Posted on January 08 2020
Though blogs and articles about cap cleaning and washing have been posted and published ad nauseum, we're going to answer the age-old question one more time: "Do you wash a cap in a washing machine?" Write it down, put it in your phone, add it to your calendar, put a Post-It Note on your dresser mirror, or whatever it takes to remember the following information, please.
Hopefully, this will be the last time you have to sit through yet another piece of literature involving hat washing and cleaning. Regardless, here we go…
To Wash or Not to Wash
Naturally, socks, pants, shirts, etc. get thrown in the washing machine when they get dirty. But hats get something beyond dirty – they get sweat stained, smelly, and grimy. When your favorite hat becomes disgusting, do you have it professionally cleaned, hand wash it, throw it in the washing machine, or something else?
A lot depends on how important that hat is to you. If it's a throwaway, do exactly that. If not, and you really want to save it, there are some decisions to make.
Toss It or Wash It?
Similar to certain kinds of clothing, washable materials are used in some caps. Hopefully, the hat you purchased has a laundering label or some other type of advice as to the best way to care for the hat. Generally speaking, on something like a baseball cap, sweat stains should be pretreated. Never use bleach, just seek out a good stain remover.
If it's a quality hat, you might get away with using mild laundry soap, warm or cool water, and a general washing routine that you'd use on clothes made from polyester, twill, or cotton. But not always.
Avoid bleach, machine or handwash in cold water, and air dry if your hat is woven from polyurethane spandex, as with most flex fit hats.
If a hat contains cardboard parts, this does not point to a high-quality product. It may fall apart if you wash it. But unless you have some emotional attachment to it, it wasn't high-end enough to worry about! Replace it.
These are used when someone wants to clean their cap in a washing machine (or a dishwasher, if that's the route you're taking), but doesn't want the cap to lose its shape. Once the hat is cleaned and removed from the cage, place it on a towel for air drying. Some people like to place the cap on a Styrofoam head (like hairdressers use for wigs), coffee can, or upturned bowl to help it keep its shape.
Dry Cleaning and Handwashing
If the "How to Care for…" label says dry clean or hand wash, do so. Using appropriate detergents or dry-cleaning, hats containing leather straps, polo hats, and wool caps are good candidates for these methods. Handwashing should definitely be used on certain specialty caps, i.e., Nike Dri-FIT. If you can't find a label that tells you how to clean your hat, try is the manufacturer’s website.
Don't forget that at Hat Heaven, we carry a multitude of caps in numerous styles, designs, colors, sizes, etc. We have some of the biggest and best brands in the cap industry. Whether you're a collector of caps, or someone new to wearing caps, you'll find what you're looking for on our website.