What Methods Should I Use To Clean My Hat?

One of the most common questions asked by many hat owners is how can I properly wash my hats? The answer to that often depends on several factors. This includes the type, its age, its material, and the amount of dirt on it. However, once you have figured out these details, then you can decide upon the appropriate method of cleaning. However, if we were to narrow it down, it is often recommended that you either wash it by hand or use machine wash it instead.

Hand Washing

Hand Washing

Using the handwashing method is one of the most effective ways to wash your hat, even if the tag states that you can throw it into the washer. Several varieties of hats are suitable for handwashing. For instance, these include any hats that are made of wool, cotton, or are knitted. Most especially hats with prints or patterns like custom camo hats should be washed by hand.

The first thing to do is pour cold water into a bowl or bucket. It is advisable to avoid hot water, seeing as this could cause the color to start running, especially on printed fabrics. Plus, if you have a bulk number of hats to clean, then it’s best to do them one at a time.

If there is too much dirt to wash off, then you may be thinking about adding a lot of soap. However, it’s best that you simply add a little detergent to the cold water and stir until it fully dissolves. Additionally, it’s best that you do not add bleach or use dishwater detergent. They may end up being too strong for your hat and damage the color print.

To prevent this, it is also recommended that you dip a part of your cap into the water first to check whether the color starts to wear off. If you do not see any color dye in the water, then try wiping your cap on a tissue to check if any dye stains pop out. If there is discoloration present, then perhaps dry cleaning is the better option for that hat.

However, if you are confident that the hat is not color bleeding, then you can proceed. Make sure that you fully soak it in the water for about 30 minutes or so. However, if you notice more dirt and grime, then you may leave it for another few more hours. After which, you may remove it and rinse it with running water to remove any remaining detergent. You should also try gently squeezing it to remove any remaining moisture. After which, dry it down with a clean towel until the water stops dripping.

Hand Washing

It’s also best to avoid twisting it, as this could end up damaging the shape of your hat. Once done, you can hang it outside and let the hat air dry. However, do not leave it out in the open as this could cause fading, so make sure to hang it somewhere with shade. You should also avoid using a blow dryer as this often leads to shrinking.

Machine Wash Method

Machine Wash Method

It’s no secret that taking your clothes down to the washing machine is not a difficult thing to do. However, if you are planning on adding a hat to your load, then it’s best to take precautions. In most cases, the best hats to machine wash are cotton or cotton-poly blend hats such as a baseball cap or a fisherman hat, for example. However, you should avoid hats that are made of soft fabrics such as cashmere, wool, silk, etc.

Also, before you place the hat in the machine, you can always wash the dirtiest areas by hand first, using a soft-bristled brush. It is also recommended to use a garment bag on your hat as an extra layer to protect its shape and color from any motion damage. 

Another thing to consider is that you should avoid washing in high heat as it could result in unexpected shrinkage and even end up reshaping the hat. Moreover, much like any other garment, you should only wash with other similar colors. If you put in a red hat into a load of white sheets, there’s a high chance it will all come out pink! You should also make sure the machine cycle is set to gentle to prevent any unnecessary damage from the excessive movement.

Once your hat is out of the washing machine, avoid putting it n the dryer and just air dry it instead. If you use a dryer, it may just end up shrinking it, and that is never worth the risk. You can also place a rolled-up towel inside the hat to keep it from losing its shape as well.


There you have it – a simple, straightforward guide on how best to wash your hat. Now, the next time you buy an expensive cap or order a custom printed hat, you don’t have to worry about it going all to waste!

Read Also: Your Cheat-Sheet to Becoming a Fashionista in 4 Easy Ways

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