Baseball cap in washing machine

Can You Put a Baseball Cap in the Washing Machine?

Baseball caps can get surprisingly dirty considering we only wear them on our heads. However, if you’ve ever looked at the sweatband and been grossed out, you’ll probably want to know how to clean them.

So, can you put a baseball cap in the washing machine? Let’s take a look.


Can You Put a Baseball Cap in the Washing Machine?

You can put a baseball cap in the washing machine if its brim is made from plastic.

However, if it’s made from cardboard, the washing machine is a definite no. The easiest way to tell is to check your cap’s care label, which should be sewn into the sweatband.

A general rule is that baseball caps made since 1983 have plastic brims, although this isn’t a set rule.

It can depend on the quality and price, too. Unsurprisingly, cardboard brims risk losing their shape or disintegrating completely if put in the washing machine.


How Do You Wash a Baseball Cap Without Ruining it?

The best way to wash a baseball cap ultimately depends on how thoroughly it needs cleaning. Your options are to spot-clean, handwash, or machine wash.

If you plan to machine wash, a dishwasher is actually a much better option than a washing machine. This is because it won’t agitate the cap, so it’s less likely to lose its shape. For a simple refresh, a dishwasher will do the job fine.

Of course, if that’s not an option, wash it on its own on a gentle cycle. Dry it on a hat form if you have one, or stuff it with newspaper to help it retain its shape.


Hand-Washing a Baseball Cap

Hand-washing is pretty simple. Just do the following:

  1. Fill a washing up bowl with warm water and a small amount of laundry detergent.
  2. Soak the hat for a minute or so.
  3. Scrub stains or soiled areas with a toothbrush or small towel.
  4. Tip away the water and replace with clean water.
  5. Rinse the hat by dunking it until the water runs off clean.
  6. Let it air dry with something inside to retain its shape.


Spot-Cleaning a Baseball Cap

Spot-cleaning a baseball cap is your only option if it’s got a cardboard brim. It’s also a viable option if you only need to remove a small mark.

The steps are basically the same as the hand-wash method above, except you don’t soak the hat. To rinse the detergent off, use a towel dipped in clean water and just wipe the area until you’ve removed the detergent.

Of course, if the brim is cardboard, keep it as far away from the water as possible. To clean the brim, wipe it gently with a damp towel.


Final Thoughts

Cleaning a baseball cap isn’t too difficult, provided you know what it’s made from. Check the care instructions, but if you don’t have any, treat it as gently as possible and hand wash over machine washing.