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How to Clean Hair Bows

When my husband and I first found out we were having a girl, I immediately had visions of pink, dresses, and bows! Abigail was born with a full head of hair and I couldn’t wait to deck her out in headbands and clips.

abby bow

Photo Credit: Jennifer Collins Photography

Two years later, her signature bow (usually white) is an essential part of her outfit each day. This is mostly because, without it, she wouldn’t be able to see! What I’ve noticed is just how dirty those cute little bows can get.



The majority of our bows are grosgrain, which have tiny crevices for dirt, food, and grime to hide. Yuck! Instead of buying a new bow every time one got dirty, I decided to take matter into my own hands. I searched and searched but, for what may be the first time in my life, Pinterest failed to provide a solution. So I did some experimenting and came up with a fool-proof and easy way to clean grosgrain bows.

My mom recently introduced me to the powers of Oxi-Clean while trying to get a stain out of my white carpet. It worked and I’ve been using it ever since!

  • Combine 1 cup of water with two tablespoons of Oxi-Clean or your stain remover of choice
  • Place you bow in the solution. Depending on the severity of the stains, you may want to use your fingers to gently scrub the bow
  • Let the bow soak for 10-15 minutes


  • Remove the bow from the solution and rinse in cool water. Use a paper towel to dry any excess water.
  • Place the bow on a towel or in a sunny spot and let it air dry. Be sure to reshape the bow and fluff it a little so it doesn’t dry completely flat. You could also use a hair dryer, but be careful because overheating can cause the glue to melt.

Bow Collage

That’s it! Easy peasy. I was so happy with how my bows turned out! They look good as new and any signs of dirt and food are long gone. I also tried using shampoo and it worked just as well and smelled even better. I would stick to Oxi-Clean or a stronger cleaning solution for tougher stains.

Do you have a solution for cleaning hair bows? Share your ideas in the comments below!


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One Response to How to Clean Hair Bows

  1. Sucker April 17, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

    Try spraying them with Clorox spray bleach (white only!). Let sit a few minutes, swish around in warm water and rinse. A toothbrush is great for getting into the grooves of the tough dirt!