A baseball hat that is a grimy, sweaty mess can easily be restored to its original condition with a good washing.
To begin, take a look at the tag on the inside of the hat. That should tell you what your baseball hat is made of and the manufacturer’s standard washing instructions. If the tag is still there, great. Follow those instructions. If your tag is missing or unreadable, you will need to figure out what your hat is made of.
Baseball hats are typically made of the following materials:
Cotton twill is a strong and durable material with a “cotton” look and feel to it.
Cotton polyester is a tough, bright fabric blend that is often colorfast.
Jersey mesh is a durable, colorfast knit material, and is simple to wash.
Many people are concerned that washing a baseball hat will change the shape of the cap, wreck the brim, or cause overall shrinkage.
If you have a fairly new baseball hats made of cotton blend of some type or jersey knit, you can wash the hat in a clothes washer. Most current baseball hats use a plastic form to shape the brim, rather than cardboard. Plastic can withstand a clothes wash without deforming.
A newer baseball hat, except one made of wool, can be treated with prewash spray on the dirty areas, particularly the headband. Then you can toss the hat into the laundry with the rest of your clothes. When washing, make sure your hat is washed with clothes of similar colors, and use cold or warm water. Don’t use hot water, and don’t use bleach!
Never put your baseball hat in a clothes dryer, as this will deform its shape. Ther are cheap plastic molds that you can purchase that will help keep your hat keep its form as it dries. This is optional, but it can help.
If your baseball hat is made of wool, it will have a tendency to shrink in water or in heat conditions. Wool hats should be hand washed in the sink with cool water and a mild laundry detergent. Then they must be air dried over an object, like a coffee can, to keep its shape.
Some resources suggest using a dishwasher to clean your hat. This is not recommended for any type of hat, as the high heat from the dishwasher can cause damage — even on the top rack. Dishwashers are for dishes, not clothes.
A good wash will keep your baseball hat looking like new!