Baseball hats are the perfect accessory for summer. They keep you cool and shaded under the blistering sun. Between the hot temperatures and being outside for long periods, you might expect sweat, oils, and dirt to become trapped in your favorite hast. Creating a stinky, unflattering mess that unfortunately is not as easy to clean as your t-shirts and jeans.
Washing hats can be a tricky job as you want to avoid damaging your hat in any way. Like fading colors, destroying stitching, or misshaping/shrinking your hat. Let’s go over some of the best ways to wash your hat so it smells and looks brand new.
Find The Wash Tag
Inside your hat, try to find a label that lists the materials and instructions on how to wash the hat, this label is called the wash/care tag. This is an extremely important first step because the way you end up cleaning your baseball cap will depend heavily on the materials and designer’s instructions that may be already listed on the tag. I always recommend following the wash tags instructions, but if no instructions are listed or the tag is missing, then I would follow the steps below.
Knowing The Hat Material Is Vital
Once you know the material of your hat from the care tag, it is extremely important to care for the hat correctly to avoid damaging the material during cleaning. For example, wool cannot be washed in warm water and requires a special kind of detergent. Cotton is the most common material used for hats and it’s much more durable and can be washed in a variety of ways. I would avoid washing hats that have special materials like leather, suede, or metal accessories as water and detergent can be damaging to these types of hats.
How To Hand Wash Your Baseball Hat
A quick and safe way to clean almost any hat is by handwashing it in the sink. All you will need for this is a sink (or just a bucket), some detergent, and a toothbrush.
- Fill your sink or bucket with cool water and add a drop or two of mild laundry detergent to the water. Drop the hat into the water and lightly move the hat around in the water to create some suds.
- Let the hat soak for 5-10 minutes depending on how dirty it is
- For the dirty or stained areas, take your toothbrush and scrub as needed.
- Take the hat out of the water, lightly squeeze the water out of the material and let it air dry overnight. Do not put your hat in the dryer as the heat will cause damage to the materials and plastics.
How To Deep Clean Your Baseball Hat
Sometimes your hat will need a deep clean, especially after a vacation or extending periods of activity like golfing or jogging. Getting the stains, dirt, and oils out can be tricky but with the right items, you will have a cleaned-up hat in no time.
- Fill up your sink or bucket with cold water and add a color-safe oxygen bleach like OxiClean to the water (follow the manufacturer’s instructions).
- Next, submerge the hat into the water and add detergent to any specific areas that need a deep clean, take your toothbrush and scrub as necessary.
- Soak the hat for 1 hour in your sink or bucket
- Rinse the hat off with cool water and check the areas that you scrubbed. Repeat these steps as needed.
- Let the hat air-dry overnight, remember to never use the dryer for this step.
How To Wash Your Hat In the Dishwasher
This is a popular way to clean hats but I would suggest hand washing your dirty hats instead of using the dishwasher. But if you want convenience and choose this method then place your hat on the top rack in an empty dishwasher. Select cool water on the gentle cycle, and add bleach-free detergent to the detergent dispenser.
How to Clean Vintage Baseball Hats
Before the 1980s almost all baseball hat brims were made with cardboard and not plastic. These kinds of hats can only be spot cleaned as submerging the hat into water will destroy the cardboard and warp the brim. To spot clean grab a toothbrush, some detergent, and a bowl. Mix cold water and the detergent into the bowl and dip your toothbrush into the mixture. Next scrub the areas of the hat that are dirty and let it air dry overnight once you are finished.
I hope after reading this article you have a hat that looks and smells brand new. Remember that washing a hat takes a little more effort than cleaning your everyday clothing, but it is worth it to wear a clean and nice-smelling hat compared to the alternative.