There’s no arguing this. If America had a national hat category, it would be the baseball cap, undoubtedly. It’s a staple accessory not just for an American but for any hat person in the world. They are an everyman’s everyday hat. But as suave as they are, they’re like a small kid always wanting attention. And by the attention, we mean caring, cleaning, and washing them. Everyone knows a baseball cap can be washed easily, but the million-dollar question is how to wash a baseball cap in the dishwasher.
We’ve all heard many things about cleaning them in a dishwasher. Hat enthusiasts are strictly against the idea, but the more practical people are always up for it. So basically, it’s chaos, and we know how it feels to be confused in the never-ending debate dishwashers, hence solving it for you in this article!
Quick hint – a hat frame is involved.
Can You Really Wash Baseball Caps in the Dishwasher?
Well, it’s a YES and a NO. We will tell you why.
Baseball caps are sturdier than any cap or hat in their structure. So generally speaking, you can wash them. But not all of them are made of the same material, right? If yours is cotton, cotton blend, jersey mesh, polyester blend, or other strong fabrics, you can go ahead with cleaning in a dishwasher without a second thought, but of course, by taking into account all the precautions, the major one being using a hat frame.
Want to learn more about hat frames? Check out our complete guide on baseball cap frames.
So, when can you not wash your caps in dishwashers?
When your baseball caps have a brim made of cardboard, you can’t. In such cases, you will have to avoid all washing methods that involve water. Spot treatment or a professional hat cleaner is your best bet in such cases.
If your caps are made of delicate materials like wool or leather, dishwashers can be the worst idea. You will get to know in detail as you read on.
What to Know Before Washing Your Cap in a Dishwasher?
Okay, so there are some rules that you need to know. We know you hate rules, but you can’t avoid them, can you?
1. NEVER Wash Your Hat with Dirty Pots and Pans
We cannot stress enough this rule. It is the biggest mistake that you can make washing your hat in a dishwasher. Dirty pots and pans require a different kind of setup – like a higher temperature. But extreme heat is bad for hats.
2. ONLY Use Top-Most Rack
Whenever you put your hat in a dishwasher, ensure it’s on the top-most rack. Any idea why? Let us enlighten you. The top-most rack is where the heat is gentle in comparison to the rest. Hence your hats are always going to be safe up there.
What are the Pros and Cons of Cleaning Hats in Dishwasher?
Like anything in the world, washing in dishwashers has its pros and cons. We love making lists, don’t we? So how about the pros and cons list for washing your hats in dishwashers?
Let’s get to it right away!
|Pros of Using Dishwasher||Cons of Using Dishwasher|
|Easy, mess-free, Quick||Dishwasher detergents contain bleach. It is harmful to the hat.|
|Allows for Deep Clean||Extreme Heat setting – bad for the hat.|
|No physical labor is involved.||Chances of bending, breaking, or warping, if not careful.|
In short, if you see, the pros and cons are equal in number. So, it’s always a matter of what’s best for your hat or a cap!
Why are Dishwashers Harmful to Cleaning Certain Fabrics?
The basic logic is that a dishwasher is meant to wash dirty plates and pans and hence the water used is always very hot. Hot water is generally not good friends with hats or caps, but baseball caps being strong, can pass the dishwasher test. And not just that, these cleaning agents generally have bleach content in them which is bad for any hat as they can cause a color fade.
But if you have an option, always go for a hand-wash or a machine-wash, as per the care label.
How to Wash a Baseball Cap in the Dishwasher?
Wash a Baseball Cap in the Dishwasher
In this section, we will be guiding you on how to wash baseball caps in the dishwasher without ruining them. If your cap is a regular baseball made out of cotton or cotton blends, this is for you!
Step 1: Pre-Treat with Stain Remover
If your hat is heavily dirty, pre-treating the dirt with a stain remover is a must. Even if it’s lightly soiled, you can still pre-treat because it helps get rid of the dirt particles at the most intricate level. Leave the pre-treat on the hat for about 30 minutes or even an hour, depending on the staining.
Merely washing it will just take off all the superficial stains leaving behind the toughest ones on the hat.
Step 2: Use a Hat Frame
Many people throw their hats directly into a dishwasher, but it’s an unnecessary risk that they’re taking.
Place your baseball hat in the hat frame and put them on the top-most rack of the dishwasher.
Step 3: Add the Cleaning Agent
Once the hat is inside the dishwasher, add the dishwasher cleaning agent into the soap dispenser in the required amounts. Ensure that the cleaning agent you use is bleach-free and not a lemon-flavored one. Both are harmful to the fabric.
Step 4: Set Your Dishwasher Controls
Adjust your dishwasher to a GENTLE cycle, mostly meant for cleaning glassware. The water temperature will be slightly lesser compared to the regular hot water setup. Also, ensure that the HEAT DRY function is TURNED OFF.
Step 5: Dry the Hat
Once the wash cycle is done, take your hat out. Find a spot with good air circulation and let the hat air-dry. NEVER dry the hat under direct sunlight.
Can You Wash a Wool Baseball Cap in the Dishwasher?
Now imagine this. You have a Classic New York Yankees wool baseball cap, and it’s dirty. Must you be washing it in a dishwasher? NEVER EVER if you love your cap and wishes to see it more often.
Wool is a fragile fabric, and the heat from a dishwasher will shrink the material. Even machine cleaning is not advised for wool; forget a dishwasher.
Your best bet in case of your Yankees hat is to do a spot clean or take it to a hat cleaner.
Once you’ve confirmed your wool hat does not color bleed, you can proceed with a spot clean method. Oh, wait! How do you check for color bleed? Well, dab a damp white cloth on an unnoticeable area of your hat, and if no dye transfers to the white cloth, your wool hat will not bleed any color.
For a spot clean, all you need is a washcloth that’s dunked in mild, soapy water. Dab it onto the stain areas and scrub them off gently. In case of heavy sweat stains, you can replace the mild soap with shampoo.
How to Wash a Leather Baseball Cap in the Dishwasher?
You would already know the answer by now. It’s a definite NO.
Again, like wool, leather is a delicate material that requires a lot of care. A good leather hat is a great investment, but do your research about washing them before deciding to get one. If you already own one, you would know the drill.
If you don’t, read up all about washing and caring for leather hats on this link.
Which Is Better – Washing in a Machine or a Dishwasher?
It undoubtedly is a complicated question even for us. But hey! We have promised to help, and so we will!
Technically, it’s the washing machine if your hat’s care label says it’s okay. The product manufacturers print a care label, and they will know what’s better for the hat than us.
But, if your baseball cap is made of heat-sensitive materials like we mentioned earlier, you can wash them in a dishwasher as long as the care label specifically mentions ‘NO DISHWASHER.’ But always use a hat frame. There are no two ways about it!
So, it’s never a question of who’s better than who. It’s a question about what’s best for your cap. Choose wisely, and you are good to go!
What Kind of Soap Should You Use to Clean Baseball Caps in a Dishwasher?
Like we said earlier, most dishwasher cleaning agents have bleach content in them because they are meant to clean food particles from the dishes.
So, you should find a dishwashing cleaning agent that’s BLEACH-FREE and NON-LEMON SCENTED.
Now you might be wondering, how exactly are the two bad? Your hat’s color might fade if you use bleach, and as for a lemon flavor, being acidic in nature, it’s bad for the fabric.
Whether a hand-wash, machine-wash, spot treatment, or dishwasher method, ultimately, how we want our baseball caps is for them to look fresh and clean. To wash or not to wash in a dishwasher will be a forever debate as long as there are hat experts against dishwashers and others who think dishwashers are a super convenient method. Washing baseball caps in a dishwasher is not impossible as long as you play along with the simple rules.
We know you can’t live without your baseball caps, so keep them bright and shining!