How do you clean your hat? It all depends on the type of hat, the age of the hat, the material of the hat, and the degree of dirtiness. After you have accounted for all these factors, you will be able to choose the best washing method for your hat: by hand, machine, or spot cleaning.

Before you start:

  • Pay attention to the label.¬†Dry clean only if it is indicated.¬†Do not try any other method. You could end up permanently damaging your hat.
  • It’s important to know the age of your baseball cap.¬†What is the reason?¬†Why?¬†It is best to not submerge an old baseball cap in water.¬†Spot cleaning is a safer option if you aren’t sure about the age of your hat.
  • You can feel the fabric.Your hat could be made of straw, wool, cotton or a combination of both.
  • Brush up on you lingo: If any terms in this guide confuse you, read our¬†overview on the parts of a hat.

How To Clean A Hat By Hand

Hand washing a hat is the best way to clean it, even if it says you can put it in the washer. Hand washing is best for baseball caps, wool hats, and hand-knit ones.

Use cold water to fill a small bowl or your kitchen sink

Do not use warm or hot water as this will help to avoid fading. Do not wash the hats together, but rather do it separately.

Add a mild detergent to the water

You might be tempted to add more soap if your hat is very dirty.¬†You don’t want to have a tub full of suds.¬†Stir in one teaspoon of laundry detergent, or dish soap, until the suds are dissolved.¬†Use a mild detergent or soap that is bleach-free.¬†Remember to always read the labels.¬†Woolite is a good soap to use for wool hats.

It is best to avoid using dishwasher detergent.¬†Although some people believe that you can wash your hats in a dishwasher’s top rack, it is not recommended.

Do a Pretreatment Test

Be sure to soak the hat for at least two minutes in cool water before you plunge it into the full-size pool. To check if the color is bleeding. The color may be running even if there is no dye visible in the water. To check if the color is coming off, try rubbing the hat onto a napkin. If no color is visible, you can move on to the next step.

First, scrub stained spots

Whether it’s your favorite baseball cap or a well-worn wool¬†fedora, you’ll first want to give added attention to soiled areas of the hat.¬†The sweatband is where oils, makeup, and sweat can accumulate.¬†You have two options: use the same soap or a non-bleach stain removal product on the affected areas. Use a soft-bristled brush (a toothbrush) to scrub the area. Let it set for at most 15 minutes before you wash your hands.

Soak in the Submerge Hat

Once you have determined that your hat isn’t showing signs of discoloration or other damage, you can put it in a bowl or sink.¬†A 30-minute soak will suffice if your hat needs to be cleaned.¬†You may need to soak the hat for several hours if there is more dirt and grime.

Rinse the Hat

To wash the detergent off the hat, rinse it in cold running water. Gently squeeze the hat between your fingers to get rid of any excess moisture. You can then place the hat on a towel to dry. Avoid twisting or wringing your hat. This could cause it to lose its shape and/or pilling.

Air Dry the Hat

Place the hat upside down (in its original form) on a towel in an area that is well ventilated. Avoid putting the hat in direct sunlight. This could cause it to fade. Avoid using a blow dryer, as heat can cause your cap to shrink.

How to machine wash a hat

Although it may not seem like much, a trip to the laundry area is important. However, if you are including a hat with your load, you will need to be extra careful. Acrylic, 100% cotton, and cotton-poly blend baseball caps are best suited to be washed in a laundry machine. Avoid machine washing straw caps, wool baseball caps, or hats made of cashmere, silk, or other delicate fabrics.

Treat the Headband or Liner

This is the time to really get into those areas of your hat that are most in need of help.¬†The next step is to hand wash a hat. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a toothbrush to gently remove any grime.¬†If your hat isn’t shining as brightly as you would like, you can add baking soda to mild detergent.¬†Do not ever use chlorine bleach,¬†even if it’s a white cap.

Garment bags are a great option.

To protect your hat’s color and shape, even if your label states you can machine wash it, a zippered bag is a good option.¬†This will protect your hat from being damaged by the washing machine’s motion.

Use cold water

High heat can cause shrinkage and distortion of your hat.¬†Wash your hat only with similar-colored clothes.¬†If you don’t want pink sheets, wash your red cap with white sheets.

Use the Delicate Cycle

To ensure your hat does not get damaged by the normal amount of machine agitation, set the wash cycle on gently.

Air Dry the Hat

It may be tempting to throw your hat in a dryer but resist the temptation.¬†Low heat drying can cause shrinkage and ruin your hat’s shape.¬†Allow your hat to dry indoors on a towel.¬†You can place a folded towel inside to ensure your hat keeps its shape.

How to spot clean a hat

Spot cleaning is the best way to clean your hat.¬†Although it takes more time and may not remove all stains, it will maintain your hat’s integrity.¬†Summertime straw hats, leather and suede hats, old baseball caps with cardboard bills, and hats made of delicate fabrics are best suited for spot cleaning.

Test Hat Flexibility & Fabric

Although most straw hats are strong, some hats are fragile and cannot be washed by hand.¬†If the hat’s rim begins to crack, fray, or bend too easily it is too fragile for cleaning.

Pay attention to the Embellishments Separately

Be sure to take care of any ornaments such as buttons, ribbons, rhinestones, or beads. You should use your best judgment about how to clean it, depending on its fragility and material. Sometimes all that is needed is a gentle wipe with a soft cloth.

Dab Gently

Use a mild, non-bleach detergent or dish soap to clean the hat. You can use a soft-bristled brush such as a toothbrush to remove more stubborn stains. You should not let the straw get damp when cleaning straw hats.

Let them air dry

Air drying hats indoors is the best option, as was said.

Clean and Fresh!

You can now take the stress out of cleaning your hat. You can enjoy your hat for more years to come if you take care of it.

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