Wearing a baseball cap is more than just supporting a sports team; it is a culture that evolves with changing trends. Part of this culture is proper care and maintenance of the baseball cap, especially how to wash it.
Because of the cap’s design, it is impossible to wash it like any other clothing item without causing irreparable damage.
Luckily, there are steps to follow when cleaning your favorite caps and items to achieve your goals.
How to Correctly Clean a Baseball Cap
The term ‘wash’ about cleaning a baseball cap is a misnomer because it doesn’t follow conventional wash processes. A baseball cap might not enter a washer during the cleaning steps because the vigor of washing will dismember the careful construction of a baseball cap, damaging its signature look.
Read the care label attached to the baseball cap for the correct wash instructions like the water temperature, if it is machine-washable or dry clean only.
Steps to Follow When Cleaning a Baseball Cap
- Evaluate the Cap
Before you start cleaning the baseball cap, check what kind of cap it is. Older caps have cardboard on the visor, so you have to avoid water as much as possible, and soft caps are more malleable. These differences determine how the cleaning will occur.
You should check if the cap is colorfast, which is a fancy way of saying it doesn’t bleed color. When a baseball cap, or any cloth, bleeds color, it affects the wash process and the type of cleaning agent used.
Put a little cleanser on a hidden spot inside the cap. Dab the area with a white paper towel; if the color stains the paper towel, the cap is not colorfast, so you should adjust the cleaning process.
Check how much soil the cap has, especially the rim. This check will determine if you will spot treat or deep clean the cap.
- Spot Treat the Stains
When you evaluate the baseball cap and see only a few stains, you should spot treat it.
The stain remover should be suitable for the baseball cap, so you should perform a patch test similar to how you test for color bleeding to see if the stain remover will damage the cap’s fabric.
Dust off any debris from the cap and gently dab with a paper towel or cotton cloth to absorb the excess stains.
Sprinkle cold water on the cap to make it damp, and pour a tiny amount of stain remover on the stains. Leave the treatment for 30 minutes.
Use a soft brush to scrub the stains and rinse with cold water.
- Soak the baseball cap
Sometimes, the cap will require a deeper cleaning than just spot treating, especially if you leave it for an extended period without washing.
Fill a sizable bowl with cold water and pour in a suitable cleaning agent. Soak the cap in the water for 30 to 40 minutes and gently scrub with a soft brush.
Ensure to carefully scrub every part of the cap, especially the rims, and check for hidden stains.
Be careful if there is cardboard in your cap because water touching it can damage the structure. Hold the baseball cap with a clothespin on a line so it can soak without affecting the cardboard. Blot the visor with a damp cloth instead of scrubbing with a brush.
- Rinse the cap
Whether you spot treat or deep clean the cap, you will face the rinsing stage. The rinsing stage is where damage can happen to your baseball cap if you don’t take proper care.
Do not wring or squeeze the cap and avoid drenching it with too much water.
Rinse the cap under cold running water till there are no more soap suds. However, don’t leave the cap constantly under the tap to avoid a drenching.
Another method of rinsing the cap is to pour cold water into a bowl, dip it in for a few seconds and take it out repeatedly till there are no more suds.
- Drying the cap
After rinsing the cap, place it on a towel while it’s wet so the water can drain without you squeezing the cap.
Drying the cap is not just about hanging it to air-dry – although that is the suitable drying method – you have to ensure all the sides are drying evenly to avoid destroying the cap’s structure. Always try to preserve the shape of the baseball cap when drying.
Place an object with a round top on a table and put the cap over it. The table should be well-ventilated and have access to direct sunlight.
- Place in a Washer
Avoid a washer as much as possible when cleaning a baseball cap. If it is necessary to use one when there are many caps or very pronounced stains, use the “delicate wash cycle” and cold water setting.
Place the caps in a mesh bag to avoid direct stress on them.
7 Items that will Effectively Clean a Baseball Cap
- Laundry Detergent
A mild laundry detergent will be suitable for spot treating and deep cleaning baseball caps. It is the default item to use when cleaning them but ensures to use one that doesn’t have bleach or fabric softener.
Check the label on the bottle for the correct amount of laundry detergent to use while cleaning the cap.
- Dishwashing Liquid
Dishwashing liquid is suitable for cleaning baseball caps with delicate fabrics and ones that bleed color because it is mild and has no adverse effects.
Mix two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid and one tablespoon of water to loosen the soap, making the spot cleaning more efficient.
OxiClean is perfect for spot treating and deep cleaning, but it is the default item for deep cleaning. It removes tough stains without damaging the cap’s fabric.
Check the direction label for the correct amount of OxiClean to use and pour that amount into a bowl of cold water. Soak the cap in the water for 35 minutes, scrub, and rinse the cap.
Since your cap mainly lives on your head/hair, it only makes sense to use your hair cleaning product to clean the cap.
The shampoo is suitable for baseball caps with too many sweat stains. Gently scrub the rims of the baseball cap with a gentle shampoo, and if necessary, soak and deep clean the baseball cap.
- White Vinegar
White vinegar is a natural stain remover, degreaser, deodorizer, and brightener. It is invaluable when cleaning baseball caps.
Pour a ¼ cup of white vinegar into the water you’re using to soak the cap, and when you’re rinsing the cap.
Do not mix up white vinegar with fruit vinegar to avoid extra staining.
Puracy is an enzyme-based natural stain remover that targets specific stains. This stain remover will remove tough stains without damaging the baseball caps because of its enzyme formula.
Puracy can effortlessly remove those old hard-to-remove stains on your long-abandoned baseball caps without damaging the fabric.
Shout is another stain remover suitable for colorfast baseball caps. It is gel-based, making it easier to scrub the cap and blot the paper visor.
Shout also doubles as a laundry detergent, making it a suitable cleaning agent during deep cleaning.