“But hats aren’t a type of clothing that needs to be washed… right?”
Be honest, have you ever given that old baseball cap a wash? Do you even know how to wash a hat? If you answered no to either (or both) of these questions, we’re not here to shame you! After all, hats aren’t often thought of as the kind of thing you toss in with your shirts and pants on laundry day. But even if you aren’t wearing your baseball cap to mow the lawn and play pickup softball on a regular basis, hats do still require an occasional wash. Here’s how to wash a hat:
What to Avoid
While there are some that say the best way to wash a hat is in the dishwasher, there’s really no need to risk potentially ruining your hat to save a little bit of time and effort. This is why we recommend sticking to a good old-fashioned hand-wash.
Vintage hats have a brim made from cardboard instead of plastic, rendering them incapable of soaking without basically falling apart. If you’re not sure if your old hat is old enough to have a cardboard brim or not, give it a good flick. If the sound produced is hollow, stay on the safe side and don’t go past a spot clean.
Some baseball caps are also made of wool. If this is the case for yours, be extra careful when you clean it as wool baseball caps are more delicate and prone to losing their shape. Use just a few drops of a mild detergent that’s compatible with wool and scrub extra gently.
If you shouldn’t wash your hat in the dishwasher, odds are you shouldn’t wash it in the washing machine either. While some hats may say it’s okay in their care instruction label, machine washes are notorious for beating the shape out of hats and they can make a hat come apart more quickly.
How to Wash a Baseball Cap (Spot Clean)
Start by filling your sink up with cool water, then add a few drops of laundry detergent. If you only have laundry pods, you can boil one in a few cups of water on the stove, then fill the sink with the detergent water (after it’s cooled!) and some more cool water from the sink. Let the hat soak for about 15 minutes, then drain the water. Rinse the hat with a gentle stream of cool sink water, then pat the hat down with a towel and let it air dry over something that resembles your head (a coffee can or some other cylinder can work nicely): this will help reshape the hat as it dries!
How to Wash a Baseball Cap (Deep Clean)
For older hats (but not ones with a cardboard brim), hats that have never been washed before, or hats that are actively worn to play baseball, complete yard work, or do anything that invites dirt and sweat, you’re probably going to have to perform a deep clean.
Luckily deep cleans aren’t much harder than spot cleans, they just take a bit longer. Start by filling your sink and adding your detergent, but this time scrub (a toothbrush works nicely for this) any specific stains or spots that you see before you leave your hat to soak, and when you do leave your hat to soak, let it sit for 2-3 hours instead of 15 minutes. After the hours have passed, you can give any stains that wouldn’t come out another go, and after that, the procedure is basically the same! Rinse with cool water and pat the hat with a towel, then let it air dry over something that resembles your head.
Now that you know the best way to wash a hat, it might be time to give your down comforter that cleaning it’s been needing. Or maybe your white shoes have been begging for a touch-up? No matter what task you’re tackling, the Public Goods Blog has all of the tips and tricks you could ever need to supplement your clean, healthy, and eco-friendly lifestyle!
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