Don’t Sweat It: How to Wash Baseball Hats


From misshapen brims to fast-fading colors, there are lots of issues that can make washing hats tricky. Don’t worry—we’ll break it all down for you here so your hats will look like new in no time!

Baseball hats are perfect for keeping your face shaded on a sunny day. But between the sweltering sun and a friendly game of baseball (or even just a brisk jog), dirt, oils, and sweat can get trapped in your hat, leaving behind a stinky, dirty mess. Unfortunately, hats aren’t as easy to clean as your favorite old t-shirt. 

The most important thing to take note of before washing your hat is what type of brim it has:

  • Cardboard Brimmed Hats
    Hats that have cardboard-supported brims are older (made prior to 1983), and when you tap or flick the brim, it will make a hollow sound. Unfortunately, these types of hats can only be spot cleaned—submerging one in water will deform the brim, ruining the hat altogether!
  • Plastic-Supported Brims
    Newer hats (made after 1983) typically have plastic-supported brims, and are usually machine-washable. (Always check the care label first, just to be sure!)

Cardboard Brimmed Hats

Spot-clean only.

How to Spot Clean a Hat:

  1. To clean a cardboard brimmed hat, drop your favorite laundry detergent pod into warm water and let it fully dissolve.
  2. Take a clean towel and dip it into the solution and lightly buff out any stains on the cap or inner headband. Be careful not to soak the brim! For tougher stains, use a soft-bristled brush to pull the grime out of the fabric.
  3. Rinse the towel thoroughly and gently wipe the detergent off the hat until none is remaining.
  4. Let the hat air dry, and enjoy!

Plastic Brimmed Hats

Machine or dishwasher washable. 

How to Wash a Hat in Your Dishwasher (our preferred method!):

Using your dishwasher can better maintain the shape of your hat:

  1. Start with an empty dishwasher to ensure that heavily soiled dishes do not result in food residue staining the hat.
  2. Add a Dropps Dishwasher Detergent pod into the dishwasher dispenser. 
  3. Place the hat into the dishwasher on the top rack. You can use a hat form to better maintain the shape of the hat. 
  4. Turn on the dishwasher and run a normal cycle on light wash or low-heat. 
  5. Allow the hat to air dry. 

How to Wash a Hat in Your Washing Machine:

  1. Place the hat into the washer (alone or with a smaller load of laundry so it doesn’t lose its shape) with a gentle detergent and wash with warm water on a gentle cycle. For especially soiled hats, toss in an Oxi Booster pod as well to eliminate even the toughest stains! You can even place your hat in a hat form to prevent it from losing form in the washer.
  2. Let the hat air dry, with the hat form or head mold if necessary, or hang it up!

Non-Machine Washable Hats

Hand washing is your best option.

How to Hand Wash a Hat:

  1. Drop a laundry detergent pod into a basin or container of warm water and let it fully dissolve.
  2. Place your hat into the solution and let it soak for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Scrub any stains or soiled areas gently with a clean towel or a soft-bristled brush.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with cool water.
  5. Remove the hat from the solution, and place it on a clean, dry towel, and lightly press the towel against the hat to soak up any excess water.
  6. Let the hat air dry, using a mold if necessary, and enjoy!

Baseball hats are one of those items in our closets that often get forgotten about, so we hope this was an empowering guide for you. No matter which method you use, giving your cap a good clean should keep your summer days bright. Happy washing!