How To Clean Your Suede or Leather Hat by American Hat Makers

How To

How To Clean Your Suede or Finished Leather Hat

Leather hats - both suede and finished - are a great wardrobe staple that can and should last a lifetime. Some of their best qualities are that they tend to look better over time (with wear-and-tear), and they can easily be restored to 'new' if they start looking too worn. 

How to Clean Your Leather Hat 

We pride ourselves in making the best leather hats you can buy for men and women. The key to taking care of your investment is to properly care for, store, and clean your leather hat. Below are tips and tricks for ensuring our top grain leather hats will last you for many years. 

What's the Difference Between Suede, Nubuck, and Finished Leather?

The main differences between these three types of leather lie in which part of the animal hide is used, and how the hide is finished. Suede is created by sanding or rubbing the soft underside of a split-grain animal hide to give it 'nap.' Nubuck and finished leather are both created from the outside layer of the hide, which tends to be much thicker, sturdier, and more durable. To turn the outer hide into nubuck, it's then sanded to create 'nap.'

How to Clean Sweat and Other Stains From Your Suede or Nubuck Leather Hat

As with most hat material types, it's best to first spot clean your hat without using liquids. Before trying anything else, we suggest using either a suede bar and brush or high grit sandpaper (400+ grit) to brush up the 'nap' on the nubuck or suede leather, thus removing troublesome spots.

For tougher stains or blemishes, we recommend using Bickmore Suede and Nubuck Cleaner to remove most stains in conjunction with Fiebing’s Suede and Nubuck Cleaner Kit, which contains a suede bar and brush. This will keep your hat looking brand new. 

How to Clean Sweat and Other Stains From Your Finished Leather Hat

Similar to suede, the key to keeping your finished leather hat looking and feeling new is to take steps to prevent problems. Specifically, you should avoid wearing your hat in situations when it may be soaked with water (such as during rainstorms), and not use hair products when wearing your hat.

Although finished leather is a bit tougher than suede, stains are still possible. For tougher stains and blemishes, we recommend using our Finished Leather Conditioning Kit, which contains a bottle of Bickmore Bick 4 leather conditioner and a high-quality sheepskin chamois. Simply apply a quarter-sized drop of leather conditioner to the sheepskin and then apply it to all of the exterior leather surfaces on your hat. This leather conditioner will keep your leather hat looking as nice as the day you bought it!

How to Store Your Leather Hat

We always recommend using a Hat Cone when not using your hat, and to never store it in direct sunlight, such as in a hot car, for extended periods of time. Remember to never dry your hat in direct sunlight, as this can distort the shape of your hat. In addition to this, if your hat gets wet, we recommend leaving it on a cone to dry. If your hat is put away while it's damp, there is a chance it could mildew.