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How To Wash A Fedora Hat (Clean For All Types Of Fedora)

How To Wash and Clean a Fedora Hat – Without Ruining the Hat

Fedoras are a classic wardrobe accessory of the olden times, but ever so new! But are your fedoras screaming for a good, clean wash? Then, you’re at the right place. After a tedious online search of how to wash a fedora hat, we know you are here, and we will not disappoint you. For after this article, you’ll be experts in cleaning and washing fedora hats, and we want you to be that!

A great fedora gives you a straight out of 60’s charming look, but if you are wearing a dirty, stinky one, you’ll probably not look that amazing. 

So, let’s make your fedoras look great again!

Can You Wash a Fedora Hat?

Yes, of course.

But we’ve got to admit it; fedoras are a delicate hat. They are usually made out of wool or felt, straw and leather. You also have polyester fedoras that aren’t complicated to wash because they’re made of synthetic fibers.

You can clean wool, straw, and leather, but their interaction with water should be minimum. It’s always clever to use dry clean methods first and then opt for a wash by water.

Don’t get tensed by the word ‘dry clean. We are talking about dry clean methods at home and not professional one. Perfect, right? Ah yes, we heard that sigh of relief!

What to Know Before Cleaning a Fedora Hat?

1. Know Your Fedora Material

Wool, leather, straw, or polyester – all of them are very different materials in terms of how they interact with water. A polyester fedora may withstand a proper hand wash, while a leather fedora will be completely damaged if washed by water.

2. Hat Care Label

Care labels are another great device to know your fedora hats a little better. They’ll tell you what material your hat is, what washing methods are the safest, etc.

So, you’ll want to read through your care labels before jumping the big guns!

3. Be Gentle with Embellishments, If Any

Most of the fedoras come with embellishments like a band or ribbon. Be extremely careful while handling them, and if those are removable, it’ll be a good idea to remove them while washing the hats.

4. Say Goodbye to Washing Machines

A fedora is a fedora because of its iconic shape – the crown, dent, pinch, band, and wide brim. If you want to maintain the structure of your hat, avoid putting them in machines. And like we said earlier, fedora materials are so delicate that a normal hand wash is difficult; forget machines!

5. AVOID Liquid Detergents

While choosing a detergent to wash your fedoras, avoid using liquid ones, especially for straw, leather, and wool. Polyester fedoras can still work with liquid detergents without getting damaged. 

How to Clean a Fedora Hat Made of Wool?

Wool fabrics are machine washed sometimes, but your only options are dry clean, spot clean, and regular hand washes when it comes to wool fedoras. 

Dry Clean Methods for Wool Fedora Hats

  • Use a Hat Brush

Give your fedora hat a good, gentle brush using a good-quality hat brush. Brush in a counter-clockwise direction to get rid of dust and debris from the hat.

  • Use Lint Roller

Materials like wool and felt attract lint easily. And these fuzzballs don’t look cool on your fedoras at all. Run the lint roller on your hat, preferably after each use.

How to Spot Clean Wool Fedora Hats

How to Spot Clean Wool Fedora Hats?

If your wool fedoras are stained in specific spots, you don’t have to wash the whole hat. Only the specific area needs to be treated. 

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Make the Soap Solution

In a bowl filled with cool water, add a small amount of mild detergent, like Woolite. Mix the two well.

Step 2: Application of Soap on Hat

Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, apply the soap on the specific spot and work on the stains in small, gentle motions. Do not apply too much force while scrubbing. It can damage the wool.

Step 3: Blot the Soapy Water

Using a clean cloth, blot the leftover soapy water from the hat. Make sure there’s no residual soap on the hat.

Step 4: Air-dry the Hat

Find a spot with good air circulation and leave your hat to air-dry. Keep away from drying under sunlight.

How to Hand-Wash Wool Fedora Hats

How to Hand-Wash Wool Fedora Hats?

If stains persist after a dry clean and a spot clean, you might want to try a gentle hand wash on your wool fedora. 

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Make the soap solution

Add a small amount of mild detergent in a bucket or sink filled with water and mix well. If you are washing the hat in a sink, don’t forget to keep a drain stopper.

Step 2: Submerge the Hat in soap Solution.

Submerge the hat in soap solution and gently swish it around. Do not leave the hat in soapy water for more than 10 minutes.

Step 3: Rinse the Hat

Rinse the hat under cool running water. Ensure all soap is removed.

Step 4: Dry the Hat

Do not twist or wring. Gently press the hat to remove excess water and let it air-dry in a well-ventilated spot.

If your wool fedora hats have leather sweatbands, you can clean all the sweat stains using a water-vinegar solution.

How to Clean a Fedora Hat Made of Leather?

How to Clean a Fedora Hat Made of Leather

How to Clean a Leather Fedora Hat?

If you own a leather fedora hat, spot cleaning is the way to go! Let’s see how.

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Prepare the cleaning solution

In a bowl filled with water, add a small amount of Castile or mild soap and mix well.

Step 2: Apply Cleaning solution on Hat

Dampen a non-abrasive cloth in the cleaning solution, and work on the specific stain area.

Step 3: Wipe the Hat

Using a clean cloth, wipe the residual soapy water and dirt from the hat.

Step 4: Dry the Hat

Air-dry the hat in a well-ventilated spot, away from sunlight.

Step 5: Apply Leather Conditioner

Leather tends to dry out easily after a wash. To maintain the shiny texture of your leather fedora, apply a small amount of leather conditioner. It will make the hat look supple and fresh like it’s newly bought!

Apart from a spot clean, you could also use the below three methods to clean your leather fedoras.

  • Vinegar-Water Solution

If stubborn sweat stains are there on your hat, especially the sweatband area, a vinegar-water solution mixed in equal parts can do wonders.

  • Chalk

Yes, you read that right. If you have oily, greasy stains on your fedora, you can apply chalk to it. Chalk will absorb the grease leaving your hat oil-free. But use a chalk that’s similar in color to your hat.

  • Saddle Soap

Saddle soap is a great stain remover, but with its drawbacks. Saddle soap tends to darken your hat. So before using it, do a patchwork to see if you are okay with how the hat color will turn out.

How to Clean a Fedora Hat Made of Straw?

Like wool, straw fedoras can also be cleaned using dry clean, spot clean, and regular hand-wash. 

Dry Clean Methods to Clean a Straw Fedora Hat

1. Cornstarch or talcum powder

Cornstarch and talcum powder are excellent dry clean options, especially if your straw hats have oily or greasy stains. Apply the powder and leave it for an hour or more, giving the powder enough time to absorb the oils. Use a hat brush and dust off the powder.

2. Vacuum Cleaner

Use a vacuum to get rid of dust and debris from any toughest corner of the hat. Cover the vacuum brush with a stocking to reduce the severity of heat. Direct heat is bad for your straw fedoras.

3. Hat brush or clean cloth

Give a good scrub to your hats using a hat brush or a clean cloth. 

If you are using a cloth, make sure it is of the same color as the hat. We don’t want any dye transferring onto your favorite straw fedoras.

How to Spot Clean Your Straw Fedora Hats?

  • Soap and Water Solution

Wet a clean cloth in mild soap solution and gently scrub on the stained spot. Blot all residual soapy water and dirt from the hat using a clean cloth and air-dry the fedora.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide or Ammonia

If your straw fedora is light-colored, you can use hydrogen peroxide, and if you have a dark one, you can use ammonia. Mix either of them, depending on your fedora’s color, with water in equal parts. Apply the same on your hat and gently scrub on the stained area. Blot the hat and let it air-dry.

How to Hand-Wash Straw Fedora Hats

How to Hand-Wash Straw Fedora Hats?

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Prepare Cleaning Solution

In a bucket or sink filled with cool water, add a small amount of mild detergent.

Step 2: Soak the Hat

Submerge the hat in soapy water. Scrub the hat gently using a soft brush.

Step 3: Rinse the Hat

Rinse the hat under cool running water. Ensure no soap remains on the hat, for it can damage the leather.

Step 4: Dry the Hat

Once the hat is washed, let the hat air-dry in a well-ventilated spot. Do not twist or wring the hat, and don’t use a dryer at any cost. The extreme heat is harmful to the material.

How to Clean a Fedora Hat Made of Polyester?

Polyester, being a synthetic fiber, is durable and strong. You can spot clean or hand-wash polyester fedoras without a doubt. The process is similar to a spot clean or a hand wash of wool and straw.

If your care label mentions a machine wash, you can even try that. But always keep your hat in a mesh bag before tossing it in the machine. Use only cool water in a delicate cycle setting to wash polyester fedoras if the care label allows.

How to Store Fedora Hat?

A hatbox is the ultimate fedora hat savior. Fedora hats need to stay away from damp and humid areas. While placing your hats in a hatbox, ensure they are kept upside down so that the crown touches the base of the box. Doing so will prevent any distortion to your hat’s structure.

Also, ensure you always hold the Fedora hat by its brim and not the crown or pinch. Pinch is the spot where all the fabric meets together. Holding a fedora by its crown or pinch will destroy its shape and create a rip in the fabric.

If you’re traveling and have packed your fedora hats in a suitcase, make sure there is enough space for the hats to sit comfortably without getting crushed. Place your hats upside down in the suitcase and stuff the inside of the crown with clean socks so that the Fedoras will hold its shape.

How To Wash A Fedora Hat

Final Thoughts

How to wash a Fedora hat can no longer be a troubling question for you. Straw, leather, wool, polyester, now you know all tricks and hacks to keep them clean. Follow the instructions to point, and you’ll be good to go.

You can now pull off a straight out of 60’s look without a worry!

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