As of today, it is safe to say that hats have become a staple in human culture and fashion, and the classic baseball cap is probably the most recognizable of them all. Although baseball caps are sometimes worn sideways or even backwards to make a fashion statement, they are largely worn to push back hair and protect your eyes while exercising or playing sports, particularly baseball.
When we exercise in the heat, for example, in the summer when we are most active, we tend to sweat more than usual. Sweating is completely natural and is a good sign that our bodies are working well by removing toxins, but it doesn’t really help our hat’s sweatband, does it? If we don’t treat sweatband stains with fabric protection, in quite some time, those stains can build up and make hats even more difficult to remove. Instead of making our bucket hats damp and floppy looking, it can cause long-term unpleasant stains.
What are the best ways to get rid of those nasty sweat stains?
There are a lot of advice columns that suggest throwing them in the wash, but that risks damaging the hat’s shape, color, and quality. While it may take a little longer, hand washing your baseball caps is the best way to clean them. Because your hat will be submerged under water, you need to make sure its bill is made of plastic rather than cardboard before proceeding. You may prefer the second method that will be discussed for hats that contain cardboard. It is also important to ensure that the dye on your hat doesn’t run.
Try to wipe a small area of the hat with a damp white cloth; if any color comes off or if the cloth becomes stained, you cannot wash the hat. In case the dye does not come off, however, you may hand wash the hat.
To begin, fill a bucket with warm water and add about a tablespoon of laundry detergent. Make sure that the detergent does not contain bleach, as this could affect the color. After mixing the detergent with water, form a soapy mixture. On newly purchased hats, it has been suggested to spray the baseball cap with any stain fighting product that is used on clothes. In the next step, submerge the hat in the mixture and let it sit for about 2-4 hours.
Afterwards, rinse the hat under cold running water until the soap has been completely removed. Once the excess water has been shaken off, carefully squeeze out the water so not to ruin the shape. Last but not least, air dry your baseball cap or place it in front of a fan for faster drying, but if you clean your hats or caps often, stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible for colored dyed hats, as that can also affect their color.
Make sure you also invest in hat shapers, as well as caps crown inserts, to help maintain your hat’s panel’s shape in its proper contour. Additionally, the shapers can be utilized for air drying as well as reshaping any hat that has lost its shape after prolonged usage, whether they are crushed or flatten. As it is mildew resistant, you won’t need to worry about mold growing inside the crown of the cap the next time you sweat. You should keep in mind, however, that some hat shapers can be stored while others can be worn.
It is still possible to wash hats with cardboard bills, even if they have difficult stains to remove. Add baking soda to a bowl, and mix in enough warm water to form a paste. However, do not add enough warm water for the paste to become liquid, rather, it should be more like the consistency of toothpaste. Clean a toothbrush in white vinegar, then dip it into the paste and scrub the fabric strongly. Scrub well after the mixture has been mixed for 30-60 minutes.
Run a stream of cold water over the hat, making sure not to get the bill wet. If there is any baking soda left, rinse your hat or baseball cap until it is clean. Afterward, pat the hat down with a dry towel or cloth. The last step is to air dry the hat, using a fan or setting it near an open window, and you shouldn’t forget to invest in a hat shaper.
The next time you sweat on your hats, keep this information in mind. If you wait too long to clean your hats, you may not be able to restore the quality of the fabric because the longer the stains stay untreated, the harder it will be. Please remember that it is extremely important not to wash or dry your hats in the washing machine or dishwasher, even though it may appear faster, easier, and many people recommend it. It is not recommended to use these machines for cleaning hats as they might shrink or deform them. You should never hesitate to have your hats cleaned by a professional if all else fails. Enjoy our tips, and please share them!