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How to Clean a Baseball Cap

Whether you’re a Yankees fan or want to protect your eyes from the sun, a baseball cap is an essential part of your wardrobe. It can also get dirty, so it’s important to clean it regularly.

Before you wash your cap, check its fabric type and cleaning instructions. You may need to hand-wash if it’s made of wool or other delicate materials.

Pre-treat stains

Pre-treating stains on a baseball cap is an effective way to eliminate sweat stains and prevent them from becoming more prominent. Soaking hats is a great way to loosen the stains, making it easier to scrub them out with a brush or a wadded cotton towel.

Depending on the type of stain, you may be able to hand-wash a baseball cap or run it through a washing machine. However, if you have a hard-to-remove shame, the best method is probably spot-treating it with a detergent or a specially designed-stain treatment product.

This method is especially recommended for heavily embellished hats with metal detailing that should not be exposed to water. It can also be used for general stains from food, oil or grease, or makeup. Spot treating can be accomplished by using a small amount of laundry detergent or dish soap, and it is often more effective than simply soaking the hat in the water.

Soak in soapy water

Baseball caps get dirty quickly, so cleaning them regularly is essential. Whether you wear them to work, carpool, or play ball, they accumulate dirt, sweat, and other particles that can quickly discolor them.

If your cap has visible stains, they can be lifted with soapy water and a soft-bristled brush. For more stubborn stains, use a small amount of laundry detergent (with no bleach) and work it into the fabric with the help of a soft-bristled brush.

Alternatively, you can try running the cap through a cycle in your dishwasher. But be sure to run it on a gentle cycle and avoid the tumbling action that can wreak havoc on a cap’s shape.

Try soaking your baseball cap in cool water and a mild detergent (or an oxygen-based cleaner like OxiClean) for quick and easy cleaning. Washing the lid for 10 minutes should remove any lingering stains. Rinse thoroughly and allow it to air dry.


When you wear baseball caps, whether to work out, do yard work, carpool, or catch a game, they’re often exposed to dirt, oils, sweat, and stains that can cause a buildup over time. Keeping your cap clean helps it look its best and avoids wearing out faster than you’d like.

Soaking a baseball cap in soapy water can help loosen and remove stubborn stains. Use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to gently scrub the hat in a circular motion, working the detergent or stain treatment into the colors, then soak it for at least 15 minutes.

If you’ve soaked your cap, rinse it thoroughly under cool water to remove any remaining suds. Gently squeeze the excess water from it, but be careful not to twist the brim or bend your hat.


If you have a baseball cap that is not too dirty or sweaty, you may be able to wash it yourself. But if your hat is soiled, you’ll likely need professional help.

The key to preventing your baseball cap from losing its shape is how you dry it after cleaning. Machine drying is not a good option for most hats, as it can cause the brim to bend or tear due to agitation.

So instead, try using a balled-up hand towel to air dry the hat. This method is also excellent for hats with embellishments, such as sequins or ribbons.

Another simple and effective way to eliminate greasy or sweat stains is to apply corn starch or talcum powder to the spots. This will absorb the oils and keep the hat from getting stained again.


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