The Best Way to Wash a Baseball Cap 

The Best Way to Wash a Baseball Cap 

Baseball caps are a popular accessory for many people. You probably have a favourite well-worn cap that has become grimy. Yup, that needs some cleaning. Don't worry, it's easy to wash your favourite baseball cap at home. With some basic supplies and care, you can get it looking fresh again.

In this guide, I'll show you the best ways to safely wash and clean different types of baseball caps. Whether it's a quick refresh or a deep clean, we've got you covered.

Read These Before Cleaning Your Hat

Image from ORTC Hat Collection

How Often to Wash a Baseball Cap?

It depends on how often you wear them and what activities. If you wear the same cap daily, aim to wash your baseball cap every 2-4 weeks. 

For caps worn more occasionally, washing every couple of months is sufficient. Unless it gets visibly soiled or smelly, of course. Pay attention to stains or odours too. Those are signs it's time for a good cleaning, no matter how recently washed.

Does My Hat Have a Cardboard or Plastic bill?

The bill refers to the stiff front part that sticks out to shade your eyes from the sun. It's also sometimes called a "brim" or "visor". 

Always check the material of your baseball cap's bill before washing, as this determines the appropriate cleaning method for both the bill and the cap.

Cardboard bills are common on inexpensive or vintage caps. They can't get too wet or they will lose their shape and be damaged. For a hat with a cardboard bill, you'll want to spot clean only. Gently wipe with a damp cloth or use a small brush and mild detergent.

Plastic bills are much more durable and can withstand water better. Most modern baseball caps have this type of bill. With a plastic bill, you can fully submerge the cap in water for washing. Just be careful not to distort the shape while wet.

Can You Wash a Baseball Cap in The Dishwasher?

You might have heard this story about washing your cap in the dishwasher on the top rack, and that it is ok. Well, let me tell you it's generally not a good idea to wash baseball caps in the dishwasher. The harsh detergents and high heat can damage and discolour the cap fabric and brim.

For safe and effective baseball cap cleaning, it's best to stick with hand-washing methods using mild detergent and cool water.

Can You Wash a Baseball Cap in The Washing Machine?

Putting baseball caps in the washing machine is generally not recommended. The aggressive spinning and tumbling can easily malformed the shape of the cap.

The brim in particular is at risk of getting bent or warped in a washing machine cycle. Even on a gentle cycle, it's harsh treatment and is best to be a bit more delicate. If you do attempt machine washing, use a cap frame or shaped inset. This helps the cap keep its structured form.

How to deep clean a baseball cap

For deep cleaning your baseball cap we'll use the detergent sheet as the cleaner! Follow the steps using an old toothbrush or other small brush, or a rag.

  • Start by gently brushing off any dirt or debris from the hat's surface with a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush.
  • To test the detergent sheet, rub a small amount that is already dissolved in water on the underside of the bill using a rag. If the rag comes away with any colour, stick to using only water to clean the cap. If the rag remains clean, it's safe to use detergent.
  • Fill a clean sink with warm water and add a detergent sheet if the colour doesn't stick to the rag.
  • Use a toothbrush or soft brush by dipping it into the soapy water and gently scrub the entire cap's fabric crown and underside of the brim.
  • For plastic brims, you can briefly submerge just the brim in the water to loosen grime, but avoid soaking a cardboard bill.
  • Once scrubbed, rinse the cap thoroughly under cool running water until all soap is removed. Pat the cap down with a towel as much as possible and gently squeeze out excess moisture.
  • Stuff the cap's interior with a new clean balled-up towel to help it retain its shape as it drip dries the rest of the way.

Deep cleaning removes built-up sweat, dirt and odours baseball caps can accumulate over time. Just be gentle throughout the process.

How to Remove Stains From a Baseball Cap

For fresh stains, try to blot up any excess right away with a clean cloth or paper towel. Don't rub it in further. 

  • Make a cleaning solution of cool water, mild detergent, and a little white vinegar. Dip a soft brush or old toothbrush into it.
  • Gently scrub the stained area using the brush and stain solution. Don't saturate cardboard brims too much.

For set-in stains, let the cap soak briefly in cool water before scrubbing to help loosen the stain.

  • Rinse the cap thoroughly after treating to remove any soapy residue. Stuff the inside to help it retain shape while air drying.

With some elbow grease, you can lift most baseball hat stains this way before attempting a full wash. Just be patient and gentle.

Some Tips & Tricks for Cleaning Your Other Hats

Tips for Cleaning Wool Hats

Wool baseball caps require extra care when cleaning to prevent felting, shrinking or colour bleeding.

Here are some helpful tips:

Use a very mild detergent like our laundry sheets. Regular detergents can be too harsh. 

Wash the wool cap by hand in cool water only. Hot water will felt and shrink the fibres.

Gently squeeze the cap instead of twisting or wringing it out. This prevents misshaping.

Stuff the cap with a clean towel to help it retain its shape as it air dries.

Avoid using a brush on wool caps, as it can cause pilling. Gently rub between your palms instead.

Tips for Cleaning Older Hats

Your vintage collector's item or well-loved baseball caps require a bit of extra TLC when cleaning them.

Start by thoroughly brushing away any loose dirt or debris with a soft-bristled brush. Don't rub too hard, especially on the logos. Try to be more gentle with logos

For spot cleaning, make a very mild solution of cool water and a tiny bit of gentle soap or cap cleaner.

Dampen a clean cloth with the solution and softly blot any stained areas. Avoid saturating the hat too much, especially older cardboard brims.

Always air dry the hat after spot cleaning. Stuff the interior with paper towels to help retain its shape.

If doing a full soak is needed, submerge only briefly and use cool water. Support the hat's structure while wet.


Frequently Asked Questions Related to Cleaning a Baseball Cap

What is the best way to wash a baseball cap?

The best way to wash a baseball cap is by hand washing it to ensure it retains its shape and colour.

How can I clean a hat without ruining it in the washer or dryer?

You can clean a hat by hand washing it using a gentle detergent and cold water to prevent any damage.

How do I wash a hat that has sweat stains?

To wash a hat with sweat stains, use a mixture of laundry detergent sheet and water to spot-clean the affected areas.

Should I use bleach to clean my baseball cap?

It is not recommended to use bleach to clean a baseball cap as it may damage the fabric and colours of the hat.