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That well-loved hat of yours may start to stink with enough wear and tear. But just because a hat develops an odor doesn’t mean that you need to throw it away. Rather, you can combat stinky smells and remove oils and dirt from your hat by cleaning it occasionally.
A lot of people are hesitant to wash hats because they don’t know how. While some hats can go in a washing machine, other types of hats won’t survive immersion in water or the spin cycle. Most hats will have a tag inside that will indicate the kind of care the hat needs, indicating if the hat can be washed in a washer or not. If it can be cleaned in a washing machine, your job will be easy. However, if the hat doesn’t have a tag, you should wash it by hand to be safe.
For hats that are marked to be washed by hand, follow these steps:
- Pre-treat any stained areas of the hat by rubbing the spot with laundry detergent.
- Use a damp cloth with mild detergent to rub and clean areas inside the hat so the outside colors won’t be affected by the cleaning.
- Rinse the cap to remove all the detergent. For most hats, it’s best to use cold water instead of warm.
- Let your hat air dry. You can dry your hat on a hat stand if you need to retain its shape.
For hats that can be washed in a washing machine, do the following:
- Pre-treat any areas of your hat that may be soiled by rubbing them with stain remover. Before using a detergent, make sure you test it on some hidden areas of your hat to make sure the color of the fabric won’t fade.
- Wash the hat in the washing machine on a gentle cycle to prevent the cap from becoming deformed.
- Once the cap is washed, air dry the hat.
For hats made with certain materials, you will want to specifically look at how that fabric needs to be washed, or if it needs to be dry cleaned. For example, when cleaning a custom wool hat, it’s important to keep in mind that the wool needs to be washed gently. Wool hats, especially ones with brims should be washed by hand.
For cleaning a wool hat, do the following:
- Fill a large bowl with lukewarm water and mix with a laundry detergent meant to treat wool. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands while performing the cleaning.
- Put your wool hat into the bowl and swish it around in the water to make sure it becomes saturated with the water. Wool stretches out easily, so make sure that you are gentle when handling your hat.
- Let your hat soak to help loosen any stains, then rub stained areas with your fingers to help lift the stains.
- Once you’re done cleaning the hat, remove it, and lay it flat to air dry. Never put your wool hat in the dryer, as it could shrink.
- When the hat is damp, but not completely dry, take some time to reshape the hat if necessary.
Hats can be beloved accessories so make sure you clean them as often as needed, using great care to preserve their fabric, color, and shape.
Covering one’s head to avoid dust can be beautifully done with fashionable hats that make girls look chick and boys feel good about themselves. An everyday hat can get dirty and stinky but you don’t need to throw it away immediately because cleaning it thoroughly can make it useful again. This infographic will help you clean your favourite hats.