From being promotional giveaway items of the raging ’80s to being an indispensable part of any hat lover’s collection, the mesh hat, popularly known as trucker hats, has come a long way. If you want to get your hands dirty gardening under a scorching sun, mesh hats have got your back. You want to look cool in those rugged jeans; mesh hats will complete that look. But all things apart, your cool mesh hat will look un-cool at some point, obviously because of the dirt. So, the bigger question here is how do you maintain the coolness of your mesh hat?
In short, how to wash a mesh hat?
We understand that cleaning is not a cool thing to do. But if you want your mesh hat to be one, you have got to do this job. But don’t worry! We are here to help make the process as simple as possible by providing you with a guide that will take you through the what’s, why’s, and how’s of cleaning your mesh hats.
So, are you ready for this? Let’s get those dirty mesh hats out!
How Well Do You Know Your Mesh Hat?
We all use our mesh hats, alright. But how well do we know them? If we want to wash and clean them, we need to know what they are made of. The material determines what method of washing and cleaning we can go for.
Though mesh hats look a lot similar to baseball caps, they differ in many ways. To begin with, mesh hats have a foam front that makes them look tall. Then there is the bill or brim and, finally, the breathable plastic mesh that covers almost half or more than half of the hat.
Since truckers and other farm men traditionally used mesh hats, these hats are made for protection from the sun and sweat. Therefore, keeping them washed and cleaned becomes all the more important.
So, boys and girls, if you have a sweaty job at hand, you know what you need.
Can You Wash Mesh Hat?
Definitely YES. Mesh hats are stronger and durable than most hats. They can withstand harsh jungle conditions, and hence a little bit of washing and cleaning will not damage them. There are always things that you have to keep in mind while washing a mesh hat.
What to Know Before Cleaning a Mesh Hat?
These are not tough and big things. They are easy, simple, but important things. Let’s see what those are.
1. Check the Label
All hats come with a care label that tells us about the material, methods of washing, and other precautions that you need to take. Some can be hand-washed and machine-washed as well. Some can only be hand-washed, while few others can only be dry-cleaned. So, follow those instructions carefully before any cleaning or washing.
The other possibility is if the cap you own from before 1983, you may not have a label. In that case, it is always safe to go for the traditional hand-washing method.
2. Say NO to DISHWASHER
While you may have seen your friend throw in their caps in dishwashers, NEVER do that if you love your mesh hat and want to see it live a little longer. The high drying temperatures and harsh detergents that contain bleach in dishwashers can be harmful to the fabric, causing it to shrink.
3. NEVER Put Your Mesh Hat with General Laundry
When the mesh hats are put in with other clothes, the agitation in the machine can damage the fabric or destroy the shape of the hat. It is always safe to put the hats in a mesh bag. If other clothes are involved, add just a few similar colored clothes to that of the hat. You don’t want your white or any light-colored mesh hats to turn blue and green, do you?
4. NEVER use a Chlorine-Based Bleach
Bleach helps brighten our hats, but whenever you use them, make sure it is a color-safe, oxygen-based bleach and not a chlorine-based one. Chlorine will damage the hat fibers.
5. Keep Away from Sunlight
If there is something your mesh hats hate, it is drying under the sun. It is a bit ironic because you use a mesh hat to protect yourself from the sun, but when it comes to drying, the hats react otherwise. Direct sunlight can dull the hat.
6. Protect the Autograph
This one might seem a little crazy, but many people have signatures or other writings with ink on their hats. But with inks, washing can get difficult. So, what do we do? Well, the first thing is to let the ink set in. You can do this by placing a white cloth on the writing and iron it with high heat. Ironing will make sure the ink does not get smudged.
How to Wash Mesh Hats
How to Quick-Wash Mesh Hat?
Most people think that you can only clean a mesh hat by hand wash or a machine wash. But that’s not true. There are easier and less time-consuming ways to do the same. But again, it depends on how much dirty your hat is. If your white mesh hat looks fully brown now, a quick wash might not be enough.
So, look at your stains, and they’ll tell you what they want – a quick shower or a good, long bath. It’s kind of like how we humans do it, right?
Quick Tip: Before going ahead with any washing method, make sure you do a spot test. You can gently rub water or a bit of soap on the underside of your hat. If no color comes off, you are good to go. But if it is bleeding color, then it’s better to take the hat to a professional.
Step 1: Apply the Laundry Pre-treating Spray
Areas like sweatbands will require a little more specific attention. Hence it is necessary to pre-treat them using a good quality laundry pre-treating spray and keep it for a few minutes.
Step 2: Brush the Pre-treated Areas
Using a soft toothbrush, gently work on the areas where the spray has been applied. Please keep in mind not to use too much force while brushing. It can damage the fabric.
Step 3: Remove all Residual Soap
Use a damp cloth and wipe away the grime and residue soap. If the stain persists, repeat step 2 until the hat comes off clean.
Step 4: Drying Your Mesh Hat
Once the stains have been removed, spot a well-ventilated area for your mesh hat to air-dry. DO NOT use dryers or keep them under direct sunlight.
This was easy enough, wasn’t it? Told you!
How to Hand-Wash Mesh Hat?
If your mesh hat’s care label says it’s okay to hand-wash the hat, then there is nothing like a good, gentle hand-wash. It is the best because it is stress-free and safe.
But why Stress-free? Because you don’t have to worry about what’s happening to your hat inside a machine!
I know most of you are waiting to read this one, so not wasting any more time. Let’s get to it.
- A bucket, tub, or sink
- Hand gloves
- A color-safe, oxygen-based bleach
- Any mild detergent
- Cool water
- Soft toothbrush
Step 1: Adding the Bleach
Before anything, make sure you have worn gloves to protect your hands from the bleach. Fill the bucket, sink, or tub with cool water and add the color-safe, oxygen-based bleach in specified amounts. Mix them well. Also, NEVER USE A CHLORINE BLEACH. It is very harmful to the fabric.
Step 2: Treat the Stains
If there are specific stains on the mesh hat, dampen it in the water. Apply a mild detergent on the specific spots, and using a soft toothbrush, gently work on the stains.
Step 3: Soak the Hat in the Bleach Solution
Once the stains have been treated, soak the hat in the color-safe, oxygen-based solution for about an hour.
Step 4: Rinsing the Hat
Once the stains have been removed, rinse the hat under running, cool water.
Step 5: Drying the Hat
DO NOT WRING, for the hat will lose its shape. Slightly squeeze the hat to remove the dripping water. You must only air-dry your mesh hat. You can either hang the hats up in a well-ventilated area or use a clean towel to dab the remaining water and air-dry it.
How to Machine-Wash Mesh Hat?
We believe you are reading this because your care label has okayed a machine wash. So now that you’ve decided to proceed with a machine wash let’s see how it’s done.
Step 1: Pre-treating the Stains
Apply a stain remover or a small amount of strong detergent on the heavily stained areas, like your sweatbands or other stubborn stains. Use a soft toothbrush and work on the stains. Leave it for about 15 minutes.
A strong detergent will have a higher concentration of enzymes that will break apart the dirt.
Step 2: Add the Bleach to Brighten the Colors
Use ONLY an oxygen-based, color-safe bleach. Add the bleach to warm water in specified amounts and as directed. Soak the mesh hat in the bleach solution for about 2-4 hours.
Step 3: Toss in the Hat in the Washing Machine
Either put the hat in a hat form or a mesh bag to protect it from getting distorted. Or if it is getting washed with another laundry, wash only similar colored clothes with the hat. Set your washing machine on a gentle cycle and use only cold water.
Step 4: Drying the Hat
Once your mesh hat is fully washed, curb the tendency to wring it. Air-dry the hat.
Can You Put Mesh Hat in the Dryer?
NO NO and NO. Dryers have a very high-intensity heat, and the tumbling action will cause damage to the mesh hat’s fabric.
Can You Take a Mesh Hat to the Dry Cleaners?
If you follow all the instructions discussed above, you wouldn’t need a dry cleaner.
Taking your mesh hats to the dry cleaner is not recommended because the chemicals and processes they use might not be good for your mesh hat. But if you do not want to risk cleaning your hat, you can always take it to launderers who specialize in cleaning hats or a hat professional.
How to Care for Mesh Hats?
Our mesh hats are strong and sturdy, but they still need a little caring and pampering. After all, they do so much for you, don’t they? Let’s how we can take care of them.
1. Storing Your Mesh Hats
You can always store them in a hatbox or a cotton cloth bag. AVOID plastic bags as much as possible as they are devoid of any air circulation. It can cause dullness of color and even promote the growth of mildew.
2. Don’t Leave Your Hats in the Car.
We are all guilty of forgetting our hats in the Car, not always, but at least once. Heat, sun, and moisture can damage your hat – it will cause discoloration.
3. Keep Your Hats Away from Moths
We don’t want moths eating up our hats, do we? Whenever you store them in a cupboard or anywhere for that matter, make sure you leave a mothball nearby. If you don’t like the chemical smell of it, you also get flavored mothballs. Do make sure you read the instructions on the packet and use them likewise.
4. Store Your Hats in a Cedar Closet
Cedar closets are another great option for storing your hats. They reduce moisture and also make your hats smell great! Really, what else do our hats need in their life!
Mesh hats are here to stay. They make your gardening, trekking, fishing, or any hard task easier. Not just for your hard tasks, they are a cool fashion statement as well, these days. But for them to stay strong, you need to put in a little bit of effort knowing and taking care of them. With this article, you’ll never have to search again for a ‘how to wash a mesh hat.’ We can guarantee that.