- Cleaning rags
- Soft-bristle brush
- Baking soda
- Dish soap
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Laundry detergent
- White vinegar
Project step-by-step (5)
Do a Spot Test
The number one thing to do when learning how to get sweat stains out of hats is to check to see if your hat has a care label. If so, follow any instructions.
If the hat doesn’t say Dry Clean Only, do a spot test to make sure the colors in your hat won’t bleed. The Laundress suggests dipping a white cloth in a little warm water. Rub it on a hidden spot of the hat. If dye comes off, the hat should not be washed in water. Here’s the best way to whiten yellow-stained pillows.
Removing Sweat Stains from a Baseball Cap or Visor
If you have a baseball cap, Acme, a custom hat company, suggests creating a paste with baking soda and water.
- Apply the paste to the stain and add a few drops of vinegar.
- Scrub with your soft-bristled brush until you see the stain come out. Rinse with water and use a gentle laundry detergent to hand wash.
Removing Sweat Stains from a Straw Hat
Tenth Street, a California-based hat company, says check your hat’s care label to find out if it can be cleaned with water. If your hat doesn’t have a label, a hat with a loose weave probably won’t be as strong as a fine weave.
- Wipe away sweat stains with a cloth damped with water and a little dish soap.
- If the stain persists, use a soft-bristled brush and a mixture of 1/4-cup hydrogen peroxide and 1/4-cup warm water. Dip your brush in the solution and scrub the stain.
- Use a clean towel, moistened with water, to wipe the area. Let it dry, out of direct sunlight.
Removing Sweat Stains from a Felt Hat
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For felt, try this method from Fashionable Hats.
- Pull the hatband out of the hat and use a felt cleaning solution, such as this product from Bickmore. Sprinkle on the granules. They will absorb the stains and then you can brush them away.
- You can also use a mix of vinegar and water. Tenth Street suggests dipping a white cloth into an equal mix of distilled white vinegar and water. Gently dab or rub the mixture into the stain.
- Let the hat air dry. Don’t set it on its brim because that can distort the shape.
- If sweat stains in your hat persist, consider taking it to a dry cleaner.
Try a Washing Cage
For adjustable non-wool baseball caps, try a washing cage.
- Place the hat in the cage on the top rack of your dishwasher. Run just the hat and cage through a regular cycle, with your dishwashing agent.
- Let the hat air dry.
- You can also wash the hat in your washing machine on the gentle cycle, using cold water.