How To Clean A White Hat (Amazing Results)

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How to clean a white hat? I guess your white hat must be dirty for you to ask this question. Well, a white hat gets dirty easily simply because it’s white. The cause of this is sweat and grease from your hair. However with the proper washing method and care a white hat can be white again. Here are the best ways to clean a white hat.

What’s Written On The Label?

Before you wash your hat make sure to check the tag for cleaning instructions and type material. Not all materials are washable or able to be bleached, for example, a hat that is made with cardboard. This type of hat should never be washed as paper cannot withstand water or bleach. A good example is the baseball visor.

On the other hand, a new baseball hat may be more durable as the interior is mostly made of plastic instead of cardboard. The label will tell you how to wash this particular type of white hat.


Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) What’s This!

This large word may appear on the tag. It simply means (protection from the sun). Keep in mind that excessive washing of a hat can remove this component. If this happens your hat will prone to all the damages from the heat and light of the sun. You may be wondering how to wash this type of hat. The answer is simple, wash with your hands as washing in the washer will destroy the strength of the UFP rating.

Continuing on, If the label says (dry cleaning only) don’t attempt to wash. Take your hat to the dry cleaners. However most times a hat may not have an instruction label. Google will be able to help with this. Research the type of hat before attempting to wash.

Check For These Before Cleaning A White Hat

  • Paper- braid or Toyo should be spot clean only
  •  Straw hats-hand wash or spot clean with cool water
  • Suede and leather-simply wipe with a damp cloth
  • Cotton combine with polyester-durable for hand washing, washer, and spot cleaning
  • Wool felt- Will somewhat withstand water… read this label carefully


How To Clean A White Hat

Step1. Pretreat the stain with OxiClean Laundry detergent for 10 minutes

Not pretreating the stain on a white hat can cause an uneven color. After treating the stain the hat will need to be washed. Here are the methods.

Step 2. Turn your washer on the white cycle

Not pretreating the stain on a white hat can cause an uneven color. After treating the stain the hat will need to be washed. Here are the methods.

Step 3. Add 1 once liquid bleach and more laundry detergent

Step 4. Separate the white hat from the other clothing

Step 5. Place it in a mesh laundry bag for delicate clothing, or simply wash with white clothes only.

Step 6. Toss  the hat into the washer

Step 7. Lastly, dry on medium heat

For best results ensure the hat is completely dry before wearing to prevent soils.


How To Clean A White Hat With Stains

If your white hat has stains then it’s time to get rid of them. This can be done with regular products around the home. If you are a fan of white hats then cleaning and removing stains should be your main priority.

The first thing is to spot test the material to make sure it can withstand the chemical. The second thing you need to do is to spot treat the stain. If the material is delicate washing should be avoided for example a (straw hat). This type of hat may just need a spot clean with a household cleaner like hydrogen peroxide and other cleaners. The steps below will tell you how to clean white hate with stains.


1. Shampoo:

Use a dyeless shampoo (mild) to spot treat the stain. To test if the shampoo stains, dilute with water and test on a hidden area of the hat. If all is well proceed to clean the hat. Pour the diluted shampoo on a clean white cloth and blot the stain. When you’re through blotting wipe with a damp cloth and allow to air dry.


2. Hydrogen Peroxide:

Use a white cloth or a cotton ball dampened with hydrogen peroxide to clean the stain. After doing this give it a more vigorous clean by using a toothbrush to work your way into the stain. Allow the solution to be set on the material for 15 minutes. Rinse underneath the tap and hang to dry.


3. Baking Soda

Make a paste with baking soda and water. Use a small rag or toothbrush to apply the paste. Let it soak in for 15 minutes before rinsing. Allow drying as usual.


4. White Vinegar:

Apply the distilled vinegar to the stain using a white cloth. Give it 10-20 minutes of soaking. Rinse with cold or warm water and air dry. This takes on the same process as hydrogen peroxide. You may want to keep the following tip in mind.


5. Recommended brush for cleaning hats____Valentino Garemi Classic Cleaning Hat Brush.


Extra Tip: When cleaning a white hat always use a white cloth. Dark-colored fabrics are stained with colored dyes that sometimes bleed. This means the color dye that was used to dye the cloth will bleed onto the hat. If this happens your hat will be ruined permanently.


Different Methods For Cleaning A White Hat


How To Wash A White Hat In The Washing Machine:

Not all hats are labeled for spot clean or handwashing only. This process takes time. A simply styled cotton hat can be tossed in the washer. If your cotton hat is decorated with flowers and other ornaments, avoid the washer.

Others like Boonie baseball and bucket hats are washer safe. Talley brand hats come with a lifetime warranty so even if it gets a little damage that’s ok, simply replace it. If you’re not comfortable with your hat in the washer, spot cleaning or handwashing will be sufficient enough.


Spot Cleaning A White Hat:

When removing stains from a white hat washing may not be necessary. Some hats are designed fancily and decorated. These types of hats should be spot cleaned only. Spot cleaning a white hat can be done with basic household cleaners. Take precautions when using a cleaner on a hat. A spot test should be done to make sure it is safe for the material.


Using Bleach:

If your white hat has stubborn stains bleaching may help. However, not all materials can tolerate bleach. For example materials such as wool, wood and silk are not tolerable to bleach. Check the tag to make sure bleaching is ok. If bleaching is the only way to remove the stains from your hat then try an oxygen-based bleach. This type of bleach will be more gentle on your hat than chlorine bleach.


  1. Add 1 teaspoon bleach to 1-2 cups water
  2. Submerge a cotton ball into the solution
  3. Remove and squeeze out the excess liquid
  4. Pat the stains for a little while then allow it to sit for 10 minutes. For delicate materials only allow 5 minutes
  5. Lastly, wipe the treated spot with a damp white rag


EtraTip: Using bleach on any material is risky. Even if the care tag says it’s bleach safe spot test before applying.



Brushing A Hat:

Some materials like paper-braids and Toyo may get damaged if exposed to water. To clean these hats brushing with a soft bristle brush is recommended. The brushing will remove the surface-level dust and dirt. Keep the pressure light as vigorous brushing may cause dents and scratches.

Remove all decorations like ribbons and flowers from the hat before brushing to avoid any damages. If the decorations can not be removed try blowing the dust off with a blow dryer. Keep the blow dryer on cool when doing this.

Recommended brush for hats…Bickmore  Hat Care Brush


Cleaning A Straw Hat:

Keep in mind to read the care tag at all times before cleaning a straw hat. If the stain is persistent, it’s time to consider using a cleaning solution that’ll remove the stain for good.


Make a mixture with mild dish soap and water. Sprinkle the solution in a small rag so that it becomes slightly dampened. Use the rag to work the solution into the stain following the directions of the straws.


Leather Hat:

A leather that can be cleaned with a leather conditioner. If the inside of the hat is lined with a hatband sprinkle a dab of cornstarch on it. Allow the cornstarch to sit on the hatband for 10-15 minutes then brush off with a soft bristle toothbrush.

If after removing the cornstarch the hatband displays a stiff texture. Use a small amount of the leather conditioner to rub onto it. This should remove the stiffness. To keep from making a mess, clean the inside of the hat before cleaning the outside. This should give you an excellent finish.

Recommended leather conditioner and cleaner… Lexol Leather Conditioner and Leather Cleaner Kit


How To Clean A White Dirty Golf Hat

Knowing how to wash a golf hat will save you from having to purchase new ones more often than you should. Before you start cleaning your golf hat first you should know the best way to clean a golf hat. Simply follow these steps.

  1. Firstly, spot clean the hat by wiping with a wet cloth to remove excess dust and dirt
  2. Fill the sink with cool water
  3. Add a mild detergent or dish soap. OxiClean would be the top choice as it is known for fighting stains on hats
  4. Allow the hat to soak for 30 minutes to five hours. Soaking time depends on the severity of the dirt and stains.
  5. Remove the hat to inspect the stain occasionally
  6. If the stain is still visible brush with a soft-bristle toothbrush
  7. Rinse the hat with cool water and pat with a towel. This helps to retain the shape of the hat after washing.
  8. For amazing results, Air dry after patting with the towel


The Don’ts Of Cleaning A White Hat

Washing a white can be tricky. There is the correct way and the wrong way. Be mindful of the many incorrect pieces of advice out there for cleaning white hats. Here are the don’ts of washing a white hat.


Plastic Bag…Never store your hat in a plastic bag. Plastic bags carry moisture which may develop mildew and mold and other forms of fungi. This is worst on a suede or leather hat. The best way to store a hat is a bag that allows the passage of moisture and air.


Dishwasher…A dishwasher is a heavy-duty machine designed for washing pots, pans, and dishes only. Washing a hat in a dishwasher may ruin its shape. Even if the hat appears to be firm this could shrink or damage the hat for good. The only way to prevent this is to use a baseball shaper. This will help but still yet not be a 100% safety guarantee.


Not Reading The Tag…Totally ignoring the care tag on hat is a don’t. This could total your hat. For example, if the hat says dry clean only then you apply liquids, this could cause stains. Always read the care tag before washing a hat.


Using A Dryer…Even though a dryer drys the hat faster it is not safe. The best way to dry a hat is to hang it on a dryer rack and allow it to air dry. The natural air will circulate around the entire hat giving it and even dry.


Storing A Damp Hat… This is a huge DON’T!. Just like clothing, storing a semi-dry hat will not only cause wrinkles but, leave a nasty smell behind. The best practice is to allow the hat to air dry flipping it over every now and again. Then store it in a safe place.


Bleaching Hat With Colors...Most colored manmade materials are dyed. If the hat is not completely white apply bleach will remove the color. This applies to those fancy hats with beautiful decorations and headbands. These hats are more likely to have colored threads which if bleached will change to a paler color.

If the white hat is stained purchase a laundry detergent for whites (OUT White Bite Laundry Whitener) is a laundry detergent whitener that is safe for washing white hats. This can be purchased on or asked your local supermarket. Top advice, when washing a hat bleach should be the last resort.


Too Much Sun… It is highly recommended to air dry a hat. However direct sunlight can even be too much for a white hat. It’s always best to store your hat in an area not too dark or has less direct heat and light from the sun.


Check The Hat… If your hat is old and has loose threads. Excessive washing or brushing will loosen the stitches even more. Inspect the condition of the hat before washing prevents further damages. A quick inspection will help you to decide the best method for washing the hat.


How To Keep Your Hat Clean

With all that said about cleaning a white hat. The bottom line is keeping your white hat clean. The over-use and misuse of a hat can wear your headgear to pieces. Especially in the summer when the sun is at its best. This is what you should do, practice proper hat care. This will help you to have a clean hat all the time. Here is how to keep your hat clean.

  • Keep The Headband Dry: The headband absorbs sweat and moisture. After removing the hat clean the band with a damp cloth to remove the sweat. For bands that are movable pull it down to allow air on the other side.
  • Traveling With A Hat: Knowing how to pack your hat is important. Roll the hat if it can be rolled. For other hats that are more delicate stuff with soft clothing and place on top of the rest of the contents in your suitcase. For an elaborate hat consider placing it in a mesh bag and holding it safely in your hand otherwise consider shipping. This can be done using a hatbox. Check the link below for hat storage bags. The best way to keep your hat clean is by storing it the proper way.

Large Hat Storage Bag___For men and


We hope these tips were helpful. Please share with friends see you soon.


Disclaimer: Cleaning a hat is based upon the hat owner’s discretion. Please read the manufacturer’s manual before cleaning your hat. We will not be held responsible for any damages done.