Organize & Clean

The (Secretly Filthy) Winter Wardrobe Staples You Need to Wash Right Now

updated May 3, 2019
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That coat you put on this morning. The gloves you keep in your purse from December to March. When was the last time you washed them? It’s not only kind of gross to think about, but it’s also potentially unhealthy. Think about the germs you could be spreading on your gloves and other gear (raise your hand if you’ve sneezed into your scarf before).

As a quick cheat sheet, here’s a guide to all the winter wardrobe accessories that don’t get as much tender loving care as they maybe should:

Leather Gloves

How often: Once or twice each season
How to do it: By hand, with saddle soap on the outside. Turn them inside out to wash the liner with a bit of gentle detergent before thoroughly leaving to dry.

All Your Scarves

How often: Once a month
How to do it: One at a time, with baby shampoo in a mixing bowl

Tights & Stockings

How often: After every wear
How to do it: Hand wash and air dry

Knit Hats & Gloves

How often: Once a month, if they’re worn often
How to do it: Very gently by hand with baby shampoo. Don’t wring them out, just leave them out flat to air dry.

Fleece Sweatshirts & Jackets

How often: Every six or seven wears
How to do it: Turn them inside out and wash at home in the washing machine, then air dry.

Jackets and Coats

How often: Once a season
How to do it: Take them to the dry cleaner, unless the care instructions say otherwise.

Structured Hats

How often: Once a season. Maybe less (or never) if they’re rarely worn.
How to do it: Two words: Dry cleaner