Hats come in a stunning number of shapes and styles. Whether you wear a hat for business or leisure, it will occasionally need maintenance. These cherished items take on a lot of grime and dirt as you go about your daily routine in addition to absorbing oils, sweat, and hair products.
Fortunately, modern hats are typically made of sturdy, machine-washable materials like cotton, jersey mesh, cotton-polyester mixes, or other unique blends. We’ll explain how to wash hats of all varieties in the washing machine in this article. Follow the instructions below to keep your favorite headwear clean and looking as good as new.
Before You Machine-Wash That Hat
We know you love that hat, so you want to be careful about how you handle it so that it comes out looking perfect every time it goes into the washer. If you’ve owned your hat for a while, then you probably have an idea about handling it correctly. If, however, you want to wash a hat for the first time, there are a few things you need to do know before tossing it in a washer:
Check Out the Care Label
Hats typically come with care tags that tell you exactly what and what you should not do to keep your hat in great shape. If the care tag says ‘dry-clean’ only, then you can either take it to a professional dry cleaner or learn how to dry clean at home.
Determine If the Material Is Machine-Washable
Different materials of hats have different tolerances. That your hat doesn’t expressly say it shouldn’t go in the washing machine doesn’t mean you should put it in; you may ruin it – for some, gradually; for others, the damage is immediate. The trick is to know which material can survive the washing machine and which wouldn’t.
Wool hats are mostly fragile and easily deformable, so you may want to be careful when you load them into the washing machine. Put wool hats in a garment bag or pillowcase (with the end tied) to protect them from the tumbling motion of the washer.
Straw hats should never go in the washing machine or else you may never wear them again; the washing machine will most certainly ruin them.
Synthetic fabrics and cotton blend hats are mostly machine-washable. These include materials such as acrylic, cotton polyester, or mesh.
Cotton hats typically do well in a washing machine, although they tend to shrink a little when they come out. Here’s how to unshrink cotton hats.
Consider the Style
Baseball hats, beanies, and berets are all examples of headwears that can go into a washer and come out without losing any shape.
If you, however, have a sun hat or other styles which may lose shape in the washing machine, then you really don’t want to toss it in.
In general, let your initiative guide you. If you feel like the hat is too fragile for the washer, you’re probably right. We have also included instructions on how to hand wash hats. Keep reading to find out.
How To Wash Your Hats In a Washing Machine
Before you load hats into the washer, check if they have stains or extremely dirty areas on them. If they do, you should spot-treat those areas first.
Use a fabric stain remover, a spray with a solvent base, or a powerful detergent. Put the cap through a mild cycle of cold water washing. The hat should not be placed in the dryer. Air-dry it instead.
Make sure to apply the stain remover on the interior lining and headband of the hat to remove any sweat stains there. After using the stain remover, leave your hat out for around 30 minutes to allow the solution to penetrate the fabric completely.
With that out of the way, follow the steps below to wash your (machine-washable) hat.
- Put the hat in the washer with mild detergent and warm water on a soft cycle. To cushion the tumbling motion in the washer, add a few clothes along with the said hat. This would help to keep the cap’s shape intact.
- Hats made with delicate materials should first be put in a mesh bag to serve as a buffer.
- It helps to add an Oxi Booster pod to particularly stained hats to get rid of even the difficult stains! You can also put it in a hat form to keep your hat from losing shape in the washing.
- If you wish, use a hat shape or head mold to let the hat air dry, or hang it up to dry.
- Turn on your washer machine and launder normally.
Other Tips For Washing Your Hats Correctly
- After washing, it’s better to air-dry your hats than to let them go in the dryer. This will go a long way in preserving the form of the hat. Dry rib knits and acrylic beanies flat on a dry, clean towel. Don’t hang your beanies up to dry if you don’t want them to stretch out!
- Always avoid washing your white hats with colored garments – it rarely ends well. So you should sort your caps with the rest of your clothing!
- You should use mild detergent and contain no bleach to avoid ruining delicate materials. One such gentle detergent you can try is Woolite laundry detergent.
- Don’t attempt to use hot water to wash your cap; doing this may ruin its color and texture. We recommend using cool water and a gentle setting to wash your hats.
How to Spot-Clean Hats
Some hats should never be soaked in water to avoid ruining them. Cardboard-brimmed baseball hats, for example, are spot-clean only. Hats made from fragile materials should also be spot-cleaned. Here’s how to go about it:
- Add an appropriate amount of laundry detergent into some warm water and let it mix thoroughly.
- Any stains on the hat or inside the headband can be gently removed by dipping a clean towel into the solution. For cardboard-brimmed baseball hats, don’t let the brim get wet! Take note of any particular filthy spots, particularly around the brim.
- Use a soft-bristled brush to remove the dirt from the fabric when dealing with harder stains.
- Once the detergent is completely removed from the hat, properly rinse the towel.
- Hang the hat out to dry (preferably in a breezy, sunny area).
How to Hand Wash a Hat
- Add an appropriate amount of laundry detergent to some warm water and let it mix thoroughly.
- Put the hat in the soapy solution and let it soak for about 15 minutes – soak for longer if the hat is particularly filthy.
- Scrub the hat using a soft-bristled brush, focusing on the dirty areas the most.
- Fill a bucket with cool water and rinse the hat or rinse under running water until clean.
- When you’re happy, take the hat out and place it in a dry, clean towel and slowly massage it to remove excess water.
- Hang the hat out to dry (preferably in a breezy, sunny area).
Will Washing a Hat Ruin It?
That would depend on the style of the hat and the kind of material it’s made of. Most baseball hats are made of sturdy materials and so can be machine-washed or hand-washed with no problems.
You should be careful, however, when you need to wash cardboard-brimmed baseball hats or hats with fragile parts and accessories. For these kinds, spot-cleaning them is the best option. Simply follow the instructions above to spot-clean your fragile hats.
Lastly, you should never wash your white hat with colored clothing to avoid catching colors. Rather, white hats should be washed with white clothing in the washer. With these tips for washing your hat, we’re sure nothing can go wrong. Happy washing.