The Best Way to Wash Every Type of Hat

If you’re like many people, you have a favorite hat (or ten). Maybe it’s your favorite team’s baseball cap, your grandfather’s cowboy hat, or a straw beach hat that’s perfect for tropical getaways.

When it’s time to wash them, however, it’s important to remember that different materials require different cleaning methods. With these step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to clean, preserve, and wear them for years to come.

Firstly, Don’t Put Your Hats in the Dishwasher

We know this might sound strange, but millions of people ask this question on Google every month!

Dishwasher detergent is great for removing food particles but it’s not meant for garments or fabrics. The scalding water and steam during the wash cycle can also cause damage and warping to your favorite hats.

How to Wash Wool and Felt Hats

wool and felt hats

Wool and felt hats (like fedoras and cowboy hats) must be washed by hand. These types of hats are unique in that pretreating stains is often not necessary. If your hat is decorated with any ribbons, pins, or removable leather straps, it’s advised to take them off before washing the hat. If necessary, clean them separately.

1. Vacuum Your Hat

Wool and felt can really attract particles like dust, skin cells, and dandruff. Use your vacuum’s upholstery brush (or a small, handheld vacuum) to remove as many particles as you can before hand-washing.

2. Focus on the Dirtiest Places

Make a mental note about any particularly dirty areas. Obviously, the most typical place to check is around the brim (where sweat tends to build up).

3. Wash Your Hat

Fill a bucket or large bowl with warm water. Make sure that it’s large enough for your hat to fit inside. Add a few drops of Puracy Natural Laundry Detergent, swish to combine, and completely submerge your hat for 5-10 minutes.

4. Scrub, If Necessary

Pull the hat out of the water and check the areas that were especially grimy. Gently agitate those areas with a boar hair detailing brush (the natural fibers are effective yet gentle).

5. Soak Again

After light scrubbing, submerge the hat in the water again. Wait another 5-10 minutes.

Get the best tips from the cleaning obsessed.

Puracy crafts cleaning & care items that work really well. Our obsession with natural cleaning performance is our profession, and we're here to share it with you.

6. Rinse Thoroughly & Dry

Remove the hat from the water and rinse it thoroughly under cold/warm running water. Air drying is the best method to dry a damp hat. Using balled-up paper towels, stuff them up to the crown. This will help the hat retain its shape while absorbing moisture.

Pro tip: Don’t shake your hat or try to wring it out – you can easily disfigure the shape.

How to Wash Straw Hats

straw hats

When it comes to washing straw hats, there are a few things to know: Firstly, straw hats should never get completely wet since they’ll lose their shape (or may even fall apart). Secondly, before you clean a straw hat, use a soft, damp cloth to test a small, inconspicuous area.

1. Remove Excess Dust

Vacuum your hat inside and out to remove loose particles. A bristle brush attachment will do wonders to dislodge soil, too.

2. Spot-Treat

Fill a small bowl with cold or warm water. Add a few drops of Puracy Natural Dish Soap and stir to combine. Wet and ring out a microfiber cleaning cloth, applying it to clean any spots. Be sure to use overlapping or circular motions with the damp cloth.

3. Air Dry

Use the same balled-up newspaper or paper towel technique as before. Avoid placing damp straw in direct sunlight.

How to Clean Baseball Caps

baseball cap

Baseball-style hats cover bed head, offer shade from the sun, and let you proudly display the logo of your favorite team or beloved vacation spot.

As any regular wearer can tell you, however, baseball caps can get pretty grimey. Luckily they’re the easiest type of hat to wash. Most are made of cotton or nylon, and they’re fairly durable (with sturdy stitching instead of adhesive). This versatility means that you can either scrub them by hand or throw them in the washing machine.

Washing Baseball Caps by Hand

You might recognize that the following instructions are virtually identical as the process of cleaning felt and wool hats – with one notable exception.

1. Use a Natural Stain Remover

natural stain remover

Apply Puracy Natural Stain Remover to gently lift away sweat, grease, and any other marks (be sure to test an inconspicuous area first). Once applied, wait at least 15 minutes to give the plant-based enzymes enough time to do their important stain-busting work. Remember: The longer it sits, the better it works.

2. Scrub Stained Areas then Soak

Gently agitate stained areas with a detailing brush. We prefer boar hair’s natural fibers because they’re effective yet gentle on fabrics.

Add a couple drops of Puracy Laundry Detergent to warm water, mix, and let your hat sit for around 10 minutes.

3. Scrub and Soak Again

Using the same detailing brush to thoroughly scrub down the rest of your hat. Submerge your hat in the water again. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

4. Rinse & Dry

When the 10 minutes are up, rinse your hat under cold or warm running water. When drying, retain the original shape by lightly filling the inside with balled-up newspaper or paper towels.

Cleaning Baseball Caps in the Washing Machine

natural laundry detergent

Baseball caps can withstand a lot: Rainstorms, hot sun, and even washing machines. But according to Sean Busch, the best way to wash baseball hats involves the following steps:

1. Pre-Treat Stains

A washing machine won’t necessarily get out all of the baked-on stains. You’ll need something stronger – but gentle – to tackle them. Spray the affected area(s) with our Natural Stain Remover, agitate with a detailing brush, then wait up to 8 hours for tough stains before placing your hat in the washing machine.

2. Place the Cap in a Plastic Cage

Use a protective plastic hat cage like the BallcapBuddy or the Perfect Curve Cap Washer to help your hat keep its shape in the washing machine. If you don’t have one of these products, it’s better to hand-wash your baseball cap.

3. Run a Laundry Cycle

Wash your hat in a normal laundry load with similar colors. The plant enzymes in Puracy Natural Laundry Detergent safely target stains and odors on baseball caps.

4. Let Your Baseball Cap Air Dry

Just like the steps above, use balled-up paper towels to soak up moisture and help retain the hat’s original shape.

Choose Puracy Natural Laundry Detergent

Our laundry detergent was produced to protect the most sensitive skin while targeting stains, odors, sweat, and dirt. And since it’s 10x concentrated, each bottle lasts for up to 96 full laundry loads. Perfect for even the biggest hat collector.