3 effective and easy ways to wash your favorite baseball cap

November 24, 2014

Sports, hiking, yard work—there are dozens of reasons to wear a baseball cap. Eventually you'll want (or need) to wash it. But how? Easy! With one of these three effective, easy ways.
Believe it or not, dry cleaning is an option, though you probably prefer saving the money and washing your baseball cap yourself. Most caps are cotton, cotton-blend or wool, all of which can be washed at home. Wool hats need slightly different care, so check your hat’s fabric first. If your cap has an original brand sticker, cover with clear tape before washing. If your hat has an autograph, hand washing is the way to go.

1. Hand wash your cap

For a cotton or cotton-blend cap:

  • Start by mixing a small amount of liquid laundry detergent and cool water in a bowl. Use a toothbrush or washcloth to spot clean stains.
  • Pay special attention to the inside headband, as that part of the hat absorbs the most sweat. If the headband is white, it may require some added cleaning power to return it to its original color. Mix in non-chlorine or oxygen (color-safe) bleach into your bowl and scrub the headband.
  • Rinse with cool water.

Wool requires a pH-neutral detergent and should only be spot cleaned.

  • Be gentle with scrubbing wool so as not to damage the wool’s surface.

2. Toss it in the washing machine—but not the dryer!

Non-wool caps can go in the washing machine.

  • Toss the hat in with a light load on a delicate or hand-wash setting.
  • Tackle any stains with a pre-wash spray.
  • Avoid washing with heavy items like sheets, towels or denim—they will just beat up the cap.
  • You may want to invest in a plastic ball cap holder. These are designed for front-load washers and snap around the form of the hat to maintain its shape during a wash cycle.

Unless you want a hat suited to a child’s head, do not put your cap in the dryer. To best dry it:

  • Press firmly with a towel to remove excess wetness—especially wool hats. Wool will absorb more water than other fabrics.
  • Once towel-dried, place the cap in a well-ventilated area to dry.
  • Avoid direct sunlight as it can cause fabrics to fade.
  • Use a form of some kind – a coffee can or rolled up newspaper will do - to help it retain its shape as it dries.

3. Place it in the dishwasher

You can also wash a baseball cap in the dishwasher—yes, the dishwasher!

  • Place the hat on the top shelf and secure with plastic clothespins. (It’s best to do this with a load that’s not too messy with food.)
  • Avoid using lemon dishwashing detergent and select a normal wash cycle.
  • Remove the cap before the start of the drying cycle and follow the instructions above to air dry.

How often you wash your baseball cap is a matter of personal preference, and often depends on how much you sweat. With a little care, you can keep a baseball cap in winning condition—bright, clean and ready for the next adventure.

3 effective and easy ways to wash your favorite baseball cap
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