7 tips to properly clean caps and hats

Learn how to clean your caps and hats with these 7 infallible tricks. Find out what to do and what not to do during the wash.

Last update: October 13, 2021

If you have a favorite cap or hat, sooner rather than later it will be time for you to wash them. Long-term use, especially during the hottest days, inevitably leads to dirt, odor and sweat pickup. If you don’t know how to clean caps and hats, we show you 7 tricks to do it the right way.

If these items are among your most loved possessions, the last thing you want is for them to lose color, texture, or shape. In case you have never washed them before, it is natural that you have doubts about how to clean caps and hats. Let’s see what you should do and what not to make the garments look like new.

The best tricks to clean caps and hats

Unless the manufacturer recommends it, you should never clean caps and hats in a washing machine. Even when you do it in the friendliest cycles, it is inevitable that its form will be compromised in the end. Similarly, the use of very powerful detergents can change its color permanently.

1. Use cold water

Using cold water is the first tip you should take into account when cleaning caps and hats. Unlike hot water, this will not alter its elasticity, color, shape or the materials of manufacture. This is an empirical trick that every cleaning lover knows; one that is also backed by scientific studies.

The water doesn’t need to be close to freezing, but it does need to be above room temperature by a couple of degrees. Pick up enough of it and let it sit for a bit if its temperature prevents you from handling it fluently. Please do not immerse the cap or hat there for a long time; you just need to moisten for a few seconds.

You should never use a washing machine for your caps and hats. In general, cycles ruin these garments.

2. Use neutral detergents

A neutral detergent is a product designed to take care of clothes, your skin or any type of delicate material. Its pH is not acidic, so it does not compromise the texture, shape or color of the material.

Its use is often associated only with delicate clothing, although in reality you should always use it. If your hat or cap has specific stains that you want to remove, you can rub a little directly on it with your hand and let it soak for 10 minutes. Avoid rubbing too hard, since even if the detergent is friendly, friction can compromise the material.

3. Scrub with a toothbrush

If the stain has not been removed with the help of detergent, then you can use a toothbrush to create more friction. The use of this is better than a conventional brush for clothes, since its size and its malleability are usable.

Make sure not to exceed in force or time to avoid discoloring the surface of the garment. The best thing you can do is rub for two or three seconds and then check the condition of the stain. If you proceed, do it for 2 or 3 more seconds and repeat.

4. Apply some baking soda

Baking soda is an ingredient with a thousand uses. Its use as a stain whitener is endorsed by researchers, not to mention that it is a great ally when it comes to eliminating bad odors. The fragrance that remains after use is neutral. Therefore, it is perfect for cleaning caps and hats.

Baking soda will generally not stain after application, but you can do a little test if the garment material is special. You can use it to scrub internal areas that tend to accumulate bad odor. Also for those stains that you have not been able to remove with the previous methods.

5. Rinse with cold water

After using neutral detergent, scrubbing with a toothbrush, and using baking soda, you should have gotten rid of odors and stains. If so, the next step is to rinse with cold water. In doing so, you can scrub its interior and exterior with your hands, always taking care of possible ornaments or extra elements.

Like you did in the beginning, prevents this process from taking a long time. The more it passes through the water, the more likely it is to lose its shape or alter its design. At all times you must be careful.

6. Look for padding to keep its shape

The next step is to prepare the garment for drying. Just as it is not recommended to use the washing machine, the use of the dryer is not suggested either to get rid of excess water. As you are already intuiting, it is not valid to squeeze or make sudden movements to accelerate the drying.

What is recommended is to look for some type of filling to preserve its shape. This way, the weight, gravity or weakness of the materials will not compromise the design. You can use clean towels or any other object that gets inside.

Baking soda has multiple uses in washing clothes. That is why it is useful for caps and hats.

7. Let it dry out of the sun

Last but not least, you should always dry it away from the sun. Direct light can discolor the garment, alter its texture and make it less malleable. For all this, it is advisable to choose the summer months for washing, since this way you can dry in the shade in less time and without any inconvenience.

There are no more secrets to cleaning caps and hats

Cleaning caps and hats does not involve any kind of complication. Before proceeding it is very important that you check the materials of the garments. If these are very old, it is very likely that their wings or their visor are made of cardboard or a flimsy material that is damaged in contact with water.

For these contexts it is better to dry clean. Since you don’t want to spoil your hat or cap, it’s best to leave the job to a dry cleaner.

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