skip to Main Content
Wash Sweat Stains Out Of A Hat

How to Wash Sweat Stains Out Of a Hat – The Right Way

SWEAT STAINS!!! We know how much you hate them. To see your favorite Yankees cap with nasty yellow sweat stains! Even worse! The best way to wash sweat stains out of hats is something people, including you and us, have been searching for forever. But guess what, the search ends today.

We have put together a complete guide on the know-how of cleaning sweat stains out of a hat. So, get your stinky, sweaty hats and caps out, and let’s wash them clean together!

What to Know Before Washing Any Hat?

Before jumping into the washing process, there are a few things to keep in mind. If you don’t follow them, you might end up with clean hats, but at the cost of ruining them.

1. Read the Care Label

The first thing to always do before washing is to check the hat’s label. It will have all the required information from the kind of material, do’s and don’ts of washing, warnings, etc. 

Since labels are printed by the manufacturers who know better about their product, it’s never a good idea to ignore them!

2. Know the Material

There are hundreds of different kinds of hats and caps. They are made of different materials depending on their function. Not all hats and caps can be washed the same way, as each material reacts differently to water.

So, you must know what material your hat is made of. Fabrics like cotton, cotton blends, nylon, polyester, acrylics are strong and can withstand any washing. But with materials like straw, silk, linen, leather, suede, wool, felt, fleece, fur, etc., which are very delicate, may not be as water-friendly.

3. ALWAYS Do a Spot Test

Your hat’s care label may have ‘WASHABLE’ written on it. But even then, it’s always a good idea to test for a color bleed before the actual wash.

Dampen a clean cloth and rub it on an inconspicuous area, like the underside, of your hat. If any dye transfers onto the cloth, your hat is bleeding colors. If not, you can go ahead with the actual washing.

4. Check Your Cap’s Brim

Many of the older model caps come with a cardboard brim, unlike the plastic ones that we have today. So, if yours is a cardboard-brimmed cap, any kind of wash is absolutely impossible. Your best bet is a spot-clean method or else to seek professional help.

How to Remove Sweat Stains from Hat?

There are many ways to remove sweat stains from hats. It can be a little overwhelming to pick the right methods for your hat from a long list. We feel you! And hence, to make your and your hat’s lives easier, we have categorized the methods based on the intensity of the sweat stains – normal sweat stains and heavy/stubborn sweat stains.

4 Methods to Wash Normal Sweat Stains

Spot Clean Method

1. Spot Clean Method

Spot clean method is your best option if your hat is mildly stained at a specific spot. You don’t need to wash the whole hat.

And like we said, spot clean is almost the only option to wash your cardboard-brimmed hats at home.

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Prepare the Cleaning Agent

Fill a bowl with water and add a small amount of mild laundry detergent. Mix the two well so that the soap is evenly spread in water.

Step 2: Work on the Stains

Dip the soft-bristled toothbrush in the cleaning agent and gently start working on the sweat-stained areas of the hat or cap.

You can add few drops of vinegar directly onto the sweatbands and scrub. Vinegar is particularly effective for removing sweat stains.

Step 3: Wipe Away Residual Dirt and Soap

Once the stains are removed, use a damp clean towel and gently wipe away any soap or dirt left on the hat’s surface. Ensure no soap remains on the fabric because left-over soap can also cause staining.

Step 4: Dry the Hat or Cap

Find a clean, well-ventilated spot to dry your hat. Keep away from direct sunlight—only air-dry.

Hand-Wash Method

2. Hand-Wash Method

Once you’ve checked your hat or cap for colorfastness, you can proceed with the hand-washing method.

Traditionally, hand-washing is considered the best and safest method to wash hats and caps because you have complete control over the washing process.

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Pre-treat

Pre-treating helps get rid of the stains faster than directly trying to wash the hats. It saves you from a lot of physical labor, energy, and detergent. 

Spray a small amount of stain remover on the stains. Leave it for about 30 minutes or more, depending on the staining.

Step 2: Prepare the Cleaning Agent

Fill cold water in a bucket, sink, or tub. Add a small amount of mild laundry detergent and mix the two well.

Step 3: Soak the Hat in Cleaning Agent

Submerge the hat in soapy water and gently agitate. Let it soak for about two hours.

Step 4: Rinse the Hat

Rinse the hat under cold running water. Make sure all the soap gets removed. 

Step 5: Dry the Hat

NEVER TWIST OR WRING the hat. Dry the hat at a spot with good air circulation, away from direct sunlight.

Dishwasher Method

3. Dishwasher Method

The first thing to know about this method is NOT ALL HATS AND CAPS CAN BE WASHED IN A DISHWASHER. Baseball Caps and their variants like dad hats, truckers, flat bills, curved bills, snapbacks, flex fit, etc., can be safely washed as long as you USE A HAT WASHING FRAME.

Dishwashers allow for a deeper clean than any other method, but it’s not a very popular method among hat connoisseurs. They are against dishwashers due to its high heat setting, which has the potential to damage fabrics.


But as long as you have checked the hat care label and use a hat washing frame, you shouldn’t have a problem with washing hats and caps in dishwashers.

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Pre-treat

The best way to wash sweat stains off your hats is to pre-treat them first. Spray a small amount of the remover on specific stain areas. Leave it for about 30 minutes or more, depending on the stains.

Step 2: Place the Hat in a Hat Frame

Hat frames protect your hat from any damage during the washing. Never toss your hats directly into the dishwasher.

Read through the hat frame’s instruction manual and place the hat or cap correctly in the hat frame. 

Always keep the hat frames in the top-most rack of the dishwasher. It’s the only place where the heat is gentle compared to the rest of the places inside the dishwasher.

Step 3: Add the Detergent

Add the required amounts of detergent to the soap dispenser. Ensure your detergent is BLEACH-FREE AND NON-LEMON SCENTED. 

Step 4: Adjust Your Dishwasher Setting

Set your dishwasher to a NORMAL cycle and TURN OFF the HEAT DRY OPTION. 

Step 5: Dry the Hat or Cap

Once the wash cycle is complete, take off the hat or cap from the hat frame and set it to air-dry.

Machine-Wash Method

4. Machine-Wash Method

Machine-wash is easy and convenient, but always make sure it’s okay for your hat to get machine-washed.

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Pre-treat

Like we always say, pre-treat your stains for the best results. Spray a small amount of the remover on the stains. Leave it for about 30 minutes or more, depending on the staining.

Step 2: Use a Mesh Bag or Hat Frame

If you use a hat frame, you need to know that they work best with top-load machines and not front-load ones. So, if yours is a front-load, we suggest you opt for a mesh bag rather than a hat frame.

Place your hat or cap in the mesh bag or hat frame to protect it from the spin or tumbling action inside the machine.

Step 3: Set Your Machine Controls

Adjust your wash cycle to ‘DELICATE’ and use only cool water. Do not over-stuff the machine if you are washing the hats with general laundry.

Step 4: Dry the Hat

You might be tempted to try a tumble dry, but DO NOT do it. The tumbling action and extreme heat of the dryers will damage the fabric. Only air-dry the hats.

2 Methods to Wash Stubborn Stains

If none of the above methods worked for you, it could only mean one thing. You are dealing with really difficult stubborn stains! 

But don’t get all tensed up. We know the tricks and hacks to take down the strongest sweat stains.

Baking Soda and Vinegar Treatment

1. Baking Soda and Vinegar Treatment

Baking soda and vinegar combination is the ultimate superpower to get rid of the toughest sweat stains. 

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Prepare Baking Soda Paste

To 4 tablespoons baking soda, add ¼ cup lukewarm water. Mix the two well to until it’s in a paste form.

Step 2: Apply the Paste on Hat

Using a soft toothbrush, apply the paste on those nasty sweat stains and scrub them gently in a circular motion. Do not be too harsh on the fabric while scrubbing. Keep the paste on for about an hour.

Step 3: Spray Distilled White Vinegar

Spray a small amount of distilled white vinegar on the stained areas and give another gentle scrub.

Step 4: Rinse and Dry

Once the stains are removed, rinse the hat under cold running water.

Do not wring or twist the hat. Air-dry the hat in a spot with good airflow.

Enzyme Treatment

2. Enzyme Treatment

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Prepare the Cleaning Solution

Add lukewarm water to the required amount of enzyme-based cleaner. This is your cleaning agent. 

Step 2: Soak the Hat in Cleaning Solution

Depending on the staining, soak your hats or caps in the solution for about 30 minutes or more.

The enzymes in the cleaning solution react with stains and break them down, leaving the hats and caps sweat stain-free!

Step 3: Wash the Hat 

Once the hats or caps have been enzyme-treated, you can either hand-wash or machine-wash them, as we have mentioned above.

How to Get Sweat Stains Out of White Hats?

Use Hydrogen Peroxide


White hats are an entirely different ball game. To get those nasty, stinky yellow stains out of your precious white hats or caps requires special ingredients as well.

Let’s see how to get rid of sweat stains from white hats using a simplified method for you!

IMPORTANT: Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent. So always use it with utmost caution.

NEVER use hydrogen peroxide for colored hats. The colors will come off if you use them.

Materials Needed:


Step 1: Application of Hydrogen Peroxide

Apply few drops of hydrogen peroxide on the yellow stains of your white hat.

Step 2: Work on the Stains

With a soft toothbrush, gently work on the stains in a circular motion. Let the hat soak the hydrogen peroxide for about 15 minutes.

Step 3: Rinse the Hat

Once the 15 minutes is up, rinse the hat under cool running water. Alternatively, you can choose to wash the hat either by hand-wash or machine-wash after the hydrogen peroxide treatment.

Step 4: Dry the Hat

Once the hat is washed, set the hat to air-dry.

How to Get Sweat Stains Out of Dark Color Hats?

Getting sweat stains out of dark-colored hats is no biggie now that we’ve shown you every washing method that’s there. 

Except for the hydrogen peroxide method, which is meant for white hats, you can use any methods discussed above to wash your dark-colored hats.

But there are certain tips that you need to keep in mind when washing dark-colored hats.

  • ALWAYS wash with SAME COLORED Clothes

If you are washing in the machine especially, you need to ensure that your dark-colored hats are washed with similar colored clothing. 

  • AVOID Detergents with BLEACH

If you want your black hat to remain black, DO NOT USE bleach. Bleaches are meant to lighten and brighten the clothes and therefore cannot be used to wash dark-colored hats or caps.

How to Prevent Sweat Stains in Hats?

Sweating is a natural, biological process, and we humans have very little control over it. Your hats and caps being in constant touch with your head and face, are subject to sweat stain attacks, and we know it isn’t kind!

But we have some good news for you! There are few things that you can actually do to prevent sweat stains on your hats. Ready to know?

1. Use Hat Liners

Hat sweatband liners are a wonderful invention. You can place hat liners over your sweatbands to reduce the contact between your head or face and the hat.

2. Use Hat Sprays

Hat sprays will protect your hats from sweat as well as dirt. Spray a small amount of it on your hats and leave it to dry for about 20 minutes. Your hats will look fresh and clean!

How to Wash Sweat Stains Out Of a Hat

Final Thoughts

Well, that’s really it, folks! Everything you need to know about getting rid of sweat stains from hats and caps is in this guide. Give it a thorough read and choose the best way to wash sweat stains out of hats.

Make sure to follow instructions to the point, and your hats will be as good as gold! Happy cleaning!

Was this post helpful?

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back To Top