hat in dishwasher

Can You Put Hats in the Dishwasher?

When it comes to cleaning hats, you might have read conflicting information about whether they can be put in the washing machine. As a result, you might have also read that they can instead go in the dishwasher.

So, is this true? If so, what are the instructions? Read on to find out whether you can put hats in the dishwasher.


Can You Put Hats in the Dishwasher?

In theory, you can put hats in the dishwasher. However, this depends on the materials used and the suggested care instructions. An advantage of using a dishwasher is that it won’t misshape your hat like a washing machine will, as the hat will stay still in the dishwasher.

Baseball caps are perhaps the best type of hat to put in a dishwasher. Many “traditional” hat styles (trilby, bowler, etc.) are made from felted wool or similar materials. These should be kept as far away from water as possible.

However, check your baseball cap before putting it in the dishwasher. The brim will be strengthened using either plastic or cardboard depending on its age. Flick the bill (brim) – if it sounds hollow, it’s likely cardboard. Pretty much all baseball caps made after the mid-1980s will use plastic. Unsurprisingly, you shouldn’t put cardboard-billed hats in the dishwasher or washing machine.


Where Do I Put My Hat in the Dishwasher?

baseball cap in dishwasher

So, provided your hat is suitable to be put in a dishwasher, you can follow these instructions:

  1. Put your hat on the top rack of the dishwasher so it’s as far away from the heating element as possible.
  2. Don’t put any dishes or anything in the dishwasher and ensure there’s no trapped food or anything. You might want to run a cleaning cycle before washing your hat.
  3. Add a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda to the cleaning tray. Avoid using dishwasher cleaning products.
  4. Run the shortest and coldest cycle you can on your machine.
  5. Remove the hat before the drying cycle starts and put it on top of a jar or similar object to dry.

If possible, try to wash several hats at once to justify using the amount of water a dishwasher uses.


What Is the Best Way to Wash a Hat?

clean hats

To wash a single hat, consider doing it by hand. It’ll use a lot less water and you’ll have complete control over the temperature, products used, and amount of water exposure.

  1. Fill a bowl with cool-to-hand-warm water. Add a tablespoon of gentle laundry detergent.
  2. Dip the hat in the bowl to wet it and then spot-clean using a toothbrush.
  3. If possible, leave the hat to soak for a few hours in the water after spot-cleaning.
  4. Remove it and rinse thoroughly with clean water.
  5. Leave to air dry on a jar or similar object.


Final Thoughts

Washing a hat in a dishwasher is completely possible, but isn’t necessarily very economical. If you’ve got the time, do it by hand because you can then be far more careful with the actual washing method.