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How to Clean Hats By Hand

Hats are an important part of your outfit. They can help protect your eyes as well as your face from the sun. And they can also complement the clothes you are wearing. Hats are no longer worn with uniforms only. It is vital to keep your hats clean and in shape. Taking care of your hats will keep them in good condition for years to come and increase longevity. Therefore it is important to know how to clean hats by hand. 

Before you learn how to clean your hats by hand, keep a few things in mind. 

Always read the instructions tab carefully. You will find it usually attached or sewn onto the headband. The instruction tab will show you the proper way to clean the hat without causing any damage to it. 

There are different types of hats, and each hat will have a unique way of cleaning them. The sweatband is often the part of the hat with the most stains. So that is always a good place to start. 

For cleaning a fabric sweatband, always use a soft brush and a mild detergent. Fold the band down and scrub it using the brush and detergent. After that, wipe it with a clean cloth dipped in water. Leave the band out to dry. 

For cleaning a leather sweatband, get a good leather cleaner to remove the stains and odors. Follow the directions given on the package to clean the hat, and after it is done, leave the hat on a clean area to air dry. After it is done drying, use a leather conditioner to protect the sweatband from getting worn out. 

How to clean different types of hats

It is important to know the type of your hat and how to clean it. 

Suede and leather hats

how to clean suede hat

It is important to know how to clean suede and leather hats as the process is more complicated than the other types of hats. Doing it the wrong way may destroy the hats.  

First, brush off any dirt that is stuck on the surface with a brush or nylon. Remember to use a slightly stiff brush. 

For a suede hat, use a suede eraser to remove stains. Move the suede bar in a circular motion to prevent any type of damage or discoloration. To remove oily stains, use a mixture of shampoo and warm water. Do not let suede get too wet. Allow the hat to air dry. 

For a leather hat, soak a clean cloth in a mixture of shampoo and water and then wipe it. Use another dry cloth to wipe off the wet surface and allow it to air dry. 

If possible, invest in some leather and suede protecting products. This will help in preserving the quality of your hat. 

Cloth and canvas hats

how to clean canvas hat

Cloth and canvas hats are some of the easiest hats to clean. Simply use a soft brush and clean it with a little bit of water. If there are any stains that do not come off easily, just add a little powdered cleaner, and that will do the job. After the cleaning is done, leave it to air dry. 

Straw hats

how to clean straw hat

Cleaning a straw hat is easy if you know the right process. Simply use a soft brush or a lint roller to remove the dust and lint on the surface of the hat. Try not to damage the accessories on the hat. 

If possible, remove the flowers or ribbons to make the cleaning easier. If it is not possible, then simply use a blower to remove the dust and other particles from the intricate areas. 

To remove any oily stains, simply sprinkle some talcum powder or cornstarch on the stains. Allow it to settle and then brush it off. This will remove the stains. 

Avoid drenching the straw hat in water, as this will change its shape. 

Felt and wool hats

how to clean felt hat

Felt and wool hats can be cleaned the same way. To clean dirt on this type of hat, use a horsehair brush as it is soft enough not to destroy the hat. Make sure the brush is of similar color as it might get transferred on the hat. 

Cleaning dust is fairly easy; simply use a damp cloth to wipe them off. 

To remove your pet’s hair from the hat, simply use tape and swipe it across the hat with the sticky side. 

Tips to prolong the life of your hat

Storing the hat

The way you store your hat is crucial in maintaining the structure of your hat. 

When you are putting down your hat on a flat surface, always lay it upside down on its crown and not the brim. Laying it on its brim will cause it to flatten out, and this will change the shape of the hat. 

Also, while hanging the hat on a hat rack, make sure the hook is wide and not pointy. If it is pointy, a dimple might appear on the hat. It is not a good idea to hang your hats for long periods of time. Doing so will alter the shape due to the force of gravity, pulling it down. 

It is best to store the hat in its box as this will protect the hat from getting worn out and maintain the shape as well. 

Handling the hat

Be wary of the way you hold your hat. If you are not careful, it might damage your hat. 

Always handle it by the brim and not by the crown. Holding it by the crown for long periods may weaken the structure of the hat. Creases may also appear on the hat. 

Make sure your hands are clean as well. The oils from your hands may soil the hat. 


These are some of the few ways on how to clean your hats by hand, along with some few tips to keep them new and fresh. It is not too hard to clean your hat no matter what type it is and what material it’s made from. Just remember to clean them as often as possible. Keep these points in mind, and you can keep your favorite hat clean and new for a long time to come.