how do you wash a cashmere scarf

How Do You Wash a Cashmere Scarf?

Cashmere, a luxurious natural fiber known for its softness and warmth, is derived from the undercoat of cashmere goats. Scarves made from cashmere are not only a fashion statement but also a prized high quality possession for many. Owing to the delicate nature of this material, it’s essential to take special care when cleaning to maintain its softness and longevity. How do you wash a cashmere scarf without damaging it?

Caring for a cashmere scarf requires precision to retain its softness and durability. Hand washing with cold water and mild detergent is ideal. Machine washing on a delicate cycle is an alternative, while dry cleaning offers professional care. Avoid dryers and direct ironing, and always use cold water to prevent damage.

Let’s take a closer look at these cleaning methods in more detail.

Hand Wash a Cashmere Scarf With Cold Water

Hand washing is the most recommended method to ensure the longevity and softness of your cashmere scarf. It’s a straightforward process that provides gentle care for the delicate fibers.

  1. Fill a basin or sink with cold water.
  2. Mix in a small amount of a gentle, cashmere-specific detergent or baby shampoo.
  3. Submerge the scarf, gently swishing it around with your hands to ensure thorough cleaning.
  4. Let the scarf soak for up to 10 minutes.
  5. Rinse with cold water until all soap residues are removed.
  6. Press the cashmere scarf gently between your hands to remove excess water; avoid wringing or twisting.
  7. Spread a clean towel on a flat surface and place the damp scarf on top.
  8. Roll the towel and scarf together, pressing gently to absorb more water.
  9. Unroll and reshape the scarf, laying it flat on a fresh towel or a mesh rack.
  10. Allow the scarf to air dry away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
  11. Once dry, if desired, fluff the cashmere scarf gently with your hands to revive its softness.

Machine Wash a Cashmere Scarf on a Delicate Cycle

Some modern washing machines offer gentle cycles suitable for delicate fabrics such as cashmere. When short on time or when hand washing isn’t an option, this method can be effective while still preserving the scarf’s quality.

  1. Prepare the cashmere scarf by placing it inside a mesh laundry bag. This helps prevent tangling and potential damage during the wash.
  2. Pour a mild detergent, preferably designed for cashmere or wool, into the machine.
  3. Set the machine to a cold water and select the delicate or gentle cycle.
  4. Begin the wash, ensuring the spin cycle is set to low to prevent stretching.
  5. Once completed, take the scarf out of the laundry bag.
  6. Gently reshape the cashmere scarf to its original dimensions while it’s still damp.
  7. Place the scarf on a clean, dry towel in a flat position.
  8. Change the towel’s position every few hours to ensure even drying.
  9. Keep the scarf away from heaters, radiators, or direct sunlight while drying.
  10. After drying, give the cashmere scarf a gentle shake to fluff up the fibers and enhance its softness.

Dry Cleaning a Cashmere Scarf

Dry cleaning serves as a trusted alternative for those who prefer professional care for their cashmere scarves or have concerns about washing them at home.

  1. Choose a reputable dry cleaner with experience in handling cashmere items.
  2. Before handing over the cashmere scarf, discuss any specific stains or concerns you might have.
  3. Ask about the cleaning solvents they use to ensure they’re safe for cashmere.
  4. Request the cleaner to avoid using excessive heat or harsh chemicals during the cleaning process.
  5. After the cleaning process, inspect the scarf for any missed stains or issues.
  6. Store the cleaned scarf in a breathable garment bag to protect it from dust and moths.
  7. Keep the scarf in a cool, dry place, avoiding direct sunlight which can fade its color.
  8. Periodically air out the cashmere scarf, especially if it’s stored for a long duration, to keep it fresh.
  9. When wearing the cashmere scarf after dry cleaning, allow it some time to breathe outdoors to dissipate any residual cleaning solvent odors.
  10. Always refer back to the care label on your scarf for any specific cleaning recommendations or warnings.


What kind of soap or detergent should you use to wash my cashmere scarf?

Selecting the right cleaning agent is essential to maintain the scarf’s texture and appearance. Opt for a detergent that’s labeled as gentle or mild. Products formulated for baby clothes or delicate fabrics are often a good choice. Harsh chemicals or those with strong fragrances can harm the cashmere fibers and strip them of their natural oils, leading to a loss in softness and potential damage.

What temperature should you use to wash a cashmere scarf?

Cold water is the go-to temperature for washing cashmere. Warm or hot water can lead to shrinkage or distortion of the fabric. Using cold water also reduces the risk of color bleeding, especially if your scarf is dyed with vibrant or dark colors.

How often should I wash my cashmere scarf?

While cashmere is resilient and doesn’t retain odors easily, washing it too often can diminish its quality. It’s best to clean your scarf when it’s visibly dirty or after it’s been exposed to things like sweat or perfume. Between washes, give your scarf a good airing out. This will help refresh it and reduce the need for frequent washes.

Can you dry a cashmere scarf in a dryer?

Placing a cashmere scarf in a dryer is not recommended. The intense heat and tumbling action can lead to shrinkage, felting, or distortion of the scarf’s shape. Air drying is the preferred method. Ensure the scarf is laid flat in a shaded area, as direct sunlight can cause discoloration or weakening of the fibers.

Can you iron my cashmere scarf?

Directly ironing a cashmere scarf can damage its fibers. If wrinkles are a concern, consider using a garment steamer or hanging the scarf in a steamy bathroom. The gentle steam can help relax the fibers and release wrinkles without direct contact of a hot iron.

Can you dry clean my cashmere scarf?

Yes, professional dry cleaning is a reliable method for those who want expert care for their scarf. It’s especially useful if your scarf has stubborn spots or is of a lighter color, which might show dirt more easily. When choosing a dry cleaner, ensure they have experience with cashmere to prevent any potential mishandling.


Washing a cashmere scarf requires care to maintain its softness and quality. Whether you choose to hand wash, machine wash, or dry clean, always use cold water and gentle detergents. Remember to never use a dryer and to lay the scarf flat to dry. With proper care, your cashmere scarf can remain a treasured accessory for years to come.