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How To Wash And Clean Wool Berets

How to Wash and Clean Wool Berets – The Right Way

If you have a beret in your hand, firstly, we appreciate your unique designation or fashion taste. And secondly, for coming here to know how to wash a wool beret before you do anything wrong. Are you noticing any stains, shrinkage, pilling, shedding, smelling?  It all comes down to how you are cleaning your wool beret. Don’t worry; we walk you through the whole process of how you should wash your favorite wool beret without ruining the quality and shape of your wool cap.

Can You Wash Wool Berets?

Of course, yes! Offering a combination of dramatic yet simplistic styles with an interesting history, a beret will make you look responsible as a military man and also chic as a fashionista. So, why do you need to wear them with body oil, sweat stains, and dirt?

Since most of the berets are made up of wool, handwashing and dry cleaning are the most recommended methods by manufacturers. Cleaning them gives a more pristine look with their sharp angles.

What to Know Before Cleaning a Wool Beret

1. Remove the Dust and Lint Before Washing

If you’re strictly committed to a job of not going out without a beret, keep in mind a dusted, pilled cap gives an imperfect look very easily.

Gently run a lint roller frequently over your cap to remove the dust and lint. Are you not having a lint roller with you? Use the sticky side of your tape, stick on the dusty side and toss it.

2. Do Not Chlorine Bleach

Even if your cap is white, avoid using chlorine bleach or any bleach on a wool cap. Heavy-duty detergents with bleach can remove stains and damage the delicate fibers and even cause yellow, irreversible discoloration.

3. Do not Wring or Twist It

To expel the water, after washing, do not wring it or use the old towel method. Wringing the structured cap can misshapen it and not provide a snug fit when you wear it.

Instead, press the water on a clean surface, let it dry on a fresh towel in its natural shape.

4. Say No to Enzyme Based Detergents

The enzyme, bleach-based detergents, powder detergents are hard to dilute and are harsh on the fine fibers of your wool cap.

Washing with them can cause pilling and fading. Go for a delicate wool detergent that is specifically formulated to clean your wool cap.

5. Stay Away High Temperatures or Hot Water

If you’ve wanted to wash a cap in the washing machine, there are three important things to take note of:

Set the temperature from 20°C to 30°C. Run on a gentle, delicate or wool, hand wash cycle. According to research, tumble dry can ruin the shape of your cap by increased heat, agitation, and overload!

How to Hand-wash Wool Berets

How to Hand wash Wool Berets

How to Hand-wash Wool Berets

Freshen up your beret with this quick hand washing method which takes about 15-20 minutes.

Materials Needed:

  • Tub or sink
  • Delicate wool detergent
  • Cold water


Step 1:  Fill Cold Water into Your Sink or Tub

Firstly, fill the tub with cold water and add a few drops of delicate wool detergent to it according to the package instructions.

Step 2: Submerge Your Cap into the Tub

Let it soak for a while, not more than 20 minutes. Chances are there; your felt cap will not submerge into the water since felt doesn’t have a tight bond, and water will make its way in spaces.

If it didn’t submerge, don’t force it. Spot clean the stains of your cap with a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Step 3: Rinse your Wool Beret

Rinse your wool beret in cold running water. Remove the soapy remains sticking to the brim, sweatband, inner crown, and edges.

Step 4: Dry Your Cap

As mentioned earlier, do not wring the cap to expel the water. Gently press it to draw the water out and place them on a fresh towel in its natural shape. Flip on both sides from time to time until they get dried.

How to Machine Wash Wool Berets

How to Machine Wash Wool Berets

Machine wash is not a recommended method unless the manufacturer allows it. This step-by-step method will help to undergo a safe washing process.

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Insert Your Cap Into a Mesh Bag

Mesh bags are excellent storage bag ideas to hold your cap safe during the washing process. This prevents stretching and snagging caps into the machine.

Step 2: Use a Gentle Wool Detergent

Add detergent to the tub according to the package instructions. Make sure it is enzyme-free, bleach-free, and specially formulated for wools.

Step 3: Set the Coolest Temperature and Run on a Delicates Cycle

If you have a wool setting on your washing machine, set it on. If not, you can set the temperature to the coolest. The average temperature for washing a wool cap is 20°C to 30°C. The cooler, the better. Run the washing machine on the gentle, delicate cycle.

Step 4: Take Out Your Beret and Dry

Press the water gently from the beret by placing it near the sink. Let it flat dry in its natural shape on a clean towel. Flip them on both sides from time to time until it gets dry.

Dry Clean Wool Berets

Dry Clean Wool Berets

If the care tag of your cap mentions dry clean, you can go for a dry cleaning method. Dry cleaning means cleaning the garments without water, but with the help of cleaning agents.

Dry cleaning your caps helps to remove the stains as well as the bad odor. However, the washing mechanism is a risk to change the shape of your cap. Make sure you do it with professional assistance.

It’s a good idea to go for dry cleaning at the end of the season when you’re not going to take it out until the next season.

How to Shrink Your Wool Cap if It is Bigger?

The simplest way to shrink the size of a beret is to wash them in a washing machine using warm water on a gentle cycle. Secondly, dry your hat in a low heat setting. Take your cap out after a few minutes, and dry it again for a little longer if you want to shrink it more.

The second method is, spray your wool cap with water evenly on all parts. Place it in a warm environment, exposed to heat without the exposure to direct sun rays. Let them sit for 30 minutes,and  check whether they have shrunk enough. If not, spray them with water again and place the cap in the warm spot.

How to Care for a Wool Beret?

  1. Whether you’re handwashing, machine washing, or dry cleaning, make sure you turn your cap inside out while washing. Placing them in mesh bags and pillowcase reduces damage risk due to the machine’s agitation. 
  2. If you sweat excessively and have no time to wash your cap frequently, use napkins or paper towels underneath the cap or sweatband to absorb your sweat. Change them after every usage.
  3. After every use, wipe your inner crown with a damp cloth to remove sweat stains or bad odor. You can also use a few drops of rubbing alcohol during the wipe. Turn it inside out, hang them in fresh air to dry without being exposed to direct sunlight.
  4. Are you noticing wrinkles on your cap? Hang them in a steamy bathroom to remove wrinkles. Don’t leave your cap for too long, not more than 15 minutes!
  5. Store them properly in an airtight bag or a hatbox. Make sure you have cleaned your wool cap before storing it for long usage. Accidental spillage, sweat, food stains, body oils, and moisture can attract moths and other fabric-eating bugs to live on your cap.
  6. Use mothballs to prevent moths. Keep your cap in the freezer if you see those pesky holes on your cap. They are a telltale sign that moths are living on your cap. Invest in a good cedar drawer to store your woolen fabrics.
  7. Spot treat stains immediately. Clean them with a wool-safe stain remover to not make it a permanent stain.
  8. To remove stains without washing, sprinkle some baking soda on the inner crown. Let it stay for 30 minutes, and shake it out. This is an excellent DIY method to remove the bad odor of your cap without washing.
How to Wash and Clean Wool Berets

Final Thoughts

An interesting fact about berets is they were once a staple among artists like Cezanne, Picasso, Marie, and Monet. From offering a proud look to the complete official uniform of an officer and giving enough flexibility in the fashion world to be worn with pigtails, bun, or fringe, this beret is loved by everyone for its unique, vintage style.

So, you deserve a long-lasting usage of your beret cap too! Even though they are machine washable or dry cleanable, handwashing is the best method when you ask how to wash a wool beret without ruining the shape. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

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