How To Clean A Hat. A Complete Guide

Wondering how to clean your sun hat  without damaging it or making the stain worse? In most cases, the process is straight forward. This article is intended to discuss best practices on how to clean a hat without ruining it and remove stains without damaging it. What you will need is a following:

  1. A toothbrush or a regular cleaning brush
  2. Mild soap (think dye free liquid detergent, or dawn clear dish soap, just a few drops will be sufficient)
  3. A bucket 
  4. 15 minutes of your time

How to hand wash a hat?

Always check care labels, but generally using a soft brush, damp water, and a dish soap. You sport clean the hat by brushing the top and bottom in a counter-clockwise fashion (in circles). In case the hat is distorted, you can always apply indirect heat using a steamer and protective pillowcase (to protect the hat material). This should help refresh the shape of the hat. Stuffing the crown with clothing or towel will also help in keep its original shape while it air dries.

The following guide is suitable for Nylon, Microfiber, Polyester, and Cotton Hats:

  1. Please note: hats that come with decorations, including ribbons, that are also removable should be taking out first.
  2. Submerge the hat in a cool water with mild detergent or soap for few minutes
  3. Brush off any stains with dirt using a regular brush
  4. In some cases, a hand wash setting in a washer will also be suitable
  5. Lay them to air dry. Make sure to stuff the inside with socks or towels to ensure the crown remains in an acceptable shape after the wash
  6. Spot clean any remaining stains

When using straw or paper hat, please note the following:

  1. Do not submerge them fully in water or they will lose their shape.
  2. Brush off any dirt with a brush dabbed in a solution of water/mild dish/laundry soap in a circular motion
  3. Take care to not brush too hard as you do not want to damage the weave
  4. Air dry while stuffing the crown with clothing to keep its shape.
  5. If any of the shape gets distorted, you can apply indirect heat with a steamer/iron and protective pillowcase for you to protect the hat material and refresh the shape.
  6. You can also put a heavy book or object on the side of any brim that is bent to fix any dents.

How to get sweat stains out of hats?

Ideally, wipe a stain using a clean damp piece of white cloth with a little bit of dish soap.

If the stain persists, you might need to use a stronger solution. 

How to care for a hat?

Store it somewhere cold and dry, away from the sun.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you steam clean a hat?

Yes. Use a pillowcase to protect the hat material though.

Can you clean a hat in the washer?

In certain cases, with cotton and polyester hats. In most cases, spot clean or hand wash is the way to go.

Can you clean a hat with dish soap?

Yes. Most dish soaps will do. No need to go with anything outside of the everyday ordinary.

Can you clean a hat in the dishwasher?

This would not be recommended.

What would you recommend for hat cleaners?

Dish soap or detergents will do the job just fine. Products like Dawn, Palmolive, Seventh generation are all applicable.

What is the best way to wash a hat?

Submerge the hat in a cool water with mild detergent or soap for few minutes. Only do this for hats that are not made from straw material, paper, or even felt. We recommend washing a hat in cases of Polyester, Cotton, Nylon and even a microfiber. Please check hat label and confirm the material before submerging the hat in water.


  • Pritima

    The inner of a hat is in contact with the head and hair. How do I get the inner clean, please?

  • Shelia Brown

    I love these hats. Finally I found fashionable hats that fit big head and hair…lol. Thanks.

  • Carol Dargon

    I ruined my Daughter’s favorite hat by trying to do all the things you just told me not to. Luckily I ordered her the exact same one. She loves it. It’s hard to have a larger head. Thank you for carrying size 3xl.

  • Linda

    I hope you can answer this one. How do you clean a wool beret?

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