Do you know what the best thing about black hats and caps is? That they fit well with any outfit. When you are confused about a hat or a cap choice for your sweatshirt or dress, the black one will never let you down. But you know what’s tricky about a black hat or a cap? Maintaining them. The striking feature of any black hat or cap is the color. Your black hat fades a bit; all charm is gone. But we aren’t here to scare you. But to clear all your worries on how to clean a black hat or a cap.
Are your black hats or caps lying in some dirty corner? You can salvage your hat, and it will look as new as good.
Let’s get down to business, alright?
What to Know Before Cleaning a Black Hat?
All you want for your black hats is to remain black, right? If adequate measures are not taken, the chances of your black hat getting ruined are high, and we don’t want that. So, what do you do? Well, go ahead and read on all the precautions before you jump the gun.
1. Check the Care Label
There is nothing more important than care labels when it comes to hats and caps. From the material to washing methods and other instructions, the labels have it all. All you need is a little bit of patience to read them!
2. Know the Material
Knowing the material will give you an idea of what washing methods to use. Every material reacts to water differently. Some materials like cotton or acrylic can be hand-washed and machine-washed. Some like leather can only be hand-washed, etc.
3. How Old is Your Hat?
Do you own a vintage cap? Do you still use your grandfather’s or father’s cap? Then probably they are older than the 1980s. Caps made before the 1980s have cardboard brims unlike now, where it is made of plastic. And cardboard is made out of paper will get damaged with water. So only spot-cleaning or dry-cleaning is suggested for such kinds of hats.
4. Use Mild Bleach-Free Detergent
Bleach is the biggest enemy of your black hat. Ensure you never use bleach or a detergent that contains bleach while washing your black hat.
5. Does Your Hat Color Bleed?
Even if your label suggests a hand-wash or a machine-wash, it is always safe to check for colorfastness. Dip a cloth in soap solution and dab it on an unnoticeable part of your cap or hat. If the color comes off on the cloth, you should stop the process right away and take the hat to a professional; otherwise, you are good to go!
How to Wash Black Hats and Caps?
How to Spot Cleaning Black Hats?
As mentioned earlier, if your black hat’s brim is made out of cardboard, spot cleaning is your best way to clean at home.
Step 1: Do a Spot Test on Hat
Like we said earlier, before jumping into any washing, do a spot test to check for colorfastness.
Step 2: Make the Cleaning Solution
Fill the bucket or sink with cold water and add a few drops of any mild laundry detergent. Make sure the detergent doesn’t contain bleach. If your hat is made of delicate fabrics like wool or felt, use detergents specific to those materials.
Step 3: Work on the Stains
Dip a clean cloth in the soap solution and gently rub on the hat to form lather. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and work on the stains.
Step 4: Clean the Residual Soap
Once the stains are removed, use a fresh damp cloth and wipe away all the soap and water from the hat. Make sure to remove all the soap from the hat, or else the fabric will be damaged.
Step 5: Dry the Hat
Air-dry the hat in a well–ventilated area away from direct sunlight. Drying also depends on the material sometimes. For example, for hats like Berets, never hang them to dry as they might lose their shape. You can lay them on any flat surface.
How to Hand-Wash Black Hat?
Hand-washing is the best and safest method to clean any hat or cap. Do you know why? Because while washing my hands, you have complete control over the hat. If something goes wrong, you can take the necessary steps immediately. But in the case of a machine wash, you will have no idea what is happening to your hat till it comes out of the machine, by which time things might be too late to change! If you love your hat, we suggest you always go for a hand-wash irrespective of the material.
Step 1: Do a Spot Test on the Hat
By now, you know the drill. Do a spot test on your black hat. It is the one step that you cannot afford to miss.
Step 2: Make the Soap Solution
Fill a bucket with cool water, add a few drops of color-safe, bleach-free laundry detergent. Make sure to mix the solution well so that the soap is distributed uniformly.
Step 3: Soak the Hat in Soap Solution
Soak your black hat in the soap solution for at least 20 minutes. You can leave it for up to 2 hours as well, depending on the amount of staining.
Step 4: Scrub the Stains
By this time, all the stubborn stains would have loosened due to the soaking, and it will be pretty easy to remove the dirt. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and scrub the hat gently. Do not be too harsh while scrubbing, for it can damage your fabric.
Step 5: Rinse the Hat
Once the stains have been scrubbed, rinse your hat under cold water. Let the excess water drip. But DO NOT twist or WRING the hat.
Step 6: Dry the Hat
You can either place the black hat on a clean towel to dry or air-dry it at a well-ventilated spot. But always make sure the hat is away from direct harsh sunlight. Direct heat is bad for the hat.
How to Machine-Wash Black Hat?
If your hat’s care label says it’s okay to machine wash, then you can go ahead with this method. But always be EXTRA careful and follow the steps below to the point.
Advice: While machine – washing hats and caps, it is always safe to use a front-loading machine than a top-loading one because the central agitator in a top-loading machine can damage the fabric.
Step 1: Pre-treat the Stains
Apply a small amount of pre-treating stain remover on the specific stains on your black hat. Keep it for about 10 minutes so that the dirt particles can be broken down.
Step 2: Adjust Machine Controls
Set your machine on a gentle or delicate cycle and use only cold water. In the case of wool hats, your machines might have a wool function. You can set the controls accordingly.
Step 3: Toss the Hat in a Hat Form or Mesh Bag
Even if the machine is set to a gentle washing cycle, there can be chances of fabric damage due to the constant whirring and spinning. To be on the safer side, always keep your black hats in mesh bags or hat forms and put them in the machine.
Step 4: Dry the Hat
Once the wash cycle is complete, you can take it out. But do not twist or wring the hat—only air-dry.
How to Wash Black Hats in Dishwasher?
Dishwashers are very tricky when it comes to clean hats. Hat experts and lovers will consider it a sin to wash hats or caps in a dishwasher. Dishwashers use hot water, which is meant for washing dishes, and most of the dishwashing detergents come with chlorine bleach content.
So, if we were to advise you, you should never use a dishwasher.
But baseball caps, being sturdier than most caps, do survive a dishwasher. If a dishwasher is the only way you want to clean your hat, well, then we do have a method that you can follow! Let’s check it out.
Step 1: Pre-Treat the Stains
Apply a small amount of stain remover on specific stain areas. Keep it for about 30 minutes so that the dirt particles are broken down.
Step 2: Place the Cap in a Hat Frame
A hat frame ensures your hat does not lose its shape. So ALWAYS use one if you are washing your hat in a dishwasher. Place the hat frame ONLY ON THE TOP RACK.
Step 3: Add the Dishwashing Detergent
Add the required amount of dishwashing detergent to the soap dispenser. Ensure that the detergent is bleach-free and does not have citric content, for it can damage the fabric.
Step 4: Set Your Dishwasher Controls
The machine has to be set to a normal wash cycle and make sure the cap in the top rack of your dishwasher to prevent from heating elements. THE HEAT DRY option needs to be TURNED OFF.
Step 5: Dry the Hat
Once the wash cycle is complete, air-dry your hat overnight, you can also use a mannequin head to dry the hat. But make sure to keep it away from direct sunlight.
How to Remove Sweat Stains Out of Black Hat?
Sweating is not something that we have any control over. And hats being in constant contact without heads and faces are likely to take the brunt for it. Most of the sweat stains will usually go with one or the other washing methods we discussed above. But sometimes, these stains can be too stubborn that they will need some special treatment.
It’s quite easy, and you only require a simple product in our homes all the time.
It is baking soda!
We will show you a step-by-step account of how to remove sweat stains using baking soda paste.
Step 1: Make the Baking Soda Paste
To four tablespoons of baking soda, add a small amount of warm water, and stir well until you paste.
Step 2: Apply the Paste on the Hat
Apply the baking soda paste to specific stain areas. Using a toothbrush, work the paste on the stain. Leave it for about an hour so that the paste gets properly absorbed.
Step 3: Rinse the Hat
Rinse the paste from the hat using cold water. Make sure all the soda gets removed.
Step 4: Dry the Hat
Place the hat on a wet towel to remove all the excess dripping water. Air-dry the hat.
Can You Use Dryers to Dry Your Black Hats?
NEVER EVER. Dryers are extremely bad for your hats. The high intensity of heat will damage your fabric, and all the care you gave your hat will go wasted.
We know how black hats and caps are a go-to accessory for everyone. If you’ve ever bothered searching for how to clean a black hat, it means you care for your hat.
In this article, we’ve covered all that’s there to know about cleaning and washing black hats, and all you have to do is get your dirty black hats out and wash them clean!