Sweat stains are embarrassing, but if you use the right materials, it’s easy to make your hats look great. The key is to remove the stains early before they have a chance to set in and become difficult or impossible to clean. Harsh chemicals may damage hats by eating away at the fabric fibers, so be sure to use something gentle. Here’s how to get those stains out of hats:
1. Saturate the fabric with a commercial spot cleaner such as Shout or Spray and Wash. Check that the hats are not leather or silk before using these products (see Resources). Leather and silk hats can be damaged by certain cleaners. Harsh chemicals may also “frost” hats made of acrylics, modacrylics, and olefin, causing them to lose their shiny appearance.
2. Wet a cloth with plain water and lay it over the sweat stain on your hat for three minutes. This will allow the wetness from the spot remover you applied earlier to transfer into the sweat stains embedded in your hats.
3. Scrub the hats with an old toothbrush to get at sweat stains that are still in the fabric of your hats.
4. Soak hats overnight in a solution of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water if removing some or all of the stains does not do the trick for you. After you have soaked hats in this solution, remove them from it and launder them as usual. Vinegar is great at breaking up stains that are left behind after washing. If scrubbing your hats with a toothbrush failed to get rid of stubborn remaining stains, try soaking hats in this vinegar mixture again.
5. Let hats dry completely before wearing them again. Hats need to be completely dry folding them up and placing them in your hat box may ruin hats. If you need to store hats for a long period of time, prevent them from becoming sweaty by placing hats in an airtight container.
If hats cannot be stored airtight, make sure to clean hats with a mild detergent before storing them.
Removing sweat stains from hats is easy!