There may be many different fashion pieces that we wear on a daily basis but for some of us, there isn’t anything quite like wearing a hat. They just seem to finish off things nicely and some of us wear hats so often, people don’t recognize us when we don’t have them on. The problem with hats, however, is that they tend to get dirty and at that point, you may be wondering how to wash a hat. Don’t worry, there are a number of options available.

First of all, not all hats are created equally. Some of them are going to be the type we wear for a while and then take them off and put them in our back pocket. Others are going to be quite expensive and may be made of leather or suede. Obviously, these different types of hats need to be cleaned differently and if you don’t make the right choices along the way, you could even ruin them. Here is some information to get you started.

How to Wash a Hat – Baseball Cap

This is perhaps one of the most popular types of hats and they can be found almost everywhere, from the job site to an outing with the family. Not only do they help to keep your hair in place, they often are decorated with the logos of our favorite sports team. They are also one of the easier hats to clean.

First of all, you should never wash a baseball hat in the laundry, and you shouldn’t put them in the dryer. Either would wear the hat and might even ruin it if you only do it once. In addition, you shouldn’t use any type of bleach when cleaning a baseball hat. Oh, and the suggestion you have probably heard about throwing your hat on the top shelf of the dishwasher? Don’t do it! Do this instead.

The best (and only) way to properly wash a baseball cap is with cold water and a little dish soap. It will be strong enough to get the hat clean but gentle enough to keep from damaging your prized possession.

The first step in the process is to do some spot cleaning if needed. Most of us wear the hat until it really needs to be cleaned, do dip it in the cold, soapy water and scrub the spot with an old toothbrush. Don’t overdo it on the scrubbing, you don’t want to pull out the color.

Put the entire hat down in the soapy water and leave it submerged for a few hours. Don’t worry, you aren’t going to hurt the hat. Leaving it to soak will help to loosen the dirt and pull it away.

Rinse the hat with some warm water and make sure you do a little extra rinsing. Use a clean towel to pat down the hat and remove excess water. Put it on top of a container to help maintain the shape and let it air dry.

How to Wash a Hat – Wool

Washing a wool hat is very similar to washing a baseball cap but there are some differences in the process that should not be overlooked.

If you are only treating a stain, you can do so by mixing a cleaning solution of 1 cup cold water and 1 tablespoon mild detergent. Put some of the solution on a clean cloth and dab the stain gently, making sure you don’t rub or scrub. It may take some time but continue to work on it and the stain will fade and eventually, disappear.

The water you would use if you wash a wool cap should be mildly warm and you can use laundry detergent. Look for a detergent that is made for cleaning wool. Swirl the hat gently in the bowl of soapy water and massage the wool gently.

Use a dry towel to remove as much of the excess water as you can but be gentle when doing so. Leave the cap on a clean surface to air dry.

How to Wash a Hat – Suede

Another popular type of hat is made from suede. These hats tend to be a much higher end piece of clothing and they can be expensive, so they aren’t as likely to get excessively dirty like a ball cap. From time to time, however, you may want to wash them to remove a stain or to clean them if they did get dirty.

The first step in the process is to wipe the hat with a clean, dry bath towel. This will help to stand up the nap so it is easier to clean. If there are any small stains, you can use a pencil eraser (make sure it is clean). If the spot is still wet, blot it with a paper towel to remove as much of the moisture as possible.

Some people have also had some success with cleaning a suede hat using white vinegar and a slightly damp towel. Wipe it gently to try to rub off the stain. This process may take some time because you will need the hat to dry to see if you were successful in removing the stain before trying again.

The next step may be a little unnerving but it could work in a pinch. If you have scuff marks and they don’t seem to be fading, you can try using a fingernail file but you need to be very gentle. A wire suede brush might also work but again, being gentle is the key to ensuring that more damage does not occur.

Having a hat is like having an old friend for many of us. We tend to wear them all of the time and they become a part of our personality that people can recognize. When the hat gets dirty, it is time to take action. By cleaning the hat using the proper methods, you can have it back in top shape again and back on your head in no time at all.