How To Clean A Hat With Sweat Stains: 6 Best Solutions For You

how to clean a hat with sweat stains

Sweat stains are a nuisance to deal with. Not only do they ruin your garment but they can also be a confidence-deterrent if they’re too visible. Sweat stains are also smelly, and if left unchecked for a long time, the color sets into the material and becomes very difficult to remove. One of the worst garments to have a sweat stain on is a hat.

To keep your hat in pristine condition, you first need to identify the type of material it’s made of. You don’t want to end up ruining your hat in the process of cleaning it. Here’s a complete guide with 6 solutions for how to clean a hat with sweat stains.

How To Clean A Hat With Sweat Stains

Sweat Stains

#1. Hand Washing

While throwing your cap into the washing machine feels like a quick and easy solution, the velocity of the spin cycles can potentially damage it. Hand washing sweat stains out of your cap can be a bit laborious, but it’s easy and allows you greater control over how much pressure you exert on the material.

Most hats typically come with washing instructions that specifically state whether or not they are washing-machine friendly. But if you don’t see a label, don’t risk it. Stick to handwashing. If the stains are deep, use a toothbrush with soft bristles to gently brush the stained area.

Also, before you wash a new hat remember to spot-test it for colorfastness. You can do this by rubbing a damp white rag on any area of the hat. If the rag becomes dyed with color, do not wash the hat in the water.

#2. Dishwasher

Dishwashers are another convenient solution for cleaning hats. They contain a network of tiny spray jets that clean dishes by pushing water out at high speeds, making them a safe method for cleaning most hats.

If your hat is made of pure cotton or polyester blend, it’s safe to wash it in the dishwasher. However, hats made from materials such as felt, wool, or leather should not be cleaned using a dishwasher as they may shrink or get damaged. Hats with cardboard brims are also unsafe for the dishwasher.

If you’re going to use your dishwasher to wash your hat, remember to place them on the top rack or whichever rack is furthest from the heating element. For the best results, get a “cap rack” or “cap cage.” A cap cage or rack locks the hat’s structure during washing to protect its shape.

You can find it at a hat store or shop online. Lastly, remember to use a non-bleach detergent because chlorine can permanently alter the color of your cap.

#3. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar are natural stain removers. All you have to do is let your hat soak it up. Vinegar is also mildly acidic, so it’s good at dissolving stains and loosening up stubborn particles. Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a naturally alkaline powder that becomes activated when combined with a liquid or an acid. And just like vinegar, it dissolves stains.

To clean your hat with baking soda and vinegar, follow these instructions:

  • Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with ¼ cup of water to make a paste.
  • Apply the paste to areas of the hat with sweat stains using a soft-bristled toothbrush and rub in small circular motions. Leave the hat in a cool area for about an hour before the next step.
  • Spray the hat with distilled white vinegar and give the stains another quick scrub with your toothbrush.
  • Lastly, rinse the hat using clean cold water, pat dry with a towel, and leave it on the balcony or near a window for air drying. Do not put the hat in your dryer because that could lead to shrinkage.

#4. Aspirin

Aspirin is a common over-the-counter medication for pain, fever, and inflammation that can be found at almost any pharmacy. But did you know that it can also serve as a detergent to remove severe perspiration stains?

To remove sweat stains from your cap using aspirin, all you have to do is crush the aspirin into powder, mix it with water, and apply the resulting paste to the stain. Just like baking soda. Once you’ve brushed the hat thoroughly, rinse it with cold water, and leave it out to air dry.

#5. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice contains citric acid and works the same way vinegar does to break down stains. Mix equal parts lemon juice with water and spread it on the stain until the cap soaks it all up. Then leave the cap to dry, preferably under the sun for about an hour, and rinse with cold water.

The stain should come off on its own without the need for brushing, and the lemon juice will leave your hat smelling fragrant.

#6. Enzyme Treatment

An enzyme-based cleaner is the most effective way to get rid of stubborn stains. It works in the same way your digestive juices do to break down your food.

Here are the instructions to follow:

  • Fully dissolve your cap in a mixture of water and enzyme-based cleaner.
  • Leave it to soak in the mixture for about 20 minutes, and longer if the stains are stubborn.
  • Take the cap out and wash it to remove the dissolved stains as instructed by the manufacturer.

Tips for Getting Sweat Stains Out of Hats


#1. Make sure you follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for cleaning.

#2. Remember to take the material into account before you decide how to clean your hat. Different materials require different solutions.

#3. Do not use any abrasive scrubbers to clean your hat. They might damage the finishing.

#4. Do not rinse your hat with warm water. It may cause shrinkage.

How to Prevent Sweat Stains on Hats

#1. Wear a roll-on antiperspirant.

#2. Use a hat liner. It goes inside your hat and creates a barrier between your hat and your head. The liner absorbs the sweat and helps prevent stains.

#3. If you are over-exerting yourself or spending too much time in the heat, relax from time to time to prevent excessive perspiration.

#4. Get a hat-saver spray. It’s a spray you use on your hat that can reduce the amount of sweat and oils that your skin produces.

#5. Take off your hat and wipe your forehead with a handkerchief every now and then.

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