Worn for years in colder climates and on the high seas as daily workwear, you can now see beanies on runways, sidelines and ski slopes around the world. In addition to now being a fashion accessory, the beanie is also noted for its military utility and style -- with its ability to slip under a helmet -- or for the fact that it is a sleek and unobtrusive way to keep your head warm. Unfortunately, beanies are notorious for their tendency to shrink if washed or dried at too high a heat. Hand washing your beanie is a viable solution, getting your headgear clean and fresh while maintaining its snug fit.
Spray the beanie with a laundry pre-treating spray if it's unusually soiled or has a problem area you want to clean. Let the spray soak in for 30 seconds, rubbing the fabric together to push the spray into the fibers.
Plug the drain in your sink or basin with the stopper. Fill your sink or wash basin with about three inches of tepid water. Add one capful of liquid laundry detergent.
Swirl and knead the hat in the soapy water.
Drain the dirty water from the sink or basin once you're satisfied that the hat is sufficiently clean. Rinse the sink out. Unplug the sink.
Rinse the hat under cool clean running water. Wring the beanie out periodically -- unless it's wool -- removing the extra soap, continuing until the water runs clear. If the hat is wool, press it flat against the bottom of the sink or basin running the water over it until the water runs clear and free of soap.
Roll a wool beanie in a clean towel. Push down on the towel with your palms to press out the extra moisture and ensure that the towel absorbs it. Cotton beanies may be wrung out, while performance-fabric hats don't require any such methods.
Air-dry the beanie. Placing it in the dryer is a sure-fire way to make the hat shrink. Ensure that the hat lies flat, using your fingers to gently remove wrinkles.