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How To Wash A Flat Cap Correct Way

How To Wash A Flat Cap (Ivy Hat) – Without Ruining the Hat

Traditionally a staple winter cap, flat caps, or ivy caps have made it to our all-season wardrobes now. Flat caps are easy, casual, and smart-looking, and wearing them is sort of addictive. Once you start using it, you might want to try and pair them with all your outfits because of their comfort and functionality. But using them so much leads to the risk of getting your flat caps dirty. So, do you know how to wash a flat cap? 

If you answered a no, this article would be life-saving for you because we will show you all tips, tricks, and hacks to get flat caps washed and cleaned. 

Can You Wash a Flat Cap?

Of course, you can.

And why do we say that? Because flat caps are usually made out of cotton, wool, wool blends, leather, tweed, or polyester. And the good news is that you have methods to clean all these materials with ease right at your home. A stain in your flat cap doesn’t have to take you to a professional cleaner always.

What to Know Before Cleaning a Flat Cap?

1. Know the Material

Like we said earlier, your flat caps can be wool, leather, polyester, or cotton, and the washing methods differ for each of these materials. Except for leather, all others can be hand-washed and machine-washed if done with care. 

Leather is a very delicate material that can only be dry-cleaned or spot cleaned.

Check out our complete guide to cleaning and washing leathers hats and caps.

2. Read the Care Label

Reading through your cap’s care label will solve half of your cap washing problems. It has all the information on the cap like its material, safe washing methods, other specific instructions, etc.

3. NEVER use Dryer

We all want our caps to dry quickly and search for the easy way out. But dryers are never a good option to dry your flat caps. The extreme heat is harmful to the cap fibers, and you should only air-dry the caps.

4. Always Do a Spot Test

Before washing your flat caps, you need to be very sure whether your caps will bleed color or not. A spot test will help you check this.

Wet a clean white cloth in water or a mild soap solution and rub it on an unnoticeable spot of your cap, like its underside. If you observe any dye transfer onto the white cloth, your cap is bleeding color, and you might have to take it to a professional. If not, you are good to go ahead with washing flat caps at home.

How Do You Wash a Flat Cap Without Ruining It?

So, there are three methods you can use to clean your dirty flat caps based on the level of staining. If your flat caps are stained only at a specific spot, you don’t have to wash the whole cap. A spot clean would be enough.

If your cap is stained at more than just a spot, you can hand-wash the flat cap. Hand washing is always the best and safest method when washing any hats or caps. They give you complete control over your cap, and the chances of the cap getting ruined are very less.

The last option is a machine wash. But before throwing your caps in the machine, always make sure that your cap’s care label allows a machine wash. If you own a leather flat cap, you can forget a machine wash for good.

 How To Wash A Flat Cap

How to Spot Clean a Flat Cap

How to Spot Clean a Flat Cap?

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Prepare the Soap solution

In a small bowl filled with cool water, mix a little amount of mild detergent. Mix the soap and water well. If your cap is wool, wool blends, or tweed, you can choose a specific wool detergent like Woolite. 

Step 2: Apply the soap solution to the cap

Apply the soap solution to the specific stain area and gently scrub the stain using a soft toothbrush. Ensure you’re not going too hard on the scrubbing.

Step 3: Clean the Spot with a Cloth

Using a clean, non-abrasive cloth, like a microfiber towel, wipe away any residual soapy water and dirt from the surface of the cap.

Step 4: Dry the Cap

Dry your cap in an area with good air flow. As we said, flat caps should only be air-dried and don’t use any dryers. Even a hair-dryer is bad for your flat cap.

How to Hand Wash a Flat Brim Cap

How to Hand Wash a Flat Brim Cap?

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Prepare the Soap Solution

Add a small amount of mild detergent in a bucket, sink, or tub filled with cool water. Mix the two well.

Step 2: Apply the stain remover.

Before the actual wash, it is important to pre-treat the stains on your flat cap. Doing so makes stain removal easier during the actual wash. And you won’t have to waste a lot of water and detergent trying to get rid of the dirt.

Apply a small amount of remover on the stains and leave it on for 30 minutes or more, depending on the amount of staining.

Step 3: Soak the Cap

Submerge your flat cap in soapy water and give a gentle scrub using a soft brush.

Step 4: Rinse the Cap

Once the flat cap is scrubbed out of stains, rinse the cap under cool water. Ensure no soap remains on the cap, and if not washed off well, the soap can cause staining on the cap.

Step 5: Dry the Cap.

Avoid twisting or wringing the cap. Find a spot with good air circulation and air-dry the cap away from sunlight.

How to Wash Flat Brim Cap in the Washing Machine

How to Wash Flat Brim Cap in the Washing Machine?

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Treat Stain with Remover

Putting your caps directly in the machine may not get you completely clean hats. You may be left with light-colored patches of the stain. Pre-treating is important to avoid such kinds of situations. It ensures easy removal of stains during the actual wash helping you save water, energy, and detergent.

Apply a small amount of remover on the stain and leave it on for 30 minutes or more, depending on how stained the cap is.

Step 2: Place Cap in Mesh Bag

Your flat caps have a typical structure, right – smooth top, stiff brim, etc., and you mustn’t get your caps distorted in the process of washing them in machines. Placing your cap in the mesh bags saves it from spinning inside a machine, protecting its structure.

Step 3: Adjust Your Machine Settings

Always ensure that your washing machine is set to a delicate cycle when washing your flat caps. And use only cool water to wash them. Hot water can shrink the cap’s fabric, making them no longer fit on your head.

Step 4: Dry the Hat

Once the wash cycle is complete, take your caps out and set them to air-dry in a spot with good airflow. Avoid using dryers.

Can You Wash Flat Caps in the Dishwasher?

Absolutely NOT.

The functioning of a dishwasher is extreme for washing flat caps. Dishwashers spray hot water with a lot of pressure to wash dirty dishes. Most of the dishwashing detergents have bleach content in them, which are harmful to flat caps.

How to Dry Flat Caps?

We’ve told you air-drying is the way, but what exactly are the steps to air dry? Let’s take a sneak peek. 

1. Place Caps on a Clean Towel

Once your caps are washed, place them on a clean towel to remove all excess dripping water.

2. Dab the Cap with Towel

Use the same towel and dab the whole hat gently. It will remove any surface-level moisture on the cap. It’s also the best time to fluff up your caps if they’ve gotten distorted in the washing process.

3. Dry the Hat

Once steps 1 and 2 are done, find a spot with good airflow and set the cap to air-dry, away from sunlight.

These three steps ensure your caps are dried well. If you don’t have so much time in hand, you can, of course, skip steps 1 and 2 and air-dry the cap directly.

How to Care for Flat Caps?

1. Store in Dry, Clean Places

Your flat caps are allergic to damp and moist places. Always store your caps in cool and dry places, so they aren’t prone to any mildew attacks or yellowing.

2. Use Hat Box

If you’re confused about storing hats, use a hatbox. They are a tried and tested option to store your flat caps safely. You can throw in a lavender sachet inside the box to keep the caps smell and feel fresh.

3. Use a Clothes Steamer

If your caps have caught an unexpected, sudden rain, then you need to air-dry them first. But if they are just mildly damp, you can use a clothes steamer to freshen, sanitize and shapen your flat caps. But NEVER IRON THEM.

How To Wash A Flat Cap

Final Thoughts

The question ‘how to wash flat caps’ brought you to this article, and now that you’ve all the tricks up your sleeves about cleaning and washing flat caps without ruining them, it’s time you actually put it to practice.

The next time you step out in your flat caps, they need to be bright and shiny!

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