How To Remove Unsightly Sweat Stains From Your Fitted Caps

Posted on November 05 2019

If you own more than one cap, it's likely you have a favorite. You know the one. You've always favored it over the others, it fits perfectly, it seems to go with everything… Have you seen it lately? Far too many favorite fitted caps end up shoved in the back of a closet because they are stained with sweat.

It doesn't matter how physically fit you are, or how pretty you are, or how big or little you are – everybody sweats. If you wear a cap while you're sweating, chances are it will end up with sweat stains on it. Wouldn't it be great if you could get the stains out of that cap and have it once again be your favorite?

We’re going to show you a handful of ways to remove cap sweat stains. Some techniques work better than others, depending on the material from which the cap is made. Choose wisely!

How To Remove Unsightly Sweat Stains From Your Fitted Caps

Using an Enzyme-Based Cleaner

The enzyme treatment you will use is the same one they use for pet urine clean-up. Retail stores carry them. Follow these steps:

  • The enzyme cleaner must be fully dissolved.
  • For 20 minutes, soak the hat (more if the stain is bad).
  • The hat can now be washed in the washing machine or by hand. The following tips may be needed to get out really bad stains.

Take It to the Drycleaner

Because some water cleaning methods damage hats dry-cleaning might be your only option. Hats that do not take well to water are as follows:

  • Fedoras
  • Top hats
  • Felt hats

On the other hand, fedoras and top hats are not ordinarily recommended for dry-cleaning. Cowboy hats and other felt hats can usually be dry-cleaned for sweat stain removal. To restore their shape after cleaning, they may need to be re-blocked. Be absolutely sure that the dry-cleaner you choose has experience with hat cleaning.

The Good Old Washing Machine

This isn’t necessarily our first choice, but some hats can be rid of sweat stains simply by using a washing machine. Take note that only these color fast hats should see the inside of washing machine:

  • Knit hats
  • Golf hats
  • Baseball caps

They should only be made of the following:

  • Washable polyester blend
  • Twill
  • Cotton

Here's how to go about using the washing machine:

  • With stain remover, pretreat the sweat stained areas.
  • Use a cold, gentle cycle for washing.
  • As soon as the washing machine finishes its final spin cycle, take out the hat and set it out to air dry – no dryers!

If You Only Need Spot Treatment

If you don't want to completely soak your hat – as with leather hats – this might work well. This does not work on felt hats!

  • If needed, affected areas can be pretreated with a mild stain remover.
  • Cleaning solution should be mixed up and it should be mild.
  • The stained area should be gently scrubbed with a premixed cleaning solution. Some success has been achieved with white vinegar, as well.
  • With cool water, rinse the cleansed areas. Wipe away the soap with a new, clean cloth. For leather, use a damp sponge.
  • With no added heat, air dry.

The Dishwasher Method

In some instances, this method achieves good results. It works for the following kinds of caps and more:

  • Polyester fabric blends
  • Jersey mesh
  • Cotton

Here is an important word of warning however – do not use the dishwasher method if the hat's brim is made of cardboard!

  • Caps should always be washed on the top rack using a baseball cap rack or a cap cage.
  • Your dishwashing detergent should be non-bleach.
  • Deactivate the heat dry option and use a cold water cycle.
  • As the hat dries, reshape it. To finish drying, place it on a towel.

Safest and Best – Handwashing

This works well for color fast golf hats and baseball caps made of cotton. It should never be used on satin, wool, silk, leather, or felt.

  • With warm water, fill a bucket or the sink. Liquid laundry detergent that is bleach free should be added (1 tablespoon) and mixed in.
  • Pretreat stubborn sweat stains.
  • For several revolutions, swish the hat around in the cleansing mixture.
  • With cool water, thoroughly rinse the hat. Make sure you don't disturb the shape of the hat.
  • Your cap can now be left out to air dry (rolling it a towel will help remove excess moisture). Then set it out on a dry towel to dry.

When all else fails, or if you're simply in the market for a new cap, shop the impressive selection at Hat Heaven.


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