How To Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

Your favorite hat is in dire need of a wash and you are skeptical about whether or not to toss it in the washing machine because you think it might ruin it.

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Your worries are valid and you aren’t the only one who shares that fear.

Hats are, in fact,  delicate items to wash, especially baseball caps which require regular cleaning. If cleaned incorrectly, they might lose their firmness around the front panels. 

This issue always triggers the question of how to wash a hat in the washing machine.

Luckily for you, after tons of research, we have found ways for you to get this done without ruining your favorite hat or baseball cap.

Before tossing your hat in the washing machine, you must take note of what kind of material your hat is made of. 

This way you can understand how to properly clean it in the washing machine and not damage it.

Below, we have break down how to wash a hat in the washing machine, based on the hat’s material.

Here Are Different Kinds Of Hats And How To Machine Wash Them

Straw Hats

We don’t know why anyone would think that they can clean a straw hat in a washing machine. These kinds of hats require gentle, manual cleaning. 

Washing your straw hat in a washing machine will ruin it beyond redemption and there’s no coming back from that one. You’ll feel more devastated if it has any sentimental value to you.

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Wool Hats

These kinds of hats can both be washed manually and with a washing machine. We recommend that you clean your wool felt hat manually. 

However, if you are pressed for time and the washing machine option is all that you have left, just ensure that you follow these steps carefully:

  • To ensure that the wool fibers of your hat are not ruined, make sure that you set your washing machine to its most delicate cleaning option.
  • If you want to keep the color of your wool hat the same, we suggest that you wash it using cold water. As appealing as the idea may be, using hot water to wash your wool hat may cause its color to run.
  • Protect your hat by placing it in a garment bag before putting it in the washing machine. This prevents it from being bruised by the washing machine’s agitator.
  • Only wash the hat with clothes with the same color to avoid accidental dyeing. Left to us, you would just give your hat a solo wash to prevent any mistakes.
  • Mild detergent is your best friend when trying to clean your wool hat. You could give Woolmark a try if you are unsure of what brand to use.
  • Use a clean towel to absorb excess water from the hat after the wash cycle has ended.
  • To ensure that the brim isn’t deformed, place your hat on a flat surface and let it air dry. Take note to avoid placing your freshly washed wool hat in direct sunlight.
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Cotton Hats

Cotton is used to make a wide range of hats ranging from the ever-popular baseball cap to fedoras.

For this category, we will make use of the baseball cap as an example of cleaning cotton hats.

Baseball caps are almost an everyday sight in America and they are used frequently especially to shield the wearer’s eyes and face from direct sunlight. 

As a result of this, baseball caps tend to get soiled a lot and fairly easily, especially from sweat.

To properly clean a cotton hat, follow these steps to get optimal results:

  • Preclean specific areas of the hat that are prone to dirt and grime, especially the sweatbands.

You can use a gel stain remover like OxiClean or opt for heavy-laundry detergents to lift dirt from such areas. 

  • To prevent your baseball cap from losing its color or taking on another color, it is recommended that you place it in the washing machine with a small amount of laundry load or, like we always recommend, give it a solo wash. 
  • Pick a gentle cycle on your washing machine and use cold water to clean your cotton hat for the best results
  • To help your baseball cap keep its form, you can make use of a hat form. In case you do not have a hat form, they don’t cost much to get with an average price of $5; a small price to keep your baseball caps in form.
  • At the end of the washing cycle, put the cap out to air dry with the hat form still attached to it. If you do not have a hat form around you, make use of a head-shaped container to support the hat while you leave out to air dry.
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Check out this video to see how to wash a baseball cap:

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Suede Hats

Suede hats are a more delicate version of leather hats and they require absolute care while being cleaned, especially in a washing machine. 

Even though cleaning suede hats is not recommended to be done with a washing machine by most manufacturers, it is still considered a viable option if you do opt to regularly clean it this way.

To ensure that you do not ruin your suede hat, pay close attention to the instructions given below:

  • When using a washing machine to clean your suede hat, ensure that you make use of detergents specifically designed for suede and leather products, such as Colourlock

To determine how much of the detergent to use, consult the directions on the detergent bottle.

  • Make sure to use a gentle wash cycle and cold water on your suede hat. Take note that you must not add fabric softener to the wash.
  • After the wash cycle, take out the hat and make sure to adjust the hat gently to its original shape.
  • To absorb any excuse water, lay the hat on a clean, dry towel. Leave your suede hat in this position and allow it to air dry.

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Synthetic Organza Hats

Organza materials are highly delicate and it is generally frowned upon to wash organza hats in washing machines. 

However, exceptions can be made and besides, rules were meant to be broken. To properly clean hats made from this material, you need to:

  • Get some gentle laundry detergent and consult its label to determine how much detergent to add to your wash.
  • Put your hat in the washing machine and set it to “delicate” or “gentle” before starting the wash cycle.
  • At the end of the wash cycle, take out the hat and place it in a dryer. Set the dryer to low heat before starting it.
  • After drying the hat, the next thing for you to do is iron it with a low heat setting with brisk movements on the surface of the hat. This is to remove any wrinkles on the hat.
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Faux Fur Hats

Faux fur hats are cruelty-free alternatives for actual fur hats and can be quite enjoyable to wear when well taken care of. 

You might be skeptical about washing these kinds of hats because they are made of fur but be rest assured that they are well equipped to be cleaned in washing machines. 

Cleaning faux fur hats isn’t complicated at all. All you have to do is:

  • Set the washing machine to gentle or delicate.
  • Make use of cold water and mild detergent when washing this type of hat.
  • Avoid tossing your faux fur hat in a dryer after the wash cycle is complete. Rather, roll up the damp hat in a thick, clean, dry towel to allow it to absorb excess moisture from your hat.
  • Proceed to air dry your hat after reshaping it. 

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Hats are highly appreciated for their roles in our lives. Whether to serve the purpose of keeping the sunlight out of our eyes or simply for novelty sake, this piece of accessory has always come through over decades.

It is quite unhygienic to leave a hat dirty or grimy, hence they need to be cleaned regularly. 

Generally speaking, it is advised that you clean hats manually. However, this cannot be the case every time, as we may not have enough time to get it done that way.

Please be advised that the strength of detergents vary from brand to brand and you need to make a conscious effort to make sure that whatever detergent you make use of while cleaning your hat is suitable for the material which it is made of.

Also, as stress-free as it is to simply toss your hat in the washing machine, refrain from making it a regular practice. 

Only make use of the washing machine occasionally and for good reason. Apart from synthetic organza hats, air drying is the recommended way to go for drying out your hats. Using a dryer can cause irreversible damage to your hats.

Now that you know the right way to clean various hats, we hope that you enjoy life with fresh, grime-free hats. 

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