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How To Wash Polyester Hats And Caps

How to Wash Polyester Hats and Caps (Best Tips and Guides)

After a few months of usage, you might have come here to check out how to wash a polyester cap properly without ruining the quality and shape of your favorite hat.  Since caps are structured, it’s necessary to follow a proper cleaning method to preserve their shape for long-lasting usage.

Whether you want to refresh your old cap, remove the noticeable stain, or get rid of that stinking smell without washing, we’ve got you covered with the easy, effective methods!

Let’s go in!

What is Polyester?

Before doing anything, it’s necessary to understand the features of your polyester cap.

Polyester is the most common synthetic fabric, which is used from pillow covers to caps and curtains to shoes. They are a widely popular choice for their mind-blowing durability, shrinkage resistance, stretchability, anti-pilling, and anti-fading qualities.

Another important thing to know is, polyester is very sensitive to heat, and washing them in hot water might cause them to shrink and deform.

What to Know Before Cleaning a Polyester Hat?

There are a couple of important things to keep in mind before cleaning a polyester cap.

dirty polyester cap

1. Avoid Using the Washing Machine

Both washer and dryer. Even though it’s possible to wash your cap in a cool, gentle cycle, the cap can still have chances to lose its shape due to the washer’s agitation and increased load. Some caps will also be designed with an elastic that a washing machine can damage. Dryers can be very hot to polyester, which might shrink them.

2. Test the Color Fabric

Suppose, if you want to clean their stains deep, make sure you do a test to check whether they bleed colors. Rub a small amount of oxygen-based brightener on a hidden part of the cap. If you notice color bleeds, you have no other choice than to wash them with water.

3. Check the Visor

If your cap contains a visor that is inbuilt with cardboard and you fully submerge in water, the shape of your vintage cap will be ruined. Tap or flick the visor to check if it is cardboard. If you hear a hollow sound, you can assume it’s cardboard and spot clean using the soft-bristled toothbrush to remove stains.

4. Do Not Use Chlorine Bleach

Even when cleaning a white cap, don’t use chlorine bleach. They might be harsh on polyester fibers and ruin the shape.

5. Busting the Dishwasher Myth

Dishwashers are the same as washing machines and not recommended to wash your caps. The extreme heat and bleach detergents might deteriorate the quality and color of the cap. 

6. Read the Care Tag

Not all manufacturers produce their hats and caps in the same process. It’s always better to read the care instructions of the specific cap before washing it.

How to Wash Polyester Hats?

The above don’ts to wash polyester hats might help you understand what you should not do with polyester caps.

Now, we will walk you through the whole process of how to wash polyester caps with two methods: a quick cleaning method and a deep clean method to remove sweat stains, etc.

quick wash baseball cap

How to Quick Wash Your Polyester Cap

Freshen up your dull polyester cap with this quick, easiest method.

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Fill the Sink or Tub with Cold Water

As mentioned earlier, polyester hats are heat sensitive and can shrink or lose their color when exposed to hot water.

Step 2: Add a Few Drops of Oxygen Based Brightener

Add a couple of drops of OxiClean stain remover with cold water.  Never use chlorine bleach or any detergents. This can harm the polyester fibers of the cap.

Step 3: Check for Color Bleed

Mostly, high-quality polyester caps don’t bleed colors. Hold the hidden part of your cap underwater for 2 minutes and if you don’t notice any color bleed, move on to the next step.

Step 4: Soak

Soak the cap for 15-20 minutes.

Step 5: Rinse the Cap

Rinse the cap in running cold water to get the stain remover out and gently pat them dry using a towel.

Step 6: Reshape the Cap

Last but not least, reshape the cap by fitting the cap’s crown onto a small bowl or any other item that mimics the shape of your head. Leave out to dry.

deep clean baseball cap

How to Deep Clean Your Polyester Cap

This is a far better, gentle method to remove the tough stains and sweat marks from the cap, brightens, and adds years to life.

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Pretreat the Stains

Wet your cap in cold water, take it out. Pretreat your cap with a solvent-based or gel-based stain remover on the dirty areas of the cap, such as the sweatbands and other stained areas.

You can also use laundry detergents which have a higher concentration of enzymes to wash out mud and oil molecules. Leave it for a few minutes.

Step 2: Remove the Stains

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, sponge, or brush and rub on the stained areas of your cap in circular motions. Allow it to rest for another 15 minutes.

Step 3: Warm Water Treatment (If needed)

If you still notice stains on your cap, soaking in warm water helps remove stains, especially oil-based stains. Sometimes,  cold water may not effectively remove stains from polyester fabrics.

Step 4: Refresh Your Cap

If you feel like your cap is looking dull, use an oxygen bleach solution to brighten the colors of the cap. Submerge your cap in the tub and let it soak for a few hours to get effective results.

Step 4: Rinse the Cap

Rinse the cap in running water and use your hands to clean the soapy areas of your cap gently.

Step 5: Air Dry

Hang the cap on line until water drips completely. After that, fit the cap’s crown into a bowl to attain the shape of the cap.

cap with stain

Remove Sweat Stains from Polyester Cap

If you don’t have a stain remover in your hand, baking soda will work wonders to remove stains on polyester caps!

Materials Needed:

  • Baking soda
  • Cold water
  • Sponge or toothbrush
  • Bowl


Step 1: Mix the Stain Removing Solution

Mix 4 tbsps of baking soda with cool water. Mix them to get a fine paste.

Step 2: Pretreat the Stains

Put a pair of disposable gloves and use a soft-bristled toothbrush,  sponge, or brush and rub on the stains.

Step 3: Wait for an Hour

Baking soda needs at least one hour to work effectively. Let them sit for a while.

Step 4: Rinse the Cap

Rinse the cap in running cold water and use your hands to remove the baking soda completely gently. You can also use the sponge to remove them.

Step 5: Air Dry

Hang the cap on line until water drips completely. After that, fit the crown of the cap into a bowl and reshape the cap.

How Often to Clean  Polyester Caps?

According to head and shoulders, a sweat-stained cap may lead to fungal infections and hair loss. It’s up to you on how many times you should wash your cap.

But, aim to wash your cap at least two to three times in a season. Don’t wait until your cap smells. Wash it once a week if you wear your favorite one all the time.

How to Store Polyester Hats?

If you’re a hat person, storing your caps might be a difficult task for you since they take a lot of space, and their shape is difficult to hang or stack neatly. Storing them in hat boxes prevents dust and stains.

Wide shoe boxes and plastic boxes are also good ideas to store caps. You can also stack them one above the other and keep them in your cupboard.

Another space-saving idea is clipping the unused curtain rings onto the bottom crossbar of the hanger and threading the caps onto the rings.

How to Remove the Smell of the Cap without Washing?

Does your hat smell terrible? No time to wash?

Sprinkle them with baking soda on the inner panels of the caps, let them sit for at least 30 minutes, and shake them out. 

According to spruce, baking soda is alkaline and neutralizes the odor of acidic compounds like sweat and smoke. They also can absorb oil molecules.

Another idea is to spray them with a 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water on the inner panels of the cap. This will kill odor, releasing bacteria.

What Are the Benefits of Using Polyester Caps?

  • Unarguably, polyester caps have excellent long-lasting durability and retain the color and shape for long-lasting usage.
  • They are also resistant to shrinkages.
  • Their long-lasting elasticity allows them to stretch to most head sizes.
  • Above all, they are available at affordable prices.

All these qualities of polyester make them an irresistible choice for making caps, hats, and other apparel.

how to wash and clean polyester hats and caps

Final Thoughts

Remember, don’t use chlorine bleach, and check whether your cap is made up of cardboard brims like the old ones before submerging into water. It’s time to stop the usage of washing machines and dishwashers. Handwashing is the best method to make your cap last for years.

If you’re owning a baseball cap that you really love and won’t go out without wearing it, you don’t need to wash them every day.

Remember the rubbing alcohol and baking soda method to remove the stinking smell of your hat without washing it! Now you might have a clear idea of how to clean your polyester cap.  So, give it a go!

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