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How To Wash White Hats And Caps

How to Wash White Hats and Caps – The Right Way

If you’re here to check out on how to wash your white cap without ruining it, great! You’ve come to the right page.

Have you ever found a pretty white cap or a hat at a store or online and gone all OOOOH YEAH, but then went all AAAAHH NO, thinking whites are a pain to take care of? We feel you; we’ve all been there. There’s nothing like a white hat or a cap. They are classy, funky, cool, fun, and, if styled perfectly, a bold fashion statement as well. But the sad part is how much ever you try to protect your white hats and caps, they are going to be stained or become dirty with time.

But should this stop you from buying or using them? Oh, NO NO NO.  We understand how important it is to own a white hat or a cap, and hence, in this article, we will help you find the best way to clean those nasty stains out of your white hats and caps.

So let’s get down to business, girls & boys!

What to Know Before Cleaning White Hats?

Cleaning a white hat or a cap is not the end of the world, but it is a delicate task. 

1. Know the Material

There are about 150+ hat and cap varieties available and they’re all made out of different materials depending on their functions, we must know what our hats and caps are made out of. This will tell you whether you can machine-wash your hats, hand-wash, or dry-clean them. 

2. Fabric Care Label

Before you jump to any conclusions, it is also important to read your fabric care label. They’ll have all the cleaning instructions as well as the material of your hats and caps.

  • Cotton and other synthetic fabrics can be machine-washed and hand-washed. But again, ALWAYS read their labels.
  • Hats and caps of more sensitive materials like Leather, Suede, or Straw are mostly spot-treated rather than washed wholly.
  • Regular wool is advised for a hand-wash.

These are just a few kinds of fabrics. Know yours well before you wash!

3. Special Features

Some caps come with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). In such cases, there are increased chances of damage if cleaned with water. 

4. When You’re Not Sure, Seek Professional Help

In rare situations where there is no care label, DO NOT be smarty pants. Take it to the store from where it was bought or approach professionals who know the job better!

How Not to Wash Your White Baseball Cap?

Before going into the ‘how-to’ part, it is always important to know WHAT NOT TO DO while cleaning your white caps.

1. Do Not Use a Dishwasher 

Why trouble a dishwasher whose job is to wash dishes? Though you may have heard people washing caps in a dishwasher, it is highly advised against. Dishwashers spray water at a very high pressure meant to clean food particles. But if applied on caps, it will damage the cap, no matter how sturdy it is.

2. Do Not Dry Under Direct Sunlight

Yes, we don’t want to wear damp hats and caps. But that does not mean you should be drying them under the sun either. Direct sunlight will fade the color and your breezy white won’t look that breezy anymore! So, air dry your hat, but just not under the sun.

3. Do Not  Dry in the Dryer

Hand dryers might be a good temptation to dry your caps quickly. But you gotta control it. The best way is to place your cap in a well-ventilated area and let the air do its job.

Methods to Clean Your White Hats and Caps

Let’s come back to the ‘how-to’ part of the cleaning process. Traditionally, there are two methods to clean your hats – by hand-wash and machine-wash. That is, only after reading your fabric care label. There are few other methods, more specific to the type of dirt, whether they are sweat stains or a particular food stain, etc.

Let’s explore each of these in detail.

How to Wash White Hats in a Washing Machine

How to Wash White Hats in a Washing Machine?

If your care label gives you a green signal for a machine wash, then you are good to go. If you are washing a white baseball cap, always put them in shapers designed for a baseball cap so that their structure isn’t damaged. And always wash white hats and caps on their own or with white clothes ONLY.

Materials Needed:

And follow the steps below:


Step 1: Pre-treat Your Stains

Wondering why? A lot of times, if you simply put your cap or hat in the machine without pre-treating the stains, chances are the traces of stain might still be left on it after the wash. So, it is always necessary to apply a bit of your detergent on the stain using a good-quality stain remover.

Step 2: Use Cold Water

Cool or cold water is best advised for cleaning and washing caps and hats because hot water leads to shrinkage and damage to the fabric.

Step 3: Set Your Machine to Gentle Cycle

You don’t want to mess with the fine and delicate threads of your fabric, do you? Always set the machine on a gentle cycle while washing them so that you don’t distort the structure of your hats and caps.

Step 4: Use a Mesh Bag

A mesh bag protects the hats and caps from the direct impact of swirling and spinning that happens in the machine, thus keeping the fabric intact.

And once they are washed, air-dry them as we said. 

Easy-peasy lemon squeezy?

How to Wash White Hats and Caps by Hand

How to Wash White Hats and Caps by Hand?

If the label suggests a hand-wash, look no more. Hand-washing might require some physical effort from your side. But No Pain, No Gain, right? It’s all for your White Hat!

Materials Needed:

And follow the steps below:


 Step 1: Choose Your Cleaning Agent

Based on the material of your hat or cap, choose your detergent. If you don’t find the right detergent, you can also use hydrogen peroxide or even a mild soap as your cleaning agent.

Step 2: Add the Cleaning Agent in Water

In a bucket, sink, or tub, add the cleaning agent to cool or cold water and combine them well. If using a detergent, a teaspoon should be enough; in the case of hydrogen peroxide, you can add a cup of it or a few drops of mild soap solution.

Step 3: Soak Your Hat or Cap

Once the solution is ready, soak your hat in it. Always make sure that the material of your hat is okay to be soaked in water. 

Step 4: Scrubbing the Stains

If we have soaked them long enough, the stains will be easy to remove with gentle scrubbing. You can use a toothbrush or a soft scrub. DO NOT scrub the hat or cap too hard. It will damage the fabric.

Step 5: Rinsing the Hat or Cap

Most of the tough stains would be gone after the scrubbing. Once it’s done, drain the solution and refill the bucket, sink, or tub with clean water. Gently massage the hat again, drain the water and repeat the process till you get clear water, indicating the hat or cap to be dirt-free.

Once washed, just like always, air-dry them.

Now, you might be confused seeing these processes if you own White Leather, Suede, Straw or any of those materials that cannot be washed in water wholly. Do not panic. We’ve got you covered as well. Let’s take a look!


Materials like Leather, Suede, Toyo, paper-braided and knitted hats, and caps do not work well with water. Here is where brushing comes in handy. If there are stubborn stains, you could try using a stiff brush and for normal stains, always go for a soft-bristled one. 

If there are hard-to-reach parts in your hat or cap, use a hair-dryer in its lowest speed and gently blow away the dust particles. This will be helpful if you have decorations or other embellishments on your hats and caps.

There might be stains that do not go away by mere brushing. In such cases, you may use a cleaning solution or a mild soap solution, use a rag or some cloth, dip it in the solution and work on the stain. Do not soak the cloth. (Check your care label to see if liquids can be used to clean the hat or cap).

Spot Cleaning 

And then again, a lot of times, you’ll not really need to wash the whole cap or hat. If it’s a pa stain in a spot that you want to be removed, you can always go for Spot Cleaning. The best part about this method is that you have a lot of options for your cleaning agent.

 You’ll find below the different agents and how to use them effectively to treat the stains:

1. With Hydrogen Peroxide

Dip a cotton ball or plain white cloth in Hydrogen Peroxide and apply it to the stain. DO NOT directly pour the chemical on the hat. Using a toothbrush, gently agitate the solution on the stain and leave it for about 10 minutes. Rinse, air-dry, and check for stains, chances are you might not see them anymore!

2. With Distilled Vinegar

Follow the same steps and substitute Hydrogen Peroxide for distilled vinegar. You should get the same results.

3. With a Mild Shampoo

While using a shampoo, please make sure to dilute the shampoo first and then do a spot cleaning. The steps are the same as above.

4. With Baking Soda

Mix some baking soda with water and make a paste. Apply this paste on the stain and keep it for about 10 minutes. Rinse and air-dry.

Can I Bleach my White Hat or Cap?

Well, the answer is a YES and a NO. If your fabric care label specifies that it’s okay to bleach, then you can. Otherwise, Bleaching is the worst possible thing you could do to your hats. Even if bleaching is okay, you must do a spot test to make sure it is actually okay.

If you are bleaching, follow the steps below:

Care for White Hats

  • Always use a bleach and water combination. The recommended combination is one part bleach to two parts waters. But you can always check the bottle for instructions to be on the safer side.
  • Using a cotton ball or a plain white cloth, apply the bleach to the stain. 
  • If it’s a stubborn stain, you can keep it to about 10 minutes, otherwise wash the hat or cap within 2-3 minutes.
care white hat

So, washing and cleaning hats is not the only thing. Caring for them is equally important and looking after a white hat is no less a task than looking after your pet cat and dog. Hat lovers will agree with me! Well, there are a few tips and hacks that you should keep in mind while caring for White Hats. 

Let’s see what those are.

1. Where Are You Wearing the Hat To?

Well, most of you might be surprised and thinking how does that matter! Where you’re wearing the hat matters because if you’re wearing a white hat for a jungle trek or to a beach, you can say goodbye to your white hat.

2. Use Hat Liners

If you own a white hat or a cap, you would’ve noticed yellow stains on them. These are sweat stains. We know it is impossible to control sweating, especially if it’s summer or you’re doing a hard job. In such cases, always use hat liners and can be attached to the hats. They help absorb the sweat and are disposable.

3. Packing Your Hats

You pack your clothes carefully, right? It’s the same with hats. You must not just throw or stuff them in some corner of your suitcase. If possible, get a hatbox and store all your hats in it.

How to Wash White Caps and Hats

Final Thoughts

With White Hats and Caps come great responsibility. But you can be at peace because we have covered the A-Z of washing and cleaning white hats and caps. All you need to do is be patient and follow them. And NEVER step back from buying that favorite white hat you’ve always wanted to because you thought they were impossible to handle, and now you’ve learned how to wash your white cap!

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