How to Hand-Wash a Beanie

by S.R. Becker ; Updated September 28, 2017

Hand-wash beanies to help them last longer.

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Whether your beanie is made of cotton, wool or synthetic yarn, hand-washing is the way to get it clean. While it is possible to wash synthetic-fiber beanies in the washing machine, hand-washing ensures minimal wear and helps prevent the pilling that can result from friction with other clothing. Drying the beanie on a wig form ensures that it will keep its shape. After knitting or crocheting a beanie, hand-wash it before blocking to relax the fibers. Blocking is the process of getting a knitted or crocheted object wet, pinning it into place and letting it dry flat.

Items you will need

  • Delicate laundry detergent
  • Bath towel
  • Wig form
  • Straight pins (optional)
  • Fan (optional)
Step 1

Fill a sink with just enough cold water to cover the beanie. If washing particularly dirty synthetic or cotton beanies, use hot water.

Step 2

Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of laundry detergent formulated for knits and delicates. Choose a low-sudsing formula, such as one made for high-efficiency washing machines.

Step 3

Swish the beanie through the water and gently squeeze it a few times to work in the detergent. Allow the beanie to soak for one hour.

Step 4

Drain the sink and rinse the beanie with cold water. Squeeze out excess water by pressing the beanie against the bottom of the sink. Do not wring or twist.

Step 5

Roll the beanie in a bath towel like a jelly roll. Press the towel to squeeze out most of the water.

Step 6

Place the beanie on a wig form. If the edge has a picot or ruffle, pin it into the wig head with straight pins to help it dry flat.

Step 7

Leave the beanie in a warm, sunny area or set it in front of a fan to dry.


  • Look for no-rinse detergent in yarn stores. This detergent is ideal for wool or other animal-fiber items, which can be difficult to rinse if there are too many suds, and will not leave buildup.


  • Never put wool or other animal-fiber beanies in the washing machine, as hot water and friction cause them to shrink.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

About the Author

S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.