying A Towel

I usually use two fresh, lint-free towels to dab my Scottish Wool Hat of excess moisture. I lay my hat flat in its original shape and stack two towels on top of each other. After that, I roll and squeeze tightly, as if I were rolling up a sleeping bag. Most of the extra water will be eliminated in this way. It is advisable to towel dry hats instead of wringing or twisting them to eliminate water instead of doing so. This is considerably easier on the fibers.

Wool "pilling," which can take the form of tiny knots or balls that can emerge on the surface of the wool cap, can be avoided by drying wool with additional care. Short or damaged fibers begin to entwine with one another and produce little knots where there is friction exerted to the clothing. The good news is that pilling can be eradicated if it does occur. To remove pills, you can use combs, stones, razors, or scissors. The affected portion of the flattened-out garment can be used by gently rubbing the selected tool against it. Use tape or a brush to remove the knots that have been eliminated as you drag the object across the wool's surface.

5. After Washing, Reshaping

I carefully rearrange my woolly to its original shape when it is almost dried.  During drying, the sizing and shape will become fixed. My wool hat does not significantly shrink, but it does compress a little. Wool's ability to stretch depends on how thick its fibers are. Given the close proximity of its fibers, some wool fibers, depending on their weight category, may not stretch at all. Except for a small amount of naturally occurring built-in flexibility, it is a stable fiber and does not stretch out when I wear it. When I put my woolen hats back on, they comfortably fit my skull.  

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6. Flat Air Drying  

I carefully unroll the towels for flat air drying and place my wool hat flat to dry on a new towel or drying rack at room temperature. If I flip it over after a few hours, I find that it dries more quickly. I don't lay it over a radiator or hang it up since I've discovered that it will dry in an odd shape. You may already be aware that gravity works against wool for larger things like a bulky wool sweater, and that the weight of the garment can pull and stretch it out when hung out. Additionally, the hanger may distort the shoulders and twist the appearance. Due to its smaller size, I've discovered that lying my hats flat has helped preserve their form rather nicely.

To minimize shrinking, yellowing, or other unpleasant harm to my wool hat, I take extra care to keep it away from heat sources and direct sunshine, giving it a longer lifespan. The wool cap usually returns to my head immediately after that!

How should I put my hats away while I'm not wearing them? Along with scarves and my other knitted goods, I like to store them in a drawer with some extra room. You can also store your hats in an airtight plastic container or a cedar chest, which repels insects and pests. I enjoy using organic insect deterrents like cedar chips, blocks, or other plant materials. I have experienced success when using a tiny sachet of dried lavender, mint, or neem leaves. Because of their chemical composition, it is advisable to keep mothballs away from woollen fabric while using them to prevent moths. Place the mothballs in the cabinet or drawer after wrapping them in a muslin cloth to prevent them from getting into touch with your headgear.


After using and enjoying my brand-new Scottish wool beanies and bobbles, I'm glad I learned how to clean them so I won't have to worry about them losing their form or unintentionally being harmed in the washing machine. The steps of the care regimen I tested and discovered to be tried and true for the optimum cleaning of my own wool hats are included in this guide. Every day, I like to let my woolens air out to get rid of any moisture, which keeps them looking good longer. I prepare a mixture with organic wool detergent, white vinegar, and cold water to remove the majority of common stains. I gently dab the stain on the hat with a clean towel after soaking it in the liquid, being cautious not to damage the fibers. If I need to wash my wool hat completely to clean it, I first fill a small tub with cold water, add a tiny quantity of detergent, and then add the wool hat. The Scottish wool hat gets a quick bath, and I gently press it down to completely submerge it. To maintain the fibers, I also refrain from twisting or wringing the wool hat's extra water out. I prefer to dry out the extra water from my woolies using two clean towels before laying my wool hat flat to dry on a new towel or drying rack. I reshape the wool hat as it dries, allowing the size and shape to stabilize. In order to protect the wool from deterioration, I take extra care to keep them out of the sun and away from heat sources. These procedures have consistently shown to be the most efficient approach to give my woolen hats sensitive loving care through a cleaning process that is both gentle and effective.

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