How to wash a hat guide

How to Wash a Hat (Clean a Hat the Right Way)

Last updated by Yauni Smith on

Some aspects can make washing a hat challenging or tricky. For instance, you might not understand how to properly wash a hat with fast-fading colors or misshapen brims.

Don't worry; this post will cover all vital aspects of this crucial activity. If you’ve been contemplating how to wash a hat, here's a breakdown of everything you need to know so your hats appear new quickly!

As we all know, hats are crucial to our everyday lives. They're perfect for protecting us from harmful ultraviolet rays and shading our faces on bright sunny days. However, sweat, oils, and dirt get trapped in our lovely hats in between the hot sun, leaving a dirty and stinky mess. Sadly, compared to clothes, hats are difficult to clean.

Before You Wash a Hat, Understand the Brim

Before cleaning your hat, examining the brim type is the first crucial aspect. There are two main types of brims you’ll find on hats. They include the following:

Cardboard Brimmed Hats

Hats incorporating cardboard brims are older than those with plastic brims. These hats were manufactured before 1983. They produce a hollow sound once you flick or tap the brim. Unfortunately, you can only spot clean cardboard-brimmed hats. Submerging these hats in water will ruin them since water will distort the brim's shape. 

Plastic-Supported Brims

You'll find plastic-supported brims on newer hats. These are hats made after 1983 and are machine-washable. However, examining the care label first is always good practice before washing these hats. This way, you'll manage to clean your hat without causing damage.

Now that you understand the different brim types on hats, let's dig deep into the individual cleaning methods.

How to clean a hat guide

Washing Cardboard Brimmed Hats

As mentioned earlier, when examining how to wash a cap, it's good to understand that you can only incorporate the spot-clean method to wash cardboard-brimmed hats.

Steps on How to Spot Clean a Hat

  1. The first step of cleaning a cardboard-brimmed hat involves pouring your preferred laundry detergent into warm water. Then allow this detergent to fully dissolve in the water.
  2. Proceed to get a clean towel or piece of cloth and dip it in your solution. Use the wet towel to eliminate any stains on the inner headband and the rest of the cap. While doing this, be extra cautious not to soak the cap's brim to prevent damage. You can incorporate a soft-bristled brush if you're dealing with tougher stains to eliminate the grime from the hat.
  3. After eliminating the dirt and stains, effectively rinse the towel. Use this rinsed towel to remove all the detergent on the hat.
  4. Let the cap air dry after this, and enjoy wearing your clean hat.

Washing Plastic Brimmed Hats

These hats are either dishwasher or machine-washable. Let's look at these two methods in detail:

How to Wash Hat in Dishwasher

When examining how to wash a hat without ruining it, it's important to note that using a dishwasher is one of the safest and most effective methods since it will help you maintain your hat’s shape. Here are all the vital hat care guides you need to follow for this method:

  1. Start by looking at the dishwasher to ensure it's clean and empty. This step ascertains that no food residue from heavily soiled dishes can stain your hat.
  2. Proceed to add your favorite dishwasher detergent to the machine's dispenser. 
  3. Carefully place your cap/hat on the top rack of the dishwasher. Using a hat form will be useful during this step as it will help retain the hat's shape better.
  4. Once everything is in place, proceed to turn on the dishwasher. Be sure to incorporate a normal cycle during this process and use low heat or light wash.
  5. After the hat is clean, let it air dry.

How to Wash a Hat in the Washing Machine

Washing hats in the washing machine is a simple process. Here are the steps you must follow when examining how to wash a hat in the washer.

  1. The first step involves placing your hat in the washing machine. You can place it alone or incorporate it with a small laundry load to prevent it from losing shape. Remember to use a gentle detergent and warm water for this process and then set a gentle cycle. 
  2. Using a hat form during this process is also a good idea as it will help maintain the shape of your hat.
  3. Finally, let your hat air dry while still on the head mold or hat form.

Non-Machine Washable Hats

If you come across hats that don't allow you to use a washing machine, then hand washing is the ideal option.

How To Hand Wash a Hat

Consider the following steps when contemplating how to wash a hat by hand without ruining it. This method is also considered the best for those wondering how to wash a white hat or how to wash a hat in the shower. 

  1. Add small loads of your favorite detergent pod into a container or basin of warm water. Allow the mixture to fully dissolve.
  2. Place the dirty hat in the solution and allow it to fully soak for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Use a soft-bristled brush or a clean towel to gently scrub any soiled areas or stains.
  4. Use cool water to thoroughly rinse the hat.
  5. Remove your hat from the cool water after rinsing it and place it on a dry and clean towel. Press the dry towel against your hat to soak up and eliminate any excess water.
  6. Allow the hat to air dry. Use a mold during this step to maintain the hat's shape, and enjoy your clean hat later. 

How to clean a hat easily guide

Wrapping Up

Hats are amongst the most crucial items in our wardrobes that we frequently forget when cleaning other items in the closet. We hope this post was helpful if you've been looking up how to clean hats without ruining them or contemplating how to wash a dirty hat.

No matter the method you incorporate, be it using a washer or hand washing, finding the best way to wash a hat to give it a good clean will enhance and brighten your summer days.

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  • So I have a 30s style slouch hat for a cosplay of the Shadow superhero character. How do I tell if its got a cardboard brim? I tapped it and it sounded hollow, but the edge is very stiff, to the extent it feels like a thick wire, and the brim itself almost feels like just 2 or 3 layers of fabric sewn together.

    Plus, I have small “lint” scraps that are from the red scarf of the costume littering the hat, which is black as is the bulk of the costume. Can I just brush that crap off?

    Shawn Burke on
  • Thanks for the info that was on my mind

    Max on

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