How to Wash a Baseball Cap (the Right Way)
So long, sweat stains!
If you have a baseball cap you really love, there's a good chance it's a dirty, sweaty mess. Between the yard work, the summer hikes, and the long beach days it has seen you through, it's no wonder that your beloved baseball cap is looking a little worse for wear. Learning how to clean a baseball cap the right way will help your hat last for many years (and hikes, and beach days) to come.
As with cleaning most things, you'll want to start with the gentlest cleaning method first, then work your way up. If your baseball cap is just mildly dirty, a quick soak in the sink is all it needs. But for serious sweat stains, you'll want to pump up the stain-fighting power. Follow our guide to cleaning a baseball cap, below, beginning with the mildest method.
The Quick Clean
Here's how to wash a baseball cap if it just needs an easy refresh.
1. Fill a clean sink or a basin with cool water and add a drop or two of mild laundry detergent. Dunk the hat and agitate the water to create some suds.
2. Let the hat soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Remove the hat and rinse it thoroughly with cool water. Gently squeeze excess water out of the hat, but avoid twisting the brim, which can bend it out of shape. Use a clean towel to pat down the hat. Either hang up the hat or reshape the hat and set it on a towel to dry.
The Deep Clean
Here's how to make a sweat-stained baseball cap look brand new.
1. Before you get started, put on gloves. Fill a clean sink or basin with cool water, then add a color-safe oxygen bleach, such as OxiClean, as directed.
2. To target specific stains, dip the hat into the water, then apply a dab of detergent to the spot. You can use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub the area.
3. Let the hat soak in the Oxiclean solution for about one hour. Check the hat, and you should be able to see if the stains have been removed.
4. Rinse the hat in cool, clean water. Then follow step three above to reshape and dry the hat.
Note: If you have a vintage hat with a cardboard brim, you'll want to avoid fully submerging it. Instead, spot-clean problem areas with water and delicate laundry detergent, being careful not to wet the cardboard.
Can You Really Clean a Baseball Cap in the Dishwasher?
While you certainly can wash a baseball cap in the dishwasher, you may not want to. Basically, if you care enough about the hat to read an entire article about how to clean it, you'll want to take the extra care to wash the hat by hand, following the steps below. If you have a vintage hat with a cardboard brim, you definitely cannot wash it in the dishwasher. If you do decide to go the dishwasher route for convenience, choose cold water and a gentle cycle, place the hat on the top rack, and check that your dishwashing detergent does not contain bleach.