Baseball caps provide a comfortable head covering but can become dirty or stained with sweat over time. However, carefully cleaning your cap by hand every week or two ensures that sweat stains don't cause any issues with your hat.
Cleaning Mistakes May Harm Your Cap
If you wear baseball caps every day, they likely have a lot of sweat trapped in their cloth. This sweat can cause damage to the material that can be impossible to repair. Thankfully, you can clean your hat but should avoid common cleaning mistakes to keep your hat safe:
- Avoid laundry machines — These cleaning tools are typically too strong for a cap and can cause irreversible damage.
- Never use bleach — Bleach products will dull the color of your baseball cap and make it less vibrant and attractive.
- Stay away from dishwashers — Though some people may say that dishwashers are useful as a cap cleaner, the high heat of the water may damage a cap.
- Keep your hat out of direct sunlight — Air-drying your cap in direct sun is likely to damage its band or cause other complications.
These limitations may seem to make cleaning your hat impossible. However, you can still break apart sweat stains if you wash your cap in a sink by hand.
Hand-Cleaning Prevents Problems
Hand-washing a hat requires a large kitchen sink, some mild detergent, and a washcloth. The whole process should take no more than 10 to 15 minutes after your hat has soaked in the water for a few hours, though this time may vary depending on the dirtiness of your hat.
Start by filling the sink with cool-to-warm water, avoiding excessively cold or hot water. Add a little mild detergent to the water to provide a cleaning solution that will break up a large amount of the sweat on your hat. Let the cap soak for four hours before you clean it. This lengthy soaking period helps to break apart stains and get the detergent in the cloth of the hat.
Now, scrub the hat by hand, using the wash rag to focus the detergent on the sweat-stained parts of the cap. Make sure, though, to cover every area with an equal amount of detergent. As specified above, make sure that you avoid bleach-related cleaning products. Typical hand soap or dish soap should be strong enough for your hat.
Scrub the cloth until the sweat stains are gone, making sure to work with the direction of the fabric to carefully work the stains out and avoid worsening them. Once you’re finished with the cleaning, remove the cap from the water and give it a quick squeeze to remove excess water. Finally, take an old coffee can — or an object with a similar shape — and place the hat on top.
This step is critical because it lets your hat retain its shape while it dries. Keep your hat in a dry place away from open windows to avoid other issues. Give your hat at least 24 hours to dry before you wear it again. And avoid ever drying your hat in a clothes dryer. This step might seem logical, but a dryer can shrink your hat and make it impossible to wear.
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