How to Get Sweat Stains Out of Hats

Don't sweat your hat's sweat stains! We'll show you how to get sweat stains out of hats without ruining them.

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From fedoras to baseball caps, hats wick away moisture which can lead to sweat stains. Here's how to get sweat stains out of your hats so they are as good as new.

Tools Required

  • Bowl
  • Cleaning rags
  • Soft-bristle brush

Materials Required

  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Laundry detergent
  • Water
  • White vinegar

Project step-by-step (5)

Step 1

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.

Step 2

Removing Sweat Stains from a Baseball Cap or Visor


If you have a baseball cap, create 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.
Step 3

Removing Sweat Stains from a Straw Hat

straw-hatTamara Kulikova/Shutterstock

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 like a microfiber 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.
Step 4

Removing Sweat Stains from a Felt Hat

cowboyOlivier Le Queinec/Shutterstock

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.
Step 5

Try a Washing Cage

Cage via

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.