I developed a new skill: rehabbing sweat-stained baseball caps. Robert had a few favorites that were not quite presentable for wearing in public. I went to YouTube University to learn some tips and develop a process.
Caveats before you try this at home: I’ve only done this with cotton and poly hats. Leather and wool hats would each need a different strategy. The hats I cleaned aren’t keepsakes. I am just trying to extend their useful life. Most caps are now made with a plastic bill. This wouldn’t work with a cardboard bill.
I started off using some upholstery cleaner. That helped, but the hat was still stained. Then, I switched to a Tide and warm water solution with a dish brush. This helped but wasn’t quite enough. I also tried washing one of the hats in the top rack of the dishwasher. This probably helped sanitize it, but it didn’t get it clean.
Then, I decided to give Dawn Powerwash a try. This product cuts grease, and it was great on a hat. You do need to let it sit. I sprayed both sides of the hat and let it sit in an empty dish tub.
Then I used Dawn dish soap, warm water and a dish brush to clean the brim and bill. Be gentle at this step, especially with embroidered hats! Then I soaked the hat in the dish tub with some laundry detergent and a little Dawn dish soap dissolved in warm water. One of the hats was an over-dyed maroon denim hat, so I added a Shout ColorCatcher sheet to the dish tub along with some dye preserver that I use when washing quilts and then let it sit for a while. Be prepared to be grossed out by the murky water after soaking a hat. Ewwww!
Then, I scrubbed again and rinsed the hat thoroughly in cool water. At this point, the first two hats looked good. Definitely back to wear-in-public condition! I reshaped them and dried them on a towel on the counter for a few days. (Your dry time may vary.)
After my success with the first two hats, I washed a third hat by starting with the Dawn Powerwash step. Easy peasy lemon squeezey! With the third hat, I looped it over the gooseneck faucet of the laundry room sink to let it drip dry first, and that sped up the drying time.
Have your own hat-cleaning tips? Respond and let me know!