Welcome to our article on how to wash a hoodie. 

Do you wash your hoodie as often as you wash your jeans? 

If you are like me, then both of these pieces of clothing get fewer washes a year than my cat Fluffy does. Denim is a fabric that does better the less you interact with it in this way, and my tall hoodies are purely for warmth and fashion. 

I always wear shirts under my hoodies and only use my old hoodies as my workout gear, where I do not care if it shrinks.

All this being said, we should clean our hoodies after a time because dust and other particles get caught in the fabric, leaving your hoodie smelling and looking not as ‘fresh.’

Table of Contents

  • Fastest way to wash a hoodie: With your hands
  • Best way to wash a hoodie: With a washing machine
how to wash a hoodie

How To Wash A Hoodie

Total Time: 1 hr 45 min

Cost: $0.53 (one tide pod)

  • Buy Tide Pods for $55

As you are probably aware, washing your hoodie incorrectly can shrink it. There may be a reason you want to shrink your hoodie, but now is not one of them. So keep this thought on top of your mind as you go through these steps … HOT WATER SHRINKS CLOTHES.

Follow our other guides to make sure you keep your whole wardrobe clean and in good care.

1. Check the inside tag

Most cotton or cotton-blend hoodies are machine washable. Wool is not, though; the fabric will get damaged in a washing machine and ruin the hoodie. Check the tag, and if your hoodie is made of wool, you’ll need to take it to the dry cleaners (How much does a dry cleaner cost / How much does a dry cleaning take.)

this is a photo where tall paul is checking the tag of his hoodie before watching it

2. Turn the hoodie inside out

Turn the hoodie inside out. Zip up zippers so they do not catch on other pieces of clothing in the washer. Washing the hoodie this way not only cleans the inside material. It also protects the finish of the outside of the hoodie.

this is a photo of a hoodie turned inside out

3. Use cold water with similar colors

To prevent shrinking use cold water and to prevent color transfer, wash the hoodie with items that have a similar coloor. Do not wash your hoodie with towels, as the lint from the towels can end up sticking to the hoodie.

this is a photo of a washing machine set on cold water to wash a hoodie

4. Add detergent to the wash

Add liquid laundry detergent to the was. Since your washing with cold water it is best to find a cold water detergent.

this is a photo of a sweatshirt with laundry detergent on it in the wash

5. Start the machine

Start the machine, letting the wash run its full course.

this is a photo of tall paul starting the washing machine with his hoodie in it

6. Take out hoodie and dry

Right after the washing machine is finished, shake out the hoodie and air dry it so you don’t shrink it in the dryer.

Once dry you can fold your hoodie or hang it up in your closet to store until its time to wear it.

This is a photo of a hoodie drying in the open air after it was washed

How to wash a hoodie: quick tips

  • If your taking your wool hoodies to the dry cleaners, taking your cotton ones as well makes sense,
  • Wash your hoodie in a smaller load to clean it as well as you can.
  • When turning the hoodie inside out, pull the hood and sleeves out of the middle of the garment.
  • Consult the hoodie’s care tag label to see how much detergent you should use.
  • Wash your hoodie in a garment bag.
  • Once washed, dry your hoodie properly.

How To Wash A Hoodie With Your Hands

Total Time: 1 hr 45 min

Cost: $0.50

1. Fill a basin with cold tap water for your hoodie

Fill a bucket (sink, bathtub) with cold water. You’ll be submerging your hoodie in the cold water, so you want to use a large enough bucket or basin that will allow you to do this.

this is a photo of a sink being filled with water to wash a hoodie by hand

2. Rub soap onto the hoodie while in the water

Put the hoodie in the water and apply mild soap or shampoo by rubbing it onto the hoodie. If you’re using bar soap, wet it slightly and rub the inside and outside of your hoodie. If you’re using body wash or shampoo, squeeze a small amount onto a damp cloth and rub the fabric all over the hoodie.

I am using mild liquid detergent.

this is tall paul rubbing liquid soap onto the hoodie in water

3. Rinse the hoodie off in running water

Drain the soapy water and let fresh tap water run as you hand wring the hoodie for 10-15 times.

this is a photo of tall paul rinsing a hoodie in running tap water

4. Fill basin with fresh water again and dunk hoodie

Fill the basin with fresh water and dunk and squeeze your hoodie until there is no noticeable soap coming off the hoodie as you repeat this.

5. Lay hoodie on drying rack to air dry after wrung dry

It is best to let your hoodie air dry. Hang your hoodie over a drying rack for best airflow.

This is a photo of a hoodie drying on a drying rack after being washed in the sink by hands

How to wash a hoodie with your hands: quick tips

  • If you use a bucket, place a large towel underneath it to soak up any spillage.
  • A bucket, basin, Yetti Cooler, and bathtub are good water holders.
  • Apply the soap or shampoo above the water.
  • Run cold water over your soapy hoodie for 90 seconds to ensure all the soap has been removed.

Washing your hoodie is needed to keep your hoodie looking and smelling fresh, but many other things will need to be done to keep on top of your game. Check out our other hoodie guides.


Yes, you can wash a hoodie in the washing machine. Choose the cold water and delicate setting to be sure you do not shrink or damage the hoodie.

To not ruin the inside of your hoody, turn it inside out before washing it. Also, use cold water and wash it by hand in a basin.

To ensure you do not shrink your hoodie, you should not use the dryer and instead dry it without a dryer. If the hoodie is old or you are not worried about it dropping a size or two, put it in the dryer and choose tumble dry low.

To not lose the softness of your hoodie when washing it, you need to wash your hoodie by hand. Find a basin or use the bathtub and wash your hoodie with a tiny bit of liquid soap and cold water. Finally, lay it flat to dry on a drying rack.