How to wash a baseball cap

Mikaela asked, “How do you clean a baseball hat?”

Many baseball hats have cardboard bills, which can be damaged or lose their shape if washed in the washing machine. One way to avoid this is to use a hat cage, which is a device made to hold the hat so that it can be washed in the washing machine. If you don’t have a hat cage, you can either wash the hat by hand, or in the dishwasher. It is usually best to wash a hat by hand to prevent any damage.

You Will Need:

  • Shampoo or mild detergent
  • A nail brush or soft toothbrush
  • Conditioner
  • A pitcher or bucket
  • A bowl, towel, hat stand or balloon

Steps to Clean the Hat:

  1. Check the tag on your hat for any cleaning information. If it is precious or a collectible, contact the manufacturer for specific cleaning information.
  2. If there is any dust or dirt on it, use a vacuum brush attachment to clean off the dust.¹
  3. To wash the cap by hand, wet it in the shower or sink.² Use cool water unless otherwise instructed by the tag. Try not to overly soak the bill.¹
  4. Put some shampoo on a nail brush or soft toothbrush and scrub the hat clean.² Instead of shampoo, you can use a mild detergent like Woolite.¹
  5. Rinse the shampoo residue off thoroughly, still trying not to overly soak the bill.
  6. For nylon or knit baseball hats, you can mix a few drops of conditioner in a pitcher or bucket filled with water and use the water to rinse the hat after it is clean. The conditioner will help to soften the hat fibers.³
  7. When you are finished cleaning the cap, set it on a bowl, balled up towel or a hat stand to maintain its shape while air drying.¹ Do not dry the hat in the dryer or it could shrink. Another idea is to blow up a balloon to fit the hat and use tape to hold the hat and balloon upright while the hat dries.⁴
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You Will Need:

  • Dishwasher
  • Non-bleach dishwasher detergent
  • A bowl, towel, hat stand or balloon

Steps to Clean the Hat:

  1. Check the tag on your hat for any cleaning information. If the hat is precious or a collectible, contact the manufacturer for specific cleaning information.
  2. If there is any dust or dirt on it, use a vacuum brush attachment to clean off the dust.¹
  3. Set the hat on the top rack of your dishwasher. Do not put any dirty dishes in the dishwasher or the food residue could stain the hat.¹
  4. Make sure that the dishwasher detergent you have does not contain any bleach, then add a small amount to the dispenser.¹
  5. Run the dishwasher on the normal cycle.¹
  6. Take the hat out when the dishwasher reaches the dry cycle.¹
  7. To dry the hat, set it on a bowl, balled up towel or a hat stand to maintain its shape while air drying.¹ Do not dry the hat in the dryer or it could shrink. Another idea is to blow up a balloon to fit the hat and use tape to hold the hat and balloon upright while the hat dries.⁴
  • If the hat is not washable, use a soot-and-dirt removal sponge, which can be purchased at a hardware store.³
  • For non-washable hats or tough stains, use a home dry cleaning kit to dry clean the hat. Follow the instructions on the package of your selected cleaner and be careful to feather on the cleaner so there isn’t a cleaning ring left on the hat.¹
  • If you hat has sweat stains, use the information our guide, How to Remove Sweat Stains From a Baseball Cap.
  • If needed, take the hat to a professional hatter for cleaning.¹
  • When your hat is clean, consider spraying the outside of it with Hat Saver, a product that will help to protect it from dirt and stains.³
  1. The Cleaning Encyclopedia by Don Aslett
  2. Handy Household Hints from Heloise by Heloise
  3. The Queen of Clean’s Complete Cleaning Guide
  4. Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest
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Tips To Clean A Baseball Cap Without Ruining It

  • Examine the baseball hat and notice any warning signs on the label .It could be Cold Wash Only or a fabric percentages like cotton or wool , No Heat ,Hand Wash Only, and so on. In this case you will know what may ruin the hat and you will choose the best cleaning option for your hat.
  • If your cap is sentimental ( has a drawing or writings on the bell front ) then do not use a cleaner that contains bleach to wash the hat , since bleach can ruin them .
  • To protect the hat from shrinking after cleaning , put it on a few times for 5-10 minutes while drying . And always air dry the ball cap away from direct sunlight or heat.
  • For more details read the 12 Tips To Clean A Baseball Cap Without Ruining It >>

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