HOW TO CLEAN YOUR HAT
TALKING SNAP VOLUME 2 - SNAPS & SUDS
In this volume of Talking Snap, I get into some of the methods I use to keep my snapbacks crisp. While the cleaning instructions aren't as straight forward as a pair of socks or a tshirt, it was important to shed some insight on snaps and suds.
As the saying goes, "there is more than one way to skin a cat", the same can be said for cleaning hats. I think because so many people have encountered the problems of improperly cleaning a hat, that hat lovers have had to this outside the box and have come up with different solutions to the problem. And while there is more than one way to clean a hat, there are far more ways of ruining your hat while trying to clean it.
I am here to give you a few tips for how to clean your hats safely. Wear and tear is an inevitable result of wearing any type of garment, but when it comes to your hats, the science behind keeping it clean may be the single most often asked question in this line of work.
Check The Tag...
Most hats come with care labels which admittedly can often be hard to interpret. While my methods don't often stick to the conventional rules, I did want to post this section first as most of my method pertain to baseball caps and snapbacks. If you've stumbled upon this post in regards to cleaning a $5000 fur felt cowboy hat, I'd suggest you take a glance at the tag first before diving any further. I have provided descriptions underneath some of the most common respective care labels to help decipher the meaning of a few of the most common hieroglyphic icons.
DO NOT MACHINE WASH
DO NOT BLEACH.
DO NOT DRY CLEAN
DO NOT IRON
DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT $200
This Is How We Do It...
With a litany of DO NOT disclaimers it comes as no surprise that many people are turning to online forums and products on how to clean their hat. From dishwashers to special scrubs and fancy cleaning serums, you won't be short of finding companies willing to take your money in order to buy their product. I've used many different dedicated hat cleaning tools and contraptions, but at the end of the day, I found that the bang wasn't worth the buck and nor was the result. I've come up with a few ways to clean your hats with household items by opening the cupboard before opening your wallet. I started off with the least invasive cleaning tips before getting into the heavier solutions.
For mild touch ups and regular upkeep, the lint roller is the weapon of choice for day to day maintenance. You'll be surprised at how easily you can rejuvenate the exterior of your hats, especially darker tones where dust, debris and pet dander can grab hold to your hat. If you don’t have a lint roller around the house, make a loop with masking tap as an alternative and use the adhesive side to pick up unwanted lint. Other hat brushes and household items like pet hair brushes are very effective in cleaning hats without causing damage or having to subject the hat to liquids that may cause undesired changes to the structure of the hat.
AEROSOL DEODORANTS / AIR FRESHENERS
Febreeze or an aerosol deodorant is an effective way to neutralize unwanted odors from excessive wear and sweat. There are also a number of hat deodorizers that you'll find on the counter of a LIDS or online, but nothing extraordinary. I have to imagine that anything that is good enough for your own clothes or skin elsewhere is good enough for your hat.
Thread and stitch that fray from the hat are like those annoying gray hairs that pop up with age. They must be dealt with. Take a lighter and quickly apply the flame to frayed threads/stitches until it melts into a ball. This will seal the stitching in place as opposed to pulling at the stitch or cutting it which will only temporarily shorten the thread yet continue to compromise the structural integrity of the seam over time. Contain the problem early. Use this technique with caution and supervision.
HAND WASH COLD/LUKE WARM WATER
These tips are not just for spot stain but for when you’ve worn this hat beyond it’s years and refuse to part ways. Hand wash is the safest way to keep your hat in tact . Do not submerge the whole hats under water, but rather gently baptize that cap make sure not to wet the buckram and just the sweatband. You’ll just need just a small amount of detergent, dishwashing soap, or a mild liquid hand soap, a bowl of cold/luke warm water, and a cloth or toothbrush. On the sweatband use an old toothbrush and scrub out area with sweat stain build up. For a more gentle clean use a soft wash cloth and also use the water/soap solution with the cloth to work out the stain. Gently scrub and repeat if necessary. IMPORTANT Leave the cap to air dry. Do not use the dry machine or leave out in the sun.