Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine? – What Settings To Use When Washing A Hat In The Washing Machine

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine? This is one of the most difficult questions for all hat collectors. However, we will help you solve it in this blog post.

Is it safe to wash a hat in the washing machine? With so many styles of hats available, such as knit beanies, trucker caps, and fedoras, all made of different materials, it can take a lot of work to know the right way to clean them. Washing your favorite cap using the wrong method could lead to irreparable damage and even disfigurement – so understanding how best to wash your hat is critical. 

In this blog post, we investigate whether or not it’s ok to put your hat in the washing machine, outlining all the factors that need consideration before taking a dip with headgear.

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine? – Everything You Need To Know Before Washing A Hat

Do you read the hat’s label?

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

Hats are an indispensable accessory for many of us in sports or fashion. However, before throwing your hat into the washing machine, remember the label. 

It’s important to look for the washing instructions and the material the hat is made of. You don’t want to ruin your favorite hat just because you didn’t read the label. 

If you see “dry-clean only” on the label, it’s best to follow it. If you see “dry-clean only” on the label, it’s best to follow it. Wool is a delicate fabric that doesn’t fare well in a washing machine. 

Taking proper care of your hat ensures its longevity and preserves its quality and appearance.

Which type of hat do you need to wash?

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine? Yes, you can wash certain types of hats in the washing machine. Knowing which materials can withstand the machine’s agitation is key.

Cotton hat

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

For cotton hats, it’s generally safe to wash them in the washing machine but beware of potential shrinkage. If you have an older cotton baseball cap with a cardboard brim, avoid machine washing at all costs, as the combination of water and cardboard can ruin the hat. 

Newer baseball caps have brims of plastic or other resilient materials and can safely go in the washing machine.

Canvas hat

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

Canvas hats are also durable enough to handle a washing cycle in the machine. Unlike cotton, the thicker canvas material won’t shrink in the wash. This makes it a great choice for machine washing.

Straw hat

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

Avoid washing straw hats in the washing machine at all costs. The delicate nature of the straw material means it won’t withstand the rigors of a washing cycle. To clean a straw hat, it’s best to use a soft-bristled brush dipped in soapy water, gently brushing away any dirt or stains.

Cotton blends and synthetic fabrics

Thanks to their durability, cotton blends, and synthetic fabrics, such as acrylic or mesh, are typically safe for machine washing. However, you should take caution regarding older baseball caps, especially those from the early ’80s or before. 

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

These caps may have cardboard brims that won’t withstand machine washing. Newer caps, with plastic or cotton-blend brims or made from other resilient materials, can be machine washed.

Wool hat

Wool hats may lose their shape in the washing machine due to agitation. To avoid this, place the wool hat in a pillowcase or garment bag before adding it to the washing machine. 

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

Alternatively, consider washing the wool hat by hand, ensuring you don’t use hot water or agitate the hat too much while washing. To dry, reshape the hat on a towel and let it air dry.

In conclusion, before tossing your favorite hat in the washing machine, check the material to ensure it’s safe for machine washing. If in doubt, consider washing by hand to prevent damaging the hat. With some caution, you can keep your favorite hats looking new for years.

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine? – Ultimate Cleaning Guidelines

Washer Instruction

Can you wash a hat in the washing machine? Yes, but before you toss your favorite baseball cap or knit beanie in with the rest of your laundry, you should follow a few rules to ensure it comes clean and in good shape.

Pre-treat with a Stain Remover

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

First, pre-treat your hat with a stain remover. Even if your hat doesn’t look particularly dirty, there’s probably grime and sweat lurking in the seams and headband that a washing machine alone won’t fully remove. 

Pre-treating your hat with a stain remover will loosen dirt and stains and give your hat a better chance of coming out looking new. For cotton or cotton-blend hats, you can spray the stain remover directly onto the hat. 

Be sure to focus on areas that accumulate the most dirt and sweat, such as the headband and liner. Let the stain remover soak in for at least 30 minutes before washing.

Use a Mesh Bag for Delicate Hats

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

Second, use a mesh washing bag for delicate hats. Hats made of knit or other delicate materials can easily lose shape or get snagged on other items in the washing machine. 

Putting your hat in a mesh bag before washing will protect its shape and prevent it from getting damaged. Look for mesh washing bags at discount stores or online. 

Close the bag securely before washing it with a zipper or pull-string closure. You can put multiple hats in the same bag, but don’t overstuff it – the hats need space to move around and get fully cleaned.

Wash Hats in a Full Load and with Similarly-Colored Clothes 

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

Third, ensure you’re washing your hats with similar colors and in a full load. This is important for a couple of reasons. 

First, washing hats in small loads can cause them to lose shape or mat up. By washing them with a full load of similarly colored clothes, you’ll give them the space they need to agitate and get clean without getting tangled or warped gently. 

Second, avoid washing white hats with dark or brightly colored clothing. Not only can this lead to color transfer, but it can also leave your hat looking dingy or stained. Sort your hats with the rest of your laundry, and always follow your mom’s washing machine tips.

Use the Exact Detergent 

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

The fourth rule of washing hats is to use the right detergent. Choosing a high-quality, mild detergent that won’t damage the fabric is essential. For delicate fabrics like wool, it’s best to use an extra mild detergent, such as Woolite. 

Additionally, if you’re washing colored hats, avoid any bleach-containing detergents that can cause the dye to fade or bleed. 

Use Cool Water and a Gentle Washing Cycle

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

The fifth rule is to use cool water and a gentle cycle. Hot water is a big no-no when washing hats because it can cause fading and shrinkage. 

Therefore, it’s best to set your washing machine to run at a low temperature using cool water. Also, we recommend using the gentle cycle since it’s less agitating, preventing your hat from getting roughed up excessively while being washed. 

Say No with Clothes Dryer

The last and most critical rule is to avoid using your clothes dryer. Clothes dryers can cause significant damage to hats by shrinking and twisting them out of shape, ending up with an unusable hat. 

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine
Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine? - What Settings To Use When Washing A Hat In The Washing Machine 30

Instead, it’s best to hang the wet hats to dry once removed from the washing machine. For baseball caps, panel hats, or dad caps, hang them on a hat rack that can support their shape. Concerning snap-back hats, bucket hats, and trucker hats, hang them from the brim to prevent the top part from stretching. 

If you’re washing acrylic or rib-knit beanies, it’s best to dry them flat on a clean, dry towel, ensuring they retain their original shape. Never hang beanies to dry, as this can cause them to stretch out of shape.

In summary, washing hats in a washing machine is simple if you follow these 6 essential rules. Use the right detergent, wash in cool water on a gentle cycle, and avoid using your clothes dryer. 

With a little care, you can ensure your hats look clean and new without any damage from the washing process.

Hand Washing Instruction

Fill a plastic tub with cold water

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

Hats can be tricky to clean, especially delicate ones. While most people think throwing it in the washing machine is the easiest option, it may cause more harm than good. Warm or hot water can lead to color bleeding and even shrink the material. 

A large bucket or plastic bowl can submerge the hats to avoid this. This method is best suited for hand-knitted hats and soft baseball caps. 

When it comes to hand-knitted hats, checking the yarn label for washing instructions is essential to avoid damage. Overall, you should clean hats with care to ensure their longevity.

Put your hat into the water and mix with a mild cleanser 

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

Keeping your knit hat clean and fresh is easy with soap or detergent. To get started, take about a teaspoon of your chosen cleanser and mix it well with water. Choosing a cleanser for your hat is important, depending on its material and the grime you’re tackling.

If your hat is made of wool, you’ll want to look for a soap formulated for woolen fabrics. This will ensure that your hat doesn’t become discolored, develop pills or become damaged in any other way. 

However, if you can’t find this type of soap, a mild detergent without bleach or additives will do the trick. 

A disclaimer: When cleaning a woolen hat, stay far away from any harsh chemicals! Chlorine bleach and enzyme treatments can do permanent damage to the fabric of your beloved winter accessory – keep it safe by using gentle detergents instead.! 

Spot-test your hat

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

Before immersing an entire hat in water to remove any excess dye, it is important to test a small patch. This precautionary measure ensures that the hat will not become discolored or damaged during cleaning. 

Begin by soaking the small patch in water for about 2 minutes. Once the patch has been submerged for the allotted time, check for any bleeding colors. You can do this by observing the water for any dye that may have come from the hat. 

If the water is clear, dab the hat on a light surface or object to prevent discoloration. However, this should be done cautiously, as some fabrics are more susceptible to bleaching or may become discolored when dabbed. 

Finally, choose a discreet part of the hat to test the cleaning process if any discoloration occurs during the testing phase. Once it is confirmed that the hat is not experiencing discoloration or damage, proceed to clean it confidently.

Soaking the whole hat

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

Once you’ve confirmed that the hat won’t be damaged by immersion, you can go ahead and soak the entire hat. For regular cleaning, a soak of around 30 minutes should suffice. 

However, if more stubborn dirt or mud is caked onto the hat, it may need a long soak of a few hours. It’s always best to err on caution and clean your hat gently, as aggressive scrubbing or harsh cleaning products may damage it.

Rinse your hat

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

To effectively clean a hat, it is important to take care during the rinsing process. After soaking the hat in soapy water, remove it and rinse thoroughly with running tap water. It is essential to use a steady stream of water to ensure all detergent is removed. 

It is recommended to continue rinsing until the hat no longer feels sticky and you can spot no other soap. Additionally, you should use cold water to prevent discoloration and shrinkage. Following these steps will lead to a clean and well-maintained hat.

Eliminate excess water

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

When it comes to properly drying your hat, it’s essential to avoid any twisting or wringing. Instead, hold the hat gently between your hands and give it a light squeeze. 

Once you’ve removed any excess water, place the hat on a clean towel and pat it dry. Take your time to ensure there isn’t any water dripping from the hat before putting it away. This step must be revised to avoid distorted shapes and pilling, which can age your hat prematurely.

Dry the hat

If you want to keep your hat in top shape, make sure it’s getting plenty of air. Investing a little time into laying out the hat on a towel and reshaping it is essential for preserving its form – but if you need some extra help drying, no problem! Just grab an electric fan (low power only!) and let that breeze take care of things. 

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

Avoid using a hot blow dryer, as its heat may cause the hat to shrink. Avoid exposing the hat to direct sunlight, which may lead to fading. These simple measures will help you enjoy your hat for many years.

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine? – Some Useful Tips For Caring And Cleaning Your Hats

Hats are an essential accessory that can make or break an outfit. To keep your hats looking great for as long as possible, it’s important to take preventative measures. 

A fabric protector spray is one of the most effective ways to protect your hat. This will be an invisible shield against the most common problem with hats and sweat stains. 

Additionally, it will repel rain and make accidental spills easy to clean up. Apply the protector after cleaning your hat for the best results.

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

When you’re not wearing your hat, storing it safely to avoid dirt and stains is crucial. A hat rack or box is an excellent storage solution. If you notice your hat collecting lint, don’t pick it off with your fingers. Instead, use a lint remover for clothing to prevent damaging the hat’s structure.

It’s important to note that all the hats we sell are designed to last a long time and are made from top-quality materials. However, caring for your hats properly will ensure their longevity. Regular cleaning and proper storage are necessary to keep your hat looking its best.

Many individuals opt to clean their baseball caps in the dishwasher, but manufacturers do not recommend this method. Moreover, the high temperature generated by dishwashers can cause the plastic components of the cap to distort and the canvas to shrink. 

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

As a result, it is advisable to use a pre-treatment to spray heavily soiled or stained areas before washing. If the care instructions on a hat tag indicate “dry clean only,” take your cap to a professional cleaner rather than risking damage during washing. 

While dry cleaning bills may seem costly, they are a more economical choice than replacing a hat that has been adversely affected while being washed.

Preventative measures will help protect your investment and keep your hats looking great for years. By following these tips, you can enjoy your hats for many seasons.

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine? – FAQs

Can I wash a hat in the dishwasher?

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

While cleaning a baseball in the dishwasher is technically possible, our comprehensive testing has shown that this is not the most effective method. Moreover, taking this approach can result in damage to your ball cap. 

However, if you find yourself in a situation where you have no other option, we suggest utilizing a hat cage like the Ballcap Buddy to safeguard the form of your cap. 

To use this device, place your cap on the top rack during the washing process before removing it before the drying cycle to allow it to air dry. Protect your baseball and your cap with this proven approach.

Can I wash a hat in my washing machine?

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine
Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine? - What Settings To Use When Washing A Hat In The Washing Machine 31

Washing your hats in a washing machine is only sometimes the best option as it can affect their shape and texture severely. According to Whirlpool, other methods work better. 

However, if using a machine is your only choice, set it to a cold water temperature, select the Delicates cycle, and wash with similar colors. Additionally, avoid overloading the washer, use a hat cage to maintain the shape, and air dry your hat to prevent shrinkage and deformation.

Should we use shampoo to clean a hat?

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

As our tests show, shampoo proves to be a versatile and effective cleaner. Although it’s mainly used for washing the oil out of hair, this product also works wonders in removing body oil and other stains from ball caps. 

Its ease of access and multi-purpose function make it a valuable addition to any cleaning arsenal. However, while it performs well, it must improve compared to detergents and specialized stain removers. Nonetheless, it stands as a viable alternative for everyday cleaning needs.

How do I wash a straw hat?

  • Verify that you can wash the straw hat:

Straw hats are a stylish accessory, but not all types of straw are suitable for washing. Delicate straw hats may not withstand hand washing, whereas sturdier types like Baku and shantung straw can withstand gentle cleaning. 

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

It’s important to check the manufacturer’s tag to determine the type of straw used. If unsure, you can perform a simple test by gently bending the hat’s rim. 

If it resists or only slightly returns to its original shape, it’s likely sturdy enough for washing. But if it bends easily or shows signs of fraying, it is too delicate to clean.

  • Remove all decorative pieces if it is possible:

Small pieces of crafting wire are commonly used to attach ropes, ribbons, buttons, and other elements when decorating your straw hat. The wire is easily removable, making it a great option for temporary decorations. 

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

On the other hand, if a thread attaches to the decorations, it is unnecessary to remove them for cleaning. Attempting to sew them back on can lead to damage. It is important to consider the type of attachment when embellishing your hat to ensure the longevity of your decorations.

  • Use a washcloth to sponge lightly

A damp washcloth for mild cleaning is advisable, especially when a brush is insufficient. Gently dab the hat and get rid of any dirt on its surface. However, be cautious not to dampen the straw itself in the process. 

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

It is worth noting that the straw material can be quite fragile, and soaking it in water may cause irreversible damage, so you should handle it.

  • Use a hydrogen peroxide solution to clean the entire hat:

Cleaning a hat can be tricky, especially when simple water won’t work. Don’t worry, as there’s a simple solution. Try using hydrogen peroxide – this gentle cleaner can work wonders on your dirty hat. 

All you need to do is mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle and then spray the solution onto a soft cloth. Gently wipe down the entire hat with the cloth, avoiding over-soaking the straw, which may cause warping and shrinking. 

Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine

If there are any particularly tough stains, spray the solution directly onto the hat and wipe it off with a washcloth. With these easy steps, your hat will look as good as new in no time!


Overall, washing hats in the washing machine is a great way to keep your headgear looking fresh without too much effort. However, it’s important to pay attention to the materials of each hat and follow any manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning them. We should never wash wool hats in a washing machine as this can cause shrinkage or damage, ruining the look of the hat. By following these guidelines for how to wash hats in a washing machine, you can ensure that all your favorite pieces stay clean and intact for years to come! 

After reading this article, we hope you find some helpful information and answer the question, “Can You Wash A Hat In The Washing Machine?”

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