You wash sweaty clothes regularly, but what about baseball caps? Learn how to remove sweat stains off hats and restore their appearance.
Take a closer look before you put on your favorite hat. We’re prepared to wager it has a few (or many) sweat stains on it. Despite the fact that hats get a lot of use, they aren’t necessarily a washing priority. I’m talking about baseball hats, white hats, top hats, golf hats, straw hat, cowboy hats, and all types of hats.
But now is the moment to make a change! We have two tried and true methods for making nasty, sweaty hats look brand new again. Here’s a simple step-by-step approach (plus additional advice) for removing sweat stains from hats.
The best way to get sweat stains out of a hat is to use a little dish soap, vinegar, or baking soda. These 3 natural cleaning methods are my favorite ways to get rid of many stains on clothing and hats are no exception.
Before You Clean Your Hat
Washing instructions are usually found on a tag or printed someplace inside most hats. Make careful to read the care label to determine the appropriate cleaning procedure. Many hats can actually be washed in the washing machine with laundry detergent (especially if the stained area is large) and a gentle cycle.
Even though the directions below imply otherwise, if it says to use only cold water or dry-clean only, that’s what you should do for your yellow sweat stains. If you can’t locate any tags, look for them on the manufacturer’s website or go through our list of hat material options. If your hat needs a dry cleaner, avoid trying any kind of DIY stain removal procedure on it.
Be Aware Of Color Detergent Mixture
Dip a white towel in lukewarm water and wipe it on a hidden region of the hat to see whether it’s colorfast (meaning the color won’t leak when exposed to water). If any of the dye rubs off on the white material, the hat is not colorfast and should not be washed in water.
Test An Inconspicuous Area
If you’re going to wash your stained hat, it’s always a good idea to test the cleaner on your fabric to make sure you do not further ruin your favorite hat.
- Cotton or Synthetic Materials: Hats made of cotton, cotton blends, or polyester mixes are usually machine washable and hence should be safe for the treatments listed below. Baseball caps from the early 1980s and earlier may feature cardboard bills, which may rot if they are exposed to excessive water.
- Wool or Wool Felt: Wool or wool felt hats react to water and can easily discolor, so use caution and refer to our instructions on how to clean a wool hat.
- Straw hats come in a variety of materials (raffia, hemp, shantung, Panama, and so on), each with its own level of durability and water resistance.
- Knit hats are made of natural fibers like wool and rayon, as well as synthetic materials like acrylic and nylon.
How To Get Sweat Stains Out Of A Hat
Baking soda is a much safer and natural approach to removing sweat stains from a hat than bleach. Baking soda (also known as sodium bicarbonate) cleans and deodorizes headwear, whitening and brightening them while also eliminating smells. Here is how to use a baking soda paste and a moist sponge to do a spot treatment on your hat.
- Pour a tiny quantity of baking soda directly on the stain for the dry stain treatment. Allow the powder to soak up the sweat stain for at least an hour.
- To test if the stain has been absorbed, wipe away the powder using a clean towel. To avoid discoloring the hat, make careful to clear away all of the baking soda residues. If the discoloration remains, it’s time to add additional water to the mixture.
- 1 cup warm water + 1 tablespoon baking soda + 1 tablespoon baking soda + 1 tablespoon baking soda + 1 cup warm water + 1 tablespoon baking soda + 1 cup warm water + 1 tablespoon baking soda In a circular motion, dip a tiny towel or soft-bristled brush into the solution and gently massage away the stains.
- Do one little area at a time until you’ve cleaned all of the discolored spots. You can scrub a bit more forcefully for more tenacious salty sweat stains, but make sure you do so in a round, counterclockwise movement to prevent destroying the neck of the fabric (wool hats) or the weave pattern (straw hats).
- Allow the hat to air dry entirely, preferably in front of an open window but out of direct sunlight to avoid discoloration.
- For hats that are either white or brilliant, you might also try various brightening bleach alternatives like OxiClean. Check read our tutorial on how to clean a white hat for additional helpful hints.
White vinegar, not to be confused with the health world’s “it” vinegar (apple cider vinegar, we’re talking about you), is a highly powerful and flexible substance for cleaning hats, carpets, windows, and even the kitchen sink!
- Dilute equal parts white vinegar and water in a small basin or in your kitchen sink.
- In a circular motion, dip a tiny cloth or soft-bristled brush into the vinegar solution and gently massage away the stains.
- Apply one tablespoon of white vinegar straight to each blotch on the sweatband and gently scrape it away to remove stains.
- With a clean moist towel, wipe away any vinegar residue.
- Allow the hat to air dry completely before re-wearing it.
- Because vinegar includes acid, it might hurt your skin or damage hat decorations and metal accents if exposed to it for an extended period of time.
More than simply dishes, dish soap may be a useful and effective stain remover. Dish soap is not the same as dishwashing detergent, which might include harsh bleaching chemicals that will destroy your headwear.
- If you don’t want to soak the hat completely, start by spot-cleaning it with a mixture of water and dish soap.
- Stir roughly a spoonful of dish soap into one cup of warm or cool water until it foams up. Use cool water to avoid ruining the hat’s fabric.
- In a circular motion, dip a tiny towel or soft-bristled brush into the soapy water and gently massage away the stains.
- Remove the body oils and stains one little area at a time until all of them are gone.
- Allow the hat to soak and hand-wash it in a larger basin or the kitchen sink if the entire hat is discolored and needs a thorough cleaning. Confirm that the hat can be submerged in water once again. Rinse the hat with cool running water once it has been cleaned.
- Allow the hat to air dry away from direct sunshine in a cool, well-ventilated place.
Cleaning Sweat Stains From A Hat Bottom Line
What are you waiting for now that you know your alternatives for a stain-free hat? It’s time to pillage the kitchen pantry! Baking soda, dish soap, and vinegar are not just common items that you currently use, but they can also be used to restore the appearance of your favorite hat.