5 simple steps for cleaning hats

July 28, 2015

Choosing the right hat to top off an outfit is an art but keeping that hat clean is an acquired skill, based on the material from which that hat is made. Here are some tips for cleaning hats made from various fabrics.




5 simple steps for cleaning hats

1. Get rid of dust

It's important for a hat to be dust free because if the hat gets wet, the dust will be harder to eliminate.

  • To keep a fur, felt or velour hat clean, regularly brush the dust and dirt from the surface with a nylon or horsehair brush.
  • Refresh a tired felt hat by holding it over steaming water for a second or two and brush with the nap.
  • For light soiling, rub a felt hat with a little dry-cleaning fluid or car upholstery cleaner once it has been brushed to remove dust. But, do not use too much cleaner.
  • Avoid the temptation to use stain-removal products as this can damage the hat further and create stain rings.
  • For more extensive stains or soiling, take your hat to a professional for cleaning and shaping.

2. Remove spots & stains

  • If you spill something on your hat, blot it immediately with a soft, absorbent cloth to prevent it from seeping into the hat.
  • If your hat gets spotted with mud, let it dry first. Then lightly brush it off with a nylon or horsehair brush.

3. Take the inside out

    • If the satin lining of your hat is removable, you can wash it by hand in cold water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Place the satin lining in the water and rub it with a stiff scrubbing brush. To rinse, hold it under cold running water. Let it air dry.
    • To remove wrinkles, expose it to the steam from your steam iron — without actually touching the iron to the lining.

4. Use dishwasher for caps

  • To clean a baseball cap, give it a single cycle on the top shelf of your dishwasher, held in place with a couple of plastic pegs or stretched over a plastic bowl
  • Remove the cap before the drying cycle and let it air dry.
  • Most modern baseball caps are made from polyester or cotton and will survive a cycle in the washing machine.
  • Brims today are made of rigid plastic, rather than cardboard, so they will not disintegrate in water.
  • Do not tumble dry. If you are concerned about the fragility of your cap, or if it is made from wool, wash it gently by hand using an approved wool wash.

5. Final refresher

If a hat has faded in spots and you're ready to hang it up for good, here's how to get a little more life out of it:

  • For a white hat, apply talcum powder using a dry sponge.
  • For coloured hats, grind down a crayon that matches the colour, mix with the talcum powder and apply.
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