white baseball cap

How to Wash a Baseball Cap

Baseball caps are our trusty, go-to accessory, whether it be for sport or to complete an outfit. They provide shade from the sun or hide that hideous morning bedhead.

To keep your cap looking new and fresh, it’s important that you wash them regularly.

Read on to find some easy ways to keep your baseball cap clean.


Why Should You Wash Your Baseball Cap?

Our heads produce a lot of heat, and therefore a lot of sweat. Normally, this sweat will naturally evaporate, but when you cover it with your coolest baseball cap, the sweat will soak into the hat’s material. Over time, this will start to stain your cap, leaving yellowish blotches or lines.

Fortunately, baseball caps are easy to clean, and doing so every month will have the best results.


How Do You Wash a Baseball Cap Without Ruining It?

baseball cap, shoes and clothes

Follow the steps outlined below, firstly checking the material of the insert in the brim and then either handwashing it or machine washing your hat.

Make sure to air dry it instead of using a dryer, as the harsh turmoil inside the machine will ruin the fabric and the shape of your baseball cap.

Will my baseball cap fade in colour after washing it?

If you’re worried about your baseball cap fading in colour after you wash it, then stick to hand-washing your hat.

This applies more to new hats, as they’re more susceptible to losing their colour. Try your chosen detergent on the inside of the hat to see if any fading occurs.


Check the brim material before washing

Before you start cleaning your beloved baseball cap, make sure you check the material of the brim, also known as the bill.

Baseball caps made before the 90s are likely to have a cardboard brim, which lose their shape if you wash it.

Not sure what material your brim is made of?

You can check by flicking the brim with your finger. If you hear a hollow sound, the brim is probably made from cardboard; plastic brims will have a sharper, more dull sound.

If your hat has a cardboard brim, don’t soak it in water, as this will permanently damage it. Instead, wash the front, side and back panels in cold water using a detergent, and then spot clean the brim. This way, your vintage hat will retain its shape whilst looking clean.

The majority of baseball caps these days having a plastic brim, making them a lot more durable. Read the label first to check for any special instructions, particularly if your hat is made from suede or leather.

Here are the best ways to clean a baseball cap with a plastic insert in the brim.


How to Hand-Wash a Baseball Cap

baseball cap in sink with water

If you’re worried about your hat losing its shape or colour, then handwashing your cap may be the best way to prevent this.

This method is slightly more time consuming than the others, but it’s fairly straight forward.

  1. Fill a clean sink or large bowl with cold water. Add a tablespoon of detergent. Don’t use detergent that contains bleach, as this will make your hat lose its colour. If you’re unsure, you can always test it on a small, unnoticeable area to see how it reacts with the material.
  2. Submerge the hat, soaking it in the water and detergent. Remove it to start spot cleaning it.
  3. Using a soft brush (we recommend a toothbrush) and cleaning solution, gently scrub visible spots on your hat. Depending on the type of stain, some cleaning solutions may work better than others.
  4. When you’ve scrubbed all the spots, put the cap back into the cold water and leave it for a few hours. You may want to check the hat after an hour or so to see how it’s going. A second spot clean may be necessary.
  5. Rinse the hat with warm water. Dry it using a towel to remove as much water as possible. Avoid pressing too hard, as this can distort the shape of the hat.
  6. Roll a towel into a ball that resembles the shape of your head and place it inside the hat. Leave the hat somewhere well-ventilated to air dry.


How to Machine-Wash a Baseball Cap

machine-wash baseball cap

Handwashing can take quite a bit of time, so using the washing machine is also a good option. Baseball caps are fairly durable, so they should be fine in the washing machine, but if you’re particularly concerned then handwashing is definitely a safer option.

Follow these five steps for the best results:

  1. Put your baseball cap in a pillowcase or something similar, as this will help protect the fabric and the shape.
  2. Add non-bleach laundry detergent.
  3. It is possible to wash the hat with your other laundry, but don’t put too much clothes in with it.
  4. Use the cold-water, gentle cycle on your machine.
  5. Once complete, let your cap air dry. Rolling a towel into a ball and putting it inside the hat helps keep the shape. Don’t put your hat in the dryer as this can shrink or change the shape of it.


How to Wash a Baseball Cap in the Dishwasher

wash baseball cap in the dishwasher

If you have more than one hat to wash, this method may be better. Even though it’s designed to wash dishes, a dishwasher can actually be used to wash hats and baseball caps as well.

Ensure there are no dirty dishes, and remove any old food from the filter.

  1. Load the dishwasher with as many hats as the top rack will fit.
  2. Just as you would do when washing a load of dishes, fill up the soap compartment. Check the soap you are using doesn’t contain bleach.
  3. If possible, reduce the temperature to a cool setting. Run a light and gentle wash cycle.
  4. Turn off the dry setting, or use a low-heat dry.

The hat may still be a bit wet. Let it air dry, again, rolling up a towel into a ball to place inside the hat.

There are also specially designed baseball cap washers that you can buy, such as the BallcapBuddy Cap Washer. This product is a kind of frame that goes around your baseball cap while it’s on the top shelf of the dishwasher. The frame prevents your hat from losing its shape while it’s being washed.

Learning how to clean your baseball cap correctly will make it keep your face in the shade for so many more summer walks and beach days.