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How To Wash Cotton Hats And Caps

How to Wash Cotton Caps and Hats [Useful Guides and Tips]

Wearing your favorite cotton cap all the time can never go wrong unless you know when and how to wash your cotton hat. When we think of washing cotton, the first thing that comes to our mind is that they are more prone to shrinkages. It’s necessary to know how to clean your cotton cap without affecting its quality.

Whether you want to remove the sweat stains from your white cap, or brighten up your old cap, or get rid of the stinky odor or mold, we’re here with you to walk you through the whole process.

What Is Cotton?

Unarguably, everyone knows that cotton is summertime’s best friend.

The greatest advantage of cotton is its mind-blowing breathability which keeps you sweat-free throughout the day.

Since it is a natural, hypoallergenic fabric, it doesn’t cause any itching or discomfort for people with sensitive skin.

For people who are sensitive to polyester and acrylic, cotton is a wonderful alternative.

On the other side of the coin, 100%  cotton is extremely sensitive to hot temperatures and can shrink.

Most of us may experience cotton clothes getting tighter and tighter. We can retain the quality and shape of cotton caps for years if we wash them in the right method.

What to Know Before Cleaning a Cotton Cap?

1. Avoid Washing Machine and Dishwashers

Washing machines and dishwashers can produce high heat, and there are increased chances for your cotton cap to shrink.

Even though you are thinking of washing your cap in a gentle cycle, the increased load and the machine’s agitation might deform the shape of your cap.

2. Stop Using Hot Water

As mentioned earlier, hot water can also cause wrinkles in your cap. Handwashing in cool water is the best washing method to make a cotton cap that lasts for years.

3. Check the Brim

Found a vintage cap from your dad’s closet? Check the visor first. Most of the bills of the old caps were made up of cardboard rather than plastics. Submerging a cap with a cardboard bill will ruin it.

Tap the visor and check if it sounds hollow. If you assume that it is cardboard, spot cleaning with a toothbrush is the best method to clean it.

4. Look at the Label

Check out the care tag of your cap, and make sure to read the washing instructions. No two manufacturers produce their caps in the same process, and knowing the appropriate method may make your cap lasts longer.

5. Stop Over drying

Don’t forget to take your cap from the line under the sun. Sometimes, overdrying in heat can cause wrinkles and fading too. Always hang cotton caps in the shade.

6. Wash them Separately

Since cotton is a natural fabric, chances are there for color bleed. If you suspect your cap might bleed colors, wash them separately to avoid dye transfer. Skip harsh detergents, which can damage the microfibers and leads the dye release.

How to Wash Your Cotton Hats?

By now, you might know what not to do while washing cotton caps. Let’s check out the 4 effective methods:

  • Method 1: How to quickly clean your cotton hats?
  • Method 2: How to deep clean your baseball cap to remove stains?
  • Method 3: How to remove stains from white cotton hats?
  • Method 4: How to get rid of mold from cotton cap?
quick wash your cotton cap

Quick Wash your Cotton Cap

This is an easy peasy method to give a refreshing touch to your cotton hat.

Materials Needed:

  • Sink or Tub
  • Coldwater
  • Laundry detergent
  • Towel
  • Bowl


Step 1: Fill the tub or sink with cool water

Always go for cold water, since cotton is heat sensitive and can shrink.

Step 2: Add laundry detergent to the tub

Add a few spoons of detergent to the tub and swish it enough to form a soapy solution. Submerge your cap in the tub. Check if they bleed any colors. If they don’t, let it soak.

Step 3: Soak

Let the cap soak in it for 15-20 minutes. It’s better to wash them separately.

Step:4 Rinse

Rinse the cap under running cool water to remove all the soapy detergent sticking to the cap.

Step 5: Dry

Hang them in the line until the water drips down completely. While it’s half dry, fit the cap’s crown to the bowl to retain the shape.

deep clean cotton baseball caps

Deep Clean Cotton Baseball Caps

Having a stain on your cap and not sure how to remove it? This is a deep clean method to remove sweat, oil, makeup, or any tough stains from your cotton cap.

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Pretreat Stains

Examine your cap overall and mark those stains with chalk. Pretreat the dirty areas like sweatbands and inner panels with a gel-based stain remover. Use a toothbrush or sponge and brush the stained areas gently.

You can also use laundry detergents such as tide since they have a high concentration of enzymes to wash out oil molecules.

 Step 2: Leave it for a while

Allow it to rest for 15 minutes. This time allows the stain remover to penetrate through the microfibers and remove the stains.

Step 3: Soak the cap

If your cap looks too old, you can soak them in cold water with oxygen bleach and wait for 15-20 minutes to brighten up. Before using, read the label of oxygen bleach carefully.

Step 4: Rinse the Cap in Cold Water

Rinse the cap in running cold water and use your hands to clean the soapy areas of the cap. Allow the cap to air dry under shade. When it’s half dry, pick up the cap and fit it over a bowl to retain the shape.

remove sweat stains out of white cotton caps

Remove Sweat Stains Out of White Cotton Caps 

We feel you! White caps can be a headache, but at the same time, they give a clean, pristine look when washed. Here’s another effective method to brighten up your white cap like a new one.

Materials Needed:

  • Cool water
  • Sink or tub
  • Hydrogen peroxide solution
  • Soft-bristled toothbrush

Note: Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful bleaching agent, and over usage can leads to fading. Do not use hydrogen peroxide on colored hats.


Step 1: Pretreat Stains

Drip a few drops of hydrogen peroxide on the stains of your cap. Gently scrub on the stained areas using a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Step 2: Leave Them for a While

Wait for 10-15 minutes. This allows the hydrogen peroxide to penetrate through the fibers. The tiny white fizzing foam is a sign that it is killing the bacteria.

Step 3: Soak the cap in the tub

Add some oxygen bleach to cold water. Swish it forward and backward and submerge the cap. Wait for a half an hour.

Step 4: Rinse

Rinse the cap in cooling water. Use your hand to clean the soapy areas in your cap.

Step 5: Dry

Hang the washed cap on the line under shade. When it’s half dry, fit the cap’s crown on a small bowl to retain the shape.

remove mold from cotton caps

Remove Mold From Cotton Caps

The strong, foul smell of your caps is a telltale sign of the presence of mold. As long as your cap is in contact with moisture, it will be a friendly environment for mold growth.

If left untreated, they can lead to stains, allergies, and skin rashes according to Centers of disease control and prevention.

Materials Needed:

  • Cool water
  • Sink or tub
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Soft-bristled toothbrush


Step 1: Pretreat Stains

Pour distilled white vinegar into a spray bottle and spray them on the inner panels and sweatband of your cap.

Step 2: Leave Them for a While

Let your cap sit for 10-15 minutes. The acidic content of vinegar kills mold spores and removes the foul smell.

Step 3: Soak

Fill the tub with cold water and add some laundry detergent to it. Soak the cap in the tub for 10 minutes to remove the vinegar odor.

Step 4: Rinse and Dry

Rinse the cap in running cold water and let them dry until the water drips completely. After the cap dries completely, fix them in a small bowl to retain the shape.

Is Vinegar Safe on Your Cotton Cap?

The mild acetic acid of distilled white vinegar doesn’t harm 100% cotton caps.

What are The Benefits of Cotton Caps?

  • According to livestrong, cotton is a natural fabric; it has hypoallergenic properties and doesn’t cause any itching or discomfort to the scalp. Cotton is the best choice for people who have sensitive skin.
  • Unarguably, cotton caps have excellent breathability, which keeps you sweat-free throughout the day, especially in summer.
  • They can control moisture, provide comfort, durable and ideal for seasons.

All these qualities make cotton hats an irresistible choice, especially for summer.

How to Wash Cotton Caps and Hats

Final Thoughts

Caps are throw-and-go accessories that most people forget that they should be washed too. A sweat-stained cap can lead to fungal infections like dandruff and mold, which causes hair loss and balding etc. 

A word of caution: Stay away from washing machines, dishwashers, hot water, and chlorine bleach, which can shrink your cotton cap.  They stay for a long time than you think if you know how to wash your cotton hat properly by following our ultimate guide. So take the next step!

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