How to Wash a Baseball Cap

If you’ve ever wondered how to clean your baseball cap, you’re not alone. There’s a common misconception that all caps may be washed in the washing machine or dishwasher, but in reality, doing so would most likely cause the brim to curve inward.

The best technique for cleaning your cap would be to go old school and clean it by hand to ensure that it retains its unique form. Because of the accumulation of grime, oils, and sweat, periodic cleaning is necessary to restore your hat to its original state.

Here are some simple steps for washing your favorite baseball caps, so that they’ll always look and smell their best.

Advice on Cleaning a Baseball Cap by Hand

The best way to clean non-machine washable caps is by hand. When you need to clean something you don’t want to put in the washing machine, consider giving hand washing a try.

Items required:

  • Detergent in liquid form
  • Hand towel
  • Wash basin

1. Fill a sink or tub with water

When doing laundry by hand, you’ll need a container to fit the item you’re washing, some detergent, and space for your arms to roam around in the water. Handwashing is typically performed in a sink, the bathtub, or a wash basin.

To avoid splashing soapy water everywhere, fill the basin no more than two-thirds full of water, leaving enough area for the cap and your hands to move around.

2. Put in the detergent

Using a particular detergent for hand washing a cap is not necessary, although laundry detergent is preferred because it dissolves more easily in water versus powdered versions.

Do not add a complete capful of detergent to the wash water. It will take extra water to rinse away the suds and it can lead to skin discomfort.

3. Put the hat in the water

Submerge the hat entirely in the water and soap using your hands. Then, work the detergent and water into the hat’s fibers by rubbing it vigorously with your hands.

4. Soak the Cap

After agitating the hat in the water, let it soak for ten to fifteen minutes if it’s only mildly filthy. Soak the cap for at least an hour and up to a full day if it’s very dirty.

5. Wash the hat and let it dry

Drain the dirty water and give the hat a thorough rinsing with clean water once it has soaked. After washing the cap, gently compress it to get rid of excess water, and then let it dry in the air with a hand towel.

Tips for Spot Cleaning a Baseball Cap

When a small section of an item of clothing or accessory needs cleaning, “spot cleaning” is the term used. For caps with brims made of cardboard, gentle spot cleaning is recommended because it prevents damage to the cap.

Items required:

  • Stain remover
  • A sponge or fabric
  • Hand towel

1. Figure out what the stain is and get the right product

The hat should be cleaned with a stain remover if it contains food, grease, or cosmetics. Choose the right product for the type of stain on your cap to ensure ease of removal. General blemishes from dirt or the body can be removed by spot treatment with a tiny quantity of liquid laundry detergent, dish soap, or hand soap.

2. Use a stain remover

Put the stain remover on a slightly damp cloth or sponge rather than straight to the stain on the hat. Rub the soap into the discolored or soiled area using gentle, circular motions.

3. Wash it down

Once the stain is gone, rinse the cloth in clean water and scrub the cleaned part of the hat again to remove any soap residue. Leave it out to dry overnight, then reshape it with a towel if it needs reshaping.

Instructions for Machine Washing a Baseball Cap

Some caps used for baseball can be washed in a washing machine. Brimmed hats made of plastic can be cleaned in a washing machine. Using a machine is mainly frowned upon by experts. You should only use this method if needs be or if the type of cap is suitable for cleaning this way.

Items required:

  • Stain remover
  • Washing machine
  • Detergent
  • Hand towel

1. Use stain-removal products

Because baseball caps aren’t usually washed frequently, they tend to be extensively stained and may require pre-treatment with a stain-removing agent before being laundered.

Pretreating a hat with an enzymatic compound will help remove the stains caused by mud, dirt, grass, or sweat. Makeup stains are easy to get rid of with the help of OxiClean or rubbing alcohol.

There will be times when your hat becomes stained by food, and when that happens, you can use a stain remover to get rid of the stain.

2. Wash Like Items Together

Please don’t use those cage-like covers that claim to preserve a baseball cap’s shape in the washing machine; instead, wash the cap with similar things or by itself. Similarly, sized items can be combined, such as multiple ballcaps or multiple pairs of socks, underwear, and lightweight pajamas.

Ball caps can easily get crushed in the laundry if you wash them with other heavy or bulky clothing like jeans, sweatshirts, or even towels.

3. Start the Cleaning

Your hat will fare better in the washing machine if you use cold water and a delicate or slow washing option to prevent damage. A fast wash will likely not remove tough stains.

4. Reshape after air drying

Now for the actual trick to keeping your baseball cap’s form across multiple washes. It all depends on the drying method you use. Instead of using a dryer, try air drying the hat with a hand towel to restore its original form.

Note: Don’t put your hat in the dishwasher; the detergents there are far harsher than the detergents meant for washing clothes. Additionally, the high temperatures inside a dishwasher might ruin and shrink your hat.

Precautions to Take When Washing Your Hat

Dryers aren’t ideal because of the extreme heat they produce and the tumbling motion, which might distort a cap’s original form. If you want the colors on your baseball cap to last as long as possible and not fade, you should avoid using bleach products.

Let’s put the myth of the use of dishwashers to clean caps to rest. The chlorine in dishwasher detergents and the heat generated by the dishwasher (during both the washing and drying cycles) might be harmful to the hat. The best way to preserve the cap’s color and form is to hand wash it.

Ensure the cap is not discolored in the cleaning process. A small cleaning solution, such as a stain remover powder combined with water, should be rubbed on a hidden hat section, such as the underside, to ensure the cap will withstand the cleaning process. Cleaning the hat with anything other than water may cause the color to diminish.

Suggestions for Caring for Wool Hats

Compared to more ordinary materials like cotton, wool hats tend to be more fragile. Find a cleaning product designed for wool, rather than a general-purpose one to ensure the cleaning is effective. To prevent the wool from becoming matted, be very careful when scrubbing it. Care must be taken when washing wool hats because they tend to stretch out of shape.

To maintain its pristine condition, a wool cap should be hand washed in cold water with a mild detergent, such as baby shampoo. The cap should soak for five minutes in shampoo water. Don’t wring or twist the cap.

How to Properly Maintain Your Vintage Cap

If your hat is 20 years old or more, there’s a good possibility it’s built from different, less durable materials than hats today. To think that bills were formerly mainly composed of cardboard instead of the more forgiving polymers of today is mind-boggling. First, when cleaning a vintage cap, have a quick color check. Most modern hats prevent their colors from fading after being washed; hence they are considered colorfast. However, this is not always present in vintage caps.

There are guidelines you should follow when cleaning. Apply a tiny bit of detergent on a rag and brush it against the bottom of the tip to see if the cap loses its color. You can use water to wash the cap if the rag breaks away with any color at all. If you’re unsure what the cap is made of, it’s best to spot clean it. If you soak it in water, an old cap will likely be completely ruined. This tip is essential for older hats since their bills are often made of cardboard rather than the more modern plastic.

Bottom Line

A baseball cap does more than keep weather elements at bay; it also collects sweat and sunscreen the entire day. A worn and battered hat can show character, but it should still be cleaned. The good news is that you can use everyday household items and simple, actionable steps to clean your baseball cap, as described in the article.

Regular use will leave a telltale odor and shabby appearance on your baseball cap. The filth and sweat stains can be removed with cleaning every so often. This cleaning might be once a week or twice a year, depending on how frequently you wear your cap. Try to avoid washing your baseball cap with household appliances. Hand washing is the best way to clean. Also, stay away from bleach that may discolor your favorite baseball cap.