How to Wash a Hat, Baseball Caps and more

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How to Wash a Hat

How to wash a Hat?!

In my ongoing ‘Love to Clean’ series, I’m excited to share a foolproof trick today for cleaning hats while maintaining their shape.

This reliable technique has been passed down to me from my mother. Growing up, I noticed my father’s love for hats, especially baseball caps. However, with frequent use came the inevitable challenge of dealing with dirty hats that seemed impossible to clean without losing their original form.

While it may seem natural to toss hats in the washing machine since they’re made of fabric, the rough and vigorous agitation can easily distort their shape.

Fortunately, I have a hassle-free and effective method to wash hats without compromising their shape or resorting to tedious hand-washing.

Here’s what you’ll need to effectively clean your hats:

  • A dishwasher
  • Dishwasher detergent (I recommend a specific brand)
  • White vinegar (optional)
  • Baking soda or Oxiclean

Follow this cleaning guide:

  1. Begin by removing any hardened dirt from the hat using warm water and a washcloth.
  2. If the hat is exceptionally dirty or emits an unpleasant odor, pretreat the affected areas by spraying them with white vinegar and allowing it to soak for about 10 minutes.
  3. For stubborn sweat stains on the brim, spot clean by sprinkling baking soda, an excellent stain remover I frequently use. If you don’t have baking soda, Oxiclean can serve as a suitable substitute.
  4. After applying baking soda, spray it with vinegar or warm water if vinegar is not available. Then, gently scrub the hat with a toothbrush or a similar soft-bristled cleaning brush.
  5. Once the hat is pretreated, place it on the top rack of the dishwasher. I typically run the hats through a full cycle along with pre-rinsed dishes. However, if you prefer, load the top rack with your hats and run them in a separate cycle.
  6. Use your regular dishwasher detergent for the load, as it is remarkably effective at cleaning hats. If you’re hesitant about the detergent, vinegar can be used as an alternative.
  7. Once the dishwasher cycle is complete, remove the hats and lay them out on a towel to air-dry. And there you have it! Your hats are now clean and fresh-smelling.
  8. Please note that for wool baseball caps, cherished old hats, or vintage hats, I advise against using the dishwasher, as the hot water could cause shrinkage or loss of shape. Instead, spot-clean these hats in the sink using warm water and a mild detergent like dish soap.
  9. Lastly, remember to never use bleach on baseball hats. If not thoroughly rinsed out, bleach can irritate your skin the next time you wear the hat.