Regular scarves are great for keeping your neck warm and making a style statement. But soccer scarves serve the added purpose of showing support for your favorite soccer team.
While donning a replica soccer shirt might be a little too much for some fans, wearing a soccer scarf is a subtle way to pay homage to your team. And, as Blake Lively demonstrated in her masterclass on how to wear a soccer scarf, this sporty accessory even pairs well with a delicate floral mini dress.
If you're thinking of following Blake's lead, however, you'll need to look after your scarf and wash it with care. But what steps should you follow to keep your scarf looking its best? Let's find out with this in-depth guide on how to wash a soccer scarf.
Determine What Fabric Your Soccer Scarf Is Made From
When you invest in custom soccer scarves or find the perfect scarves in your team's colors, you must care for each scarf properly to get years of good use from it. One of the best ways to prolong your scarf's life is to keep it clean. But, while also making sure to always follow the washing instructions on the label.
If there is a label on your soccer scarf, this will list what materials the scarf is made from. This can be a mix of different fabrics, such as 80 percent cotton and 20 percent wool, or all one fabric, such as 100 percent quality acrylic, as in the case of this Jacquard Knit Scarf. Once you've determined the fabric of your scarf, it should be a lot easier to know how to wash it.
Experience with washing other garments should tell you that it's a bad idea to wash items containing even small amounts of wool in the washing machine as they can shrink. In contrast, most other fabrics, including cotton, linen, acrylic, and polyester, are usually machine-washable. You should still check your scarf's washing instructions to be sure though.
Most soccer scarf care labels will either recommend hand-washing or machine washing on a gentle cycle. But what if your soccer scarf doesn't have a care label?
It's not unusual to want to remove the care label from accessories like a soccer scarf. If you do decide to take your label off, though, consider keeping it in your laundry room or taking a photo of it with your phone. This way you'll still have access to the washing instructions for next time.
There's also the possibility with handmade customized scarves that there was no label to begin with. If your grandma knitted your soccer scarf, for example, there might be no way of determining the exact material she used. In this case, err on the side of caution and wash it by hand rather than in the machine.
Spot-Cleaning Your Soccer Scarf
Before we get into how to wash your scarf, spot-cleaning is a good option to consider if you get a small stain on your otherwise clean soccer scarf. If you're quick and the stain hasn't penetrated too deeply into the fibers, you may be able to get your scarf looking like new without having to wash and then dry the entire scarf.
Here's how to spot-clean your soccer scarf:
- Mix a small amount of a mild all-natural detergent and a little white vinegar into a spray bottle full of cold water. White vinegar is a natural stain-remover that is effective yet gentle enough to use on knitted fibers while the gentle detergent will help to activate the vinegar to break down the stain without damaging the fibers of your beloved soccer scarf
- Spray the mixture onto a clean cloth or rag and dab it onto the scarf.
- If this stain is stubborn, spray the mixture directly onto the stain. You can then dab the cloth or rag on the stain to see if this helps
- If the stain is still visible, spray a little more of the mixture onto the stain and leave it for 10 minutes. You can then proceed to wash it by hand or in the washing machine depending on the care label instructions
As tempting as it is to pick, scrub, or rub the stain, especially if you want to wear your soccer scarf right away, this is a bad idea. Doing so can pull at the knitted fibers or disrupt the embroidered stitches on custom scarves with a logo.
Washing Your Soccer Scarf by Hand
Soccer scarves go through a lot, whether you're wearing them pulled around your neck for warmth or waving them around to cheer on your local or national soccer team. As a result, they can start to look a little dirty and in need of a refresh before long. This is when you'll need to wash your scarf either by hand or in the machine.
Regardless of the fabric, handwashing your soccer scarf is always the safer option. Even soccer scarves made from synthetics have loose fibers in the fringe that can get caught in the machine. And if you've gone to the trouble of designing a personalized scarf and choosing the exact colors and design you want, it's even more heartbreaking to see it get damaged.
Here's how to wash your soccer scarf by hand:
- Fill a tub, sink, bucket, or bowl with cool water. You need to make sure that the receptacle is large enough to submerge your scarf completely so you might want to test this before you fill it
- Add one tablespoon of gentle laundry detergent to the water
- Stir the detergent into the water by hand or with the spoon until the water starts to look soapy
- Submerge your soccer scarf into the water and squeeze it. Doing so ensures that it soaks up as much of the water as possible
- Swish your scarf around and then leave it to soak in the water for around 10 minutes
- Once the time has passed, throw the soapy water away and run your soccer scarf under the faucet to rinse it
- Do not rub or wring out the scarf while you're rinsing it. Instead, keep the water running over it until it becomes clear
- When there are no more soap bubbles coming from the scarf, you can squeeze it gently as you did before to wash it. This helps get the excess water out and speeds up the drying process
- Place your wet soccer scarf between two towels to remove the rest of the excess water. You can press down on the towels, roll them, or fold them with your scarf inside to help remove more excess water, but you should avoid rubbing or wringing out your scarf
Since the heat from a dryer will ruin your soccer scarf, you should always air-dry it, and preferably without hanging it up as this can cause stretching. Instead, place your soccer scarf on a table or on top of a flat drying rack and wait for it to dry.
In the meantime, if you're looking for alternative ways to show support for your team, how about donning a custom beanie?!
Machine-Washing Your Soccer Scarf
If your soccer scarf's care label says that it's machine washable, it's most likely safe to place it in the washing machine. Although handwashing is better for the fabric, we understand that it's quicker and easier to let the machine do the work - especially if you need your customized scarves in time for a soccer fundraiser or important match!
Here's how to machine-wash your soccer scarf with care:
- It's easy for scarves to get tangled around other clothes or in the washing machine agitator. This can damage the scarf, other clothing, and the washing machine. To stop this from happening, always place your soccer scarves in a mesh lingerie bag or pillowcase before placing them in the washing machine
- When washing other garments with your soccer scarf, you should also make sure to close any zippers. This avoids the possibility of them snagging on the delicate fibers of your scarf if the lingerie bag comes open
- Add a gentle washing detergent in either liquid or powder form to your washing machine. You should not, however, add any kind of stain remover or fabric softener into the cycle
- Set your washing machine to a gentle or delicate cycle and either select the cold water setting or reduce the water temperature to between 60 and 80°F before switching it on
Once your washing machine cycle finishes, take your soccer scarf and either dry it inside or outside on a flat surface.
Your Guide to Washing a Soccer Scarf
As this guide shows, there's more to washing and caring for your soccer scarf than you might have realized.
That said, once you get the hang of how to keep your scarf clean and in a good condition, it should be easy to ensure that it's always looking its best and ready to do you proud while you're cheering on your team.
Want more information on custom scarves for an upcoming game, soccer fundraiser, or event? Feel free to contact us here at Ruffneck Scarves with any questions or queries about anything from scarf care to deciding on the perfect scarf design!