Tap to Read ➤

Effective Ways to Clean a Baseball Cap

Shruti Bhat
If your gorgeous baseball cap has stains, and is dirty and smelly due to sweat or any other miscellaneous mishaps, it is time to clean it so that it looks new again.


If your baseball cap has a cardboard bill, you will need to spot clean the cap to prevent it from getting wet in excess.
You may choose to wear a baseball cap for many reasons; for instance, to keep your head and eyes protected from the weather and pollution, to support your favorite team, or simply to cover your bald spot. Whatever the reason may be, there comes a point when you need to wash your baseball cap and you don't know how.
Tossing your cap into the washing machine might not be the solution to your problem. Doing so could wreck the shape of the cap. The stains and dirt will not be removed, as the machine will wash it like any other piece of cloth and not spot-clean it.
Many cap manufacturers discourage you from doing so. Some caps with a cardboard or paper bill will often tear is subjected to too much harshness while cleaning. Your caps will require spot cleaning with minimum water, especially older caps with cardboard bills.
The first thing to do in this case is to read the little tag carefully; it will give you a rough idea about how to wash a baseball cap. If you have an old one, that which was made before 1983, you might not be so lucky.

How to Wash a Baseball Cap

Color Test

Before you take your cherished cap for washing, perform a color test. Wet the corner of a dishcloth, and wrap it on to your finger. Add some mild detergent on to the wet cloth and rub it on to a small hidden part of the cap. Rinse it off and let it dry. Observe the dishcloth and the spot of the cap that you had cleaned to check for colorfastness.

Wash in a Dishwasher

▶ Empty the dishwasher. See to it that the dishwasher is clean.
▶ Place the baseball cap on the lower frame; this will help retain the cap's shape.
▶ Place the dishwash tab into the slot that is reserved for it.
▶ Turn the wash on to a short program, and start the machine.
▶ Once washed, you can either leave it on the frame to dry or better yet, place it in an airy room, and let it dry completely.

Wash by Hand

If you are not scared of using a little elbow grease, and using a washing machine or dishwasher is out of question, you are in for some luck. Here are some ways of washing the baseball cap by hand.
Using a Dishcloth
▶ Use an old but clean dishcloth with a solution of water and detergent solution to clean your cap.
▶ Wrap the cloth around your finger and dip it into the soapy solution; with your finger, slowly rub away (applying slight pressure) the dirt and stains.
▶ Pay extra attention to the headband. Lightly scrub away the old sweat stains.
▶ Using a dishcloth will give you the flexibility to scrub in a place where a brush won't reach.
▶ You can also scrub a little longer on places where the stain is old without damaging the threads.
▶ Rinse away the soapy solution.
▶ Place it on a dry towel, and leave it out to dry.

Caps with Stickers

▶ Take a piece of plastic wrap, and wrap it over the sticker. Try to tape only the sticker so that you can wash most of the hat.
▶ Dip a clean, old toothbrush into a cup of warm water.
▶ Do not add soap into the water.
▶ Carefully scrub any dirt or sweat stains with the toothbrush.
▶ Using a toothbrush allows you to pinpoint exactly where you need to scrub.
▶ Make a solution of ½ tsp. detergent with 7 - 8 cups of water. Use a bleach-free detergent.
▶ To spot-clean on the heavier stains, dip an old and clean toothbrush in soapy water and gently scrub the stain away.
▶ Rinse off the soap by using lukewarm water and a toothbrush.
▶ Wash away any signs of detergent.
▶ Remove the plastic wrap and allow your cap to dry.

New Caps

The advantage of having new caps is that they have lesser chances of shrinking due to the synthetic materials used; they retain their color and use plastic bills. They are for rough-and-tough use and wash. So, you can relax a bit since you are pretty sure about the color and shrinking. It's fairly easy to clean these caps.
▶ Plug your sink, pour a cap full of detergent (without bleach), and fill it with water.
▶ Run some laundry pretreatment onto the large stains of the cap.
▶ Place your cap in the soapy water.
▶ Use an old toothbrush or dishcloth to scrub away the stains. Scrub over all the spots, stains, and dirt.
▶ Drain your sink.
▶ Rinse and gently scrub away any soap remains off your cap.
▶ Dry the cap with hand towels.
▶ Leave it to dry on a thick towel.

Wool Baseball Caps

▶ Use cool water to wash a woolen baseball cap. Begin by rinsing your cap.
▶ Use mild detergent that is meant for wool, along with a washcloth to very gently scrub away any dirt. If you are rough with these caps, you could ruin the texture of the wool.
▶ Rinse the cap.
▶ Gently pat dry with clean dish towels to remove the excess water.
▶ Leave it out to dry.
Use lukewarm or cold water to wash your caps. Hot water can make the color run and shrink or damage the fabric. Always dry the cap on a circular base, which should be more or less the size of your head. You can use a ball or an upside-down bowl to do so. This will help retain the shape of your cap.
And remember, no matter how wet your cap is, refrain from wringing away the excess water as this will ruin its shape. Also, use only bleach-free detergents and soaps while washing your cap.