How To Wash A Hat (Without Ruining It!)

How To Wash A Hat (Without Ruining It!)

A hat sits between you and the world. It protects your head from dust and rain. Over the course of a long day, your hat soaks up sweat, oils, and hair products, as well as dirt and grime from the environment. And soon enough, it starts to look worse for wear. Learning how to wash a hat the right way will ensure it stays fresh, clean, and in tip-top condition for years to come.

There are many ways to get the job done, but here we’ll look at the top three: how to wash a hat in dishwasher, how to wash a hat by hand, and how to wash a hat in the washer. The number of times you wash your hat depends on how often you wear it and how dirty it gets. You can get away with washing it at least two to three times every season. However, if you practically live in your favorite hat, you’ll need to do it more frequently.

How To Clean Hats: Before You Wash

Before we get into how to wash hats, there are a couple of things you should do before you get started:

1. Read the label. Look for a tag with washing instructions. If it says dry-clean only, then don’t try washing it by hand. Similarly, if the care label says it’s machine washable, then feel free to do exactly that (we’ll look at how to wash a hat in the washing machine later on).

2. Know the material. Hats are made of a wide range of materials, depending on their purpose. The material will determine the best way to wash a hat. For example, while you can wash a baseball cap in the dishwashing machine, you’d probably destroy a wool hat if you did the same.

3. Do a pretreatment for stains. Some sweat and dirt stains require spot cleaning in order to get rid of them. Repurpose an old toothbrush for spot cleaning to reduce your impact on the environment. Dissolve ¼ strip of Clean Globe laundry detergent in water. Use the mixture and the old toothbrush to clean the stains. Repeat as necessary. For especially stubborn stains, you can create a paste of baking soda and water.

How To Wash Hats In Dishwasher

Washing hats in dishwasher provides a deep clean. However, some people swear by it, while others recommend against it. We recommend trying it out with a hat you’re not overly attached to, just in case anything goes wrong.

Here’s how to clean hats. Secure the headwear by clipping the hat directly to the top rack using clothespins or binder clips. Check that your dishwashing detergent does not contain bleach or citric acid. Choose cold water and a gentle cycle, making sure the heat dry option is turned off. After the cycle is completed, remove the hats from the dishwasher and set them aside to air-dry in a position that will allow them to keep their shape while drying.

When it comes to how to wash baseball cap in dishwasher, you first have to check if it has a plastic or cardboard rim (washing a cardboard rim in a dishwasher is the last thing you want to do). You can use a cap washer frame to help the cap retain its shape during the wash.

Tip: To prevent wasting energy, wash a few hats during this cycle. 

How To Wash A Hat By Hand

Cleaning a hat by hand is generally the most effective way for washing caps. The types of hats best suited for hand washing include baseball caps (as long as they don’t have cardboard bills), wool hats, and hand-knit hats.

Dissolve a ¼ strip of Clean Globe’s laundry detergent sheet in a sink or bucket of water. Place your hat in the soapy water and let it soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove and rinse thoroughly in cold water. Finally, pat down the hat with a clean towel and then let it air-dry.

There are hats that you can’t fully submerge in water, like straw hats, leather, suede, and felt hats, old baseball caps with cardboard bills, and hats made of delicate fabrics. These hats are best suited for spot cleaning.

How To Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

Just like the dishwasher, cleaning hats in a washing machine largely depends on the type of fabric used to make the hat. Acrylic, 100% cotton hats, and cotton-poly blend baseball caps should turn out OK. Never machine-wash straw hats, wool baseball caps, and hats made from cashmere, silk, and other delicate fabrics. 

Before you throw your favorite baseball cap in the washer, you'll want to place it in a cap washer frame. For other hats, use a zippered laundry wash bag to protect them from getting damaged by the motion of the washer.

Add the hats to a light load of similarly colored clothes. For a greener clean, use a ½ strip of Clean Globe’s eco-friendly laundry detergent sheets. Wash in warm or cold water (never hot) and use the gentlest cycle. Once the cycle is done, air-dry the hats.