Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine?

Your favorite hat needs a wash, and you are confused about whether to toss it in the washing machine or not because you don’t want to ruin it. You may feel relief to know that you are not alone who shares the fear and the answer to your question is Yes! You can. 

Hats are very delicate, but it is not hard to wash. If you wash incorrectly, you may lose the firmness and shape of your hat. You only need to remember a few things before cleaning your hat.

This article will walk you through the detailed procedure of washing hats. A few essential tips and mistakes are also mentioned to keep your hat new as always. 

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

How to Wash Hats in the Washing Machines? 6 Steps

Before tossing your favorite hat in the washing machine, you should know the material of your hat to decide the cleaning method properly. You should follow a proper way even if your hats are washable.

You can read the tag attached to your hats by manufacturers to check if your hat is washable or not.

If your hat is washable, clean it by proper method. Below we have mentioned the detailed procedure to help you properly wash the hats without damaging them. 

Step 1 -Pre Clean

The first step in washing your hats is pre-clean. You can pre-clean any stained or more soiled area by using gel stain removers like OxiClean to remove stain and dirt from the specific regions.

Just dip your hat for a few minutes in the bucket or sink filled with water and stain remover before washing. Rinse them to see if the stain has gone.

Step 2 – Wash your Hat with Less Load in Machine

It is recommended to wash the hat with a small laundry load. This step will prevent your hat from taking color from other clothes.

A more load of laundry can also result in tangling that can ruin your hat. It is better to give your hat a solo wash.

Step 3- Use Gentle Cycle and Softener

Always choose the gentle cycle when it comes to your hats. It will protect it from being damaged by the agitator in the washing machine.

Gentle washing cycles make your hat clean without ruining the shape and color. Use a softener to get the best result because it will prolong the smoothness of the fabric.

Step 4- Use Mild Detergent and Cold Water

When washing your hats in the machine, always choose mild detergent with no added bleach in them to avoid any discoloration.

By using cold water, the fabric and color of your hat will not get damaged.

Step 5- Use Mesh Bag

You can also use a mesh bag for better washing results. It will also save your hat from damage and prevent it from machine agitators.

If you do not have a mesh bag, you can also use a sealed pillowcase.

Step 6- Let it Air Dry

The spinner of the washers can damage the quality of your hats, so it is recommended to let air dry your hat openly.

You can lay it on a flat surface, but it is better to use a hat former or any head-shaped body to keep the hat fit as it was before washing.

can you wash hats in the washer

Related: Washing Machine Brands to Avoid

What types of hats can be washed in the washing machine?

As we have discussed above, you can wash your hats in the washing machine, but you should know the few exceptions. Many hats are available in the market, and different materials and fabrics are used for their manufacturing.

Depending on the material, we will discuss what kind of hats is safe to wash in a machine and which type of hats is not suitable for machine wash.

# Cotton Hats

Baseball hats and all other hats made up of cotton are safe for the machine wash because cotton is a tough and strong fabric. They can withstand machine pressure and get cleaned easily.

# Bucket Hats

Bucket hats do not lose their structure in the machine and retain their original shape even in machines.

These durable hats are mostly made up of cotton fabric or nylon. They are totally safe to toss in the machine.

# Japanese Bandana Hats

Fabric is primarily used in the making of bandana hats, and there is no reason that can stop you from washing them in the machine.

Just go ahead and wash them without having a second thought.

What types of hats should never be washed in the washing machine?

Some hats are not safe for machine washing, even in gentle mode. The motion of the washer can not only ruin your favorite hat shape but can also damage the material and make it look ugly and old.

Here are the following types that should never be washed in machines.

# Berets

Are you thinking of washing your berets in the washing machine? Just stop right there, don’t do it. Not only is machine wash not safe for your berets, but you should also avoid hand washing.

A question might pop up here in your mind: if washing is not the way to clean the berets, how to clean them? Keep reading to know the answer.

Remove the stain by using blotting paper that can absorb the stain from the beret and later clean it with a sponge soaked in lukewarm water. Make sure not to wet the sponge while cleaning excessively.

# Straw Hats

Washing straw hats in the washers will be the most regretted mistake you can ever make. In fact, these hats don’t need frequent washing. Yearly, one or two wash is enough to make them new and clean.

Use a damp cloth or wet towel soaked in water and a mild solution of detergent or hydrogen peroxide to remove stains.

Do not wet or soak your straw hat in water because it will loosen the shape. Make sure to dry it to avoid any shape change.

# Wool Hats

You can wash your wool hats in the washing machine on a gentle cycle, but we will not suggest it.

Hand washes your wool cap because machine washing can stretch the wool resulting in shape alteration and color loss.

Use cold water to hand wash the wool hat and slow, gentle spinning mode to dry. You can also lay your hat flat to dry it with open air.

Which Hat Fabrics are Washable?

To help you determine which hat fabrics are safe to wash, we have prepared a list. You can also check the care tag to know the fabric type before washing.

  • Cotton
  • Polyester
  • Denim
  • Cotton Blend
  • Canvas
  • Twill
  • Jersey

These fabrics are safe to use with proper care—patch test to make sure of any color change.

How often should I wash my hat?

The answer depends on the frequency you are using your hat. If you are not using your hat often, two to three washes every season are enough for you.

But if you are using it frequently, like a baseball hat, then you can wash it once every week. It also depends on the number of stains and dirt you get on your hat. Just remember to use the proper washing method.

How to Remove the Sweat Smell from Hats?

You are a marathon runner or a sports lover, and your hat gets dirty and gets a sweaty smell? The problem is you cannot wash your hat each time after your game, and it is very embarrassing to have a bad-smelling hat on. Definitely, no one will come near to you. So, what to do about it?

The answer is layering it with your perfume. Just kidding, you don’t have to do that. Here is a quick tip. Sprinkle baking soda on the inner side of the hat and let it stay for about half an hour. After that, just shake it off, and your hat is all-new without any smell. You are all set to go without having any bad odor.


Washing hats in a washing machine might seem risky, but it is effortless and safe if you wash it the right way. Just make sure to read the instructions on the care tag. Check material before deciding whether to go for a hand or machine wash.

Follow our instructions and information to prolong the life of your hats without compromising quality. We suggest you always invest in good quality hats rather than buy cheap, low-quality ones.

This is all for the day; keep reading to know more tips and tricks about your daily problems.

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