Custom patches on hats have become more than just a fashion…
Your baseball cap will likely get excessive perspiration stains after enough use. These annoying yellow sweat stains come from moisture and natural oils in the hair and scalp. That’s why your cap requires good cleaning now and then to keep it smelling good and looking sharp.
This article explores six ways to clean your sweaty baseball cap.
But hold on a second! You might be wondering if throwing your cap in the washing machine is a good idea. Let’s see.
Avoid Using a Washing Machine
A washing machine seems like a convenient way to clean your baseball cap. But proceed with caution. Do not use a washing machine unless your hat’s care label says the cap is machine washable.
The circular motion and agitation of the washing machine can damage your cap’s shape and structure. The harsh environment can also lead to color fading or bleeding, compromising the cap’s design.
Even worse, the washing machine’s cycle might not be gentle enough for delicate fabrics—for instance, caps made with specialized materials like suede or cardboard. Washing machines can fray their edges, making your caps lose their stitches and causing other damages that can reduce the cap’s lifespan.
Some companies advise using a cap frame or cap washer to protect the cap during machine washing. But remember that these accessories are not foolproof, and your cap might still be damaged. So, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid using the washing machine altogether.
Instead, use any of the alternative cleaning solutions we’ll cover in this guide.
6 Ways to Remove Stain
It’s best first to check if your cap has a tag with care instructions. But generally, any of these six methods should work.
To begin, here are the materials you need:
- A cleaner (you can choose from a variety of cleaners, including baking soda, shampoo, aspirin, ammonia, gentle laundry detergent, or an enzyme-based cleaner)
- A toothbrush or soft-bristled brushes
- Clean water
- Stain removal
Follow these instructions based on the type of cleaner you choose:
1. Baking Soda and White Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar are a widely known duo for tackling stubborn stains. They can help you break down sweat spots and lift dirt and grime from your fabric.
Here’s how to use them:
- Create a baking soda paste with a combination of water and baking soda.
- Apply the cleaning paste to the bad sweat stain, adding drops of white vinegar solution.
- Scrub the stain with a soft toothbrush until you see the stain coming out of the cloth.
- After you’re done with the cleaning technique, rinse the baking soda residue with excess water and wash the hat.
The shampoo contains gentle cleansers that remove dirt and oils from your hair. Fortunately, they can do the same for your cap. So;
- Scrub your cap with shampoo to break down the body oils left behind. Use a toothbrush to work the stain out of the material.
- After you’re done, rinse the hat and wash it with cool water.
Aspirin contains salicylic acid. This active ingredient can help break down tough stains and restore your cap’s pristine appearance.
Follow these simple steps:
- Mix a half cup of water with two tablets of aspirin.
- Apply large amounts of the mixture to the stained area and let it set for at least two hours.
- After the mixture has been set, rinse the hat and wash it with cool water.
The highly alkaline nature of ammonia makes it easier to break down various types of stains, including those stubborn sweat stains
Follow these steps to use ammonia for stain removal:
- Mix a solution of equal parts ammonia and a bit of water.
- Scrub the solution on the stained area with a toothbrush.
- After you’re done, rinse the hat and wash it.
Note that ammonia should be used with caution. That’s because it releases strong fumes that may irritate your throat, eyes, and nose if inhaled in high concentration.
Use ammonia in a well-ventilated area to prevent fumes buildup. Also, avoid direct contact with undiluted ammonia to avoid burns and irritations.
5. Laundry Detergent
Your trusted laundry detergent can also double as an effective baseball cap stain remover. But be sure to use a gentle or mild detergent to prevent damage to the cap’s color and fabric.
- Add a few drops of bleach-free detergent to the sweat-stained hat.
- Scrub the stain.
- After you’re done, rinse the hat and wash it.
6. Enzyme treatment
Enzymes break down protein, which are the main components of sweat stains. Here’s how to use them:
- Mix your enzyme-based cleaning solution with warm water
- Soak the hat into the mixture and leave it for about 20 minutes (leave for one or two hours for stubborn stains).
- Rinse the hat and wash it.
If you want to keep your cap’s fresh appearance and prolong its lifespan, keep it free from pesky sweat stains. It can be tempting to have this cleaning done fast by throwing it in a washing machine. However, this is not advisable as it could damage your cap.
Instead, consider hand washing with agents like shampoo, laundry detergent, ammonia, enzyme-based cleaners, aspirin, baking soda, and vinegar.
The above cleaning methods should remove the most visible stains from your baseball hat. If your first attempt to treat stains doesn’t work, try a different method until you get the desired result. While removing the stains from hats can take some elbow grease and patience, you’ll be glad you made the effort when you see your favorite baseball cap looking good as new.