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How to Wash Your Favorite Cozy Items

stack of cozy knit winter sweaters

There’s nothing quite like bundling up in your beloved knit blanket, chunky scarf, or comfy sweater on the first cold day of the season.

However, reaching for the same cozies again and again means you’ll eventually have to wash them—but how do you do it without losing all of their best, cozy qualities? Here, we'll walk you through how to clean your seven favorite winter items while maintaining their coziness for many cold days to come.

1. Sweaters

Whether it’s cropped, oversized, or fits just right, you can’t go through these chilly months without your favorite sweater. To keep your cherished wool sweater shaped perfectly and avoid shrinking, consider handwashing it in warm water or spot-treating it with detergent, then hanging it to dry.

If your sweater can withstand the rigors of the washing machine, wash it on delicate and don’t throw it in with denim, towels, or other bulky items, as this could stretch out the fibers. To dry, either lay flat or place in the dryer on the air-dry setting with wool dryer balls.

2. Coats

Depending on the weather in your area, we typically reach for our coats all the time. Consequently, they deserve a little TLC. Wash your coat at least once to twice per season or before storing it back in the closet when spring rolls around.

Coats come in all shapes, sizes, and fabrics, so it’s important to first refer to the care guide for proper treatment procedures. If you’re in a coat-washing lurch, here are some general washing recommendations:

  • Wool, leather, or other delicate fabrics: Wash by hand or spot-treat with gentle detergent.
  • Nylon, cotton, and other washable fabrics: Wash in your machine on the delicate cycle and then hang or air dry. 

3. Bathrobe

Homebodies agree—wrapping up in a plush bathrobe is a luxury you never knew you needed. Easy to care for, it doesn’t take much to keep your robe extra cozy. Wash your robe once to twice per month—robes can be put in the washing machine on a delicate cycle with a gentle detergent, then air or hang-dried. Always separate the belt before washing to avoid tangling.

If yours is fleece, sherpa, or another fuzzy material, consider tossing in wool balls to restore it to its fluffy glory in the dryer. 

stylish at-home laundry room

4. Hats and Gloves

Our heads sweat, and our hands touch a bunch of dirty stuff, so you probably want to wash your hats and gloves more often. A wash about once every two weeks should do the trick, depending on how often you wear them.

Just like coats, washable fabrics like cotton and synthetic fleece can be spot-treated for any stains and cleaned in the washing machine, while wool should be either spot-treated or washed by hand in warm water with a gentle detergent and hung to dry. Keep your gloves from losing their partners by washing them in a lingerie bag.

Read more: 12 Tips for DIY Washer & Dryer Maintenance 

5. Slippers

Of all your belongings, the one you wash the least is likely your slippers, but these winter shoes require just as much care as your other cozies. To deodorize smelly slippers, sprinkle baking soda in coffee filters and place them inside.

If you've stained the outside and your slippers are velvet, leather, or sheepskin, spot-treat with stain remover and water. If they’re made of cotton, terry cloth, or velour, wash them in the washing machine on a gentle cycle.

6. Scarves

Many people don't think their scarves need to be included in their regular laundry loads, but think of it this way—your scarf is tightly wrapped around your neck, collecting oil and sweat throughout the day. For this reason, wash your scarf at least once a month.

Here are some scarf-washing options: 

  • Wool, silk, or other delicate materials: Wash by hand in a sink or bucket filled with warm water and mild detergent, then hang to dry.
  • Cotton, fleece, or more durable materials: Wash on a gentle cycle in warm or cold water, then air dry or dry on low. Wash in a lingerie bag, so it doesn’t tangle around other clothes or the agitator.

chunky knit white blanket over chair

7. Blankets

Burrowing under a warm blanket is an unrivaled joy, especially when it's fresh and clean. Most blankets under 20 pounds (excluding weighted and electric) can be washed in your machine with regular detergent. Skip bleach and fabric softener, as these can damage the fibers that make your blanket so soft.

If your blanket is made of wool, use a wool-safe detergent while washing on delicate, then hang it to dry out of direct sunlight to prevent the colors from fading.

Done Cleaning Your Winter Clothes? Confidently Brave the Cold 

Now that you know how to clean your favorite coat and other cozy items, get out and enjoy all the fun, festive winter activities that await—bundled up properly, of course. Check out our "Coat Guide for Fun and Necessary Cold-Weather Activities" so you're appropriately dressed, no matter the occasion.