Tag Archives: scarves

How To Clean Scarves

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Let’s think about this for a moment: hats, gloves, and scarves are things you wear, not unlike shirts or bras. The latter types of garments you’re likely in the habit of regularly washing. Unfortunately for the cleanliness factor and my anxiety levels, the prior category is often overlooked when it comes to washing.

It’s true, scarves aren’t nestled up in your crevices like a pair of undies would be, but nonetheless, they envelope your neck, which, being skin, is constantly shedding skin cells. Add to that the fact that you’re transferring perfumes, oils, makeup, dribbled morning coffee, et al onto your favorite neck ties and you end up at the realization: those scarves are in need of a good clean!

But then it’s all, “Well, how do I go about doing that? Nobody ever teaches these things? I don’t want to ruin them?”

I got you.

How to clean your scarves! Pin this and do it!

How You Do It

Obviously, refer to the instructions your scarf’s care tag contains, if there is one. Typically, cotton, linen,  acrylic, or other synthetic scarves can be safely cleaned in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. Cashmere is not DIY-friendly (in my experience), and any cashmere scarves should be taken to the dry cleaner. 

Otherwise the general procedure for cleaning hand knit, wool, and silk scarves goes like this: 

– Fill a sink or bucket with lukewarm water.

Various types of materials can handle various water temperatures, and you can easily determine what’s best for your scarf if you know what it’s made of and then take to the Google, but the big thing to know is that none of them bode well with hot water and the cooler the water, the safer you are. So if you’re lazy just use cool water full stop.

– Add a small amount of a gentle soap like baby shampoo.

– Pretend your scarf is fragile as you submerge it in the water. Do not rub or scrub. But do make sure the entire thing has been saturated. 

– Let it rest in there for a couple of minutes (no more than 5).

– Then, either transfer to another container of water or drain the sink and refill.

You can add a few drops of distilled white vinegar to your rinse water to protect fibers and keep colors bright.

– Repeat this until there are no more visible suds.

-At this point, you can very gently squeeze the scarf.

You want to be very careful you aren’t stretching, pulling, or tugging at all.

-Transfer your scarf onto a towel.

Be especially careful when doing this with knitted scarves, as stretching can cause damage. You can sort of support it from underneath as you carry it, as you would a child.

– Lay the scarf in the center of the towel and roll the towel up with the scarf inside.

– Squeeze the towel roll.

Don’t be tempted to wring the towel, either. There’s zero wringing involved in this process. 

-Unroll, and allow the scarf to air dry.

In order to avoid the possibility of stretching and misshaping, lay your scarf flat to dry (atop a 2nd clean, dry towel is a good bet). Silk scarves must be dried out of direct sunlight, and can be ironed when they’re halfway dry. 


I promise it’s far less scary than you’ve always imagined it to be. And if you’re a scarf washing expert, please do leave your most treasured tips in the comments below. 

K, but now you need to go do this, cause you’re kind of gross with those things so bye. 

Image credit: Photography by Louise Lindbäck via Rue

An Easy Trick For Keeping Scarves Neat

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Scarves, you will know if you’ve ever tried, are a real pain in the ass to keep organized. I can’t blame anyone for having a messy scarf collection, as I wouldn’t their having a bunch of tangled, cooked pasta noodles.


Recently though, I staged a scarf-ervention for one of my clients. She was limited to cubby space for her scarves, not quite an ideal scenario, but you know, the Live Simply motto is make it work, or is that Project Runway?

The only way we could both keep the scarves in the cubbies and keep them neat was to add an additional element into the mix– a piece of cardboard.

But how’s this for elevated blog tutorial photography, eh? 

This was our first go-around of the system, and so, for the purposes of trial run, the standard box, cut up into pieces, sufficed. Ultimately, we’ll sophisticate the method by either wrapping the cardboard in an attractive paper, or ordering a bundle of folding boards.

Fold the scarf in half or in thirds lengthwise, and then wrap the scarf around the card. You might even consider using a small pin to secure the end. 

Scarves instantly stack neatly and stay in place.

If the system feels too involved for scarves you absolutely live in, you might try adopting it for off-season or lesser worn scarves. That way you alleviate the number of scarves in your main rotation, allowing you to keep those few hung on some handy hooks perhaps.

What will she think of next.


Top Ten, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The readers have spoken. Clicked. They’ve clicked. Following are the ten most popular posts of 2012. Some of these have been long-standing frontrunners, a shoe-in for a top hits list from the get-go. Others came later but quickly made up for lost time. And some might ask, “Annie, are they really all the cream of the crop?” To which I would respond, “How is one to compare ones own children?” For a variety of reasons they are, evidently, what the people want to see.

10. Ask Annie: Online Planners & Time Management Systems

9. Ask Annie: How Do I Live Simply In A Cubicle?

8. How Often Should You Change Your Sheets?

7. Closet Week Day 4: Replace & Arrange

6. No Closet? No Worries; 4 Options for Faking It

5. So Much Desk, So Little Room

4. How To Clean & Organize The Fridge

3. Handbag Storage Demystified

2. 6 1/2 Systems For Organizing Scarves

And the MOST widely read post…

1. How To Organize Incoming Mail

All in all, it’s been grand fun. We laughed, we cried, we organized. And then we marveled at how weird I can really be sometimes. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for keeping me company on this blog thing in 2012. And to much more in ’13–


P.S. What do you hope to see around here in the coming year?