Cleaning my baseball cap.
June 4, 2005 11:39 AM   Subscribe

My baseball cap stinks (baseball style hat). It also suffers from an unsightly sweat ring. It's plain, no insignia, fancy stitching or patches. How can I clean this thing without ruining it? Suh-wing battuh!
posted by Witty to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total)
i've heard that you can put a baseball cap in the top of a dishwasher and clean it pretty well. I haven't tried it yet but i just got an old corduroy cap i was about to test it out on. of course, if you don't have a dishwasher then nevermind.
posted by puke & cry at 11:58 AM on June 4, 2005

also, they sell little plastic molds you can put your hat in and throw it in the clotheswasher, but in my experience they don't work for shit.
posted by puke & cry at 12:10 PM on June 4, 2005

I found this page a while ago;

cruftbox: How to wash a baseball cap.
posted by stuartmm at 12:17 PM on June 4, 2005

1) If the cap has been made in the last ten years, and it's made of polyester or cotton, simply toss it in to the clothes washer with the rest of your clothes. After the wash, take it out and let it air dry. Viola! A clean cap.

hm, i've tried this and it just hasn't worked once. it always distorts the hat and ruins the shape. YMMV.
posted by puke & cry at 12:22 PM on June 4, 2005

I wash my cotton baseball caps ("The Franchise" model by Twins Enterprise) with the rest of my laundry all the time and I've never had a problem.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:52 PM on June 4, 2005

I saw this on sale in Wal*Mart during a recent visit to the US. Looks as if it'll preserve the shape in the washing machine/dishwasher.
posted by essexjan at 12:55 PM on June 4, 2005

If she doesn't like your hat, you have to ask yourself if you like her. I am the proud owner of a filthy, filthy hat, and I use it as girl repellent. Maybe you could consider your hat to be seasoned as a frying pan would be, and get a new hat for impressing the ladies.
posted by jon_kill at 1:02 PM on June 4, 2005

I use the hot tapwater, a scrub brush and dishwashing liquid. Just don't let the brim get too soaked. Afterwards I hang it on a hook by the fan to air dry.
posted by HyperBlue at 4:21 PM on June 4, 2005

but how about a way to kill that stink that washing in the machine just doesn't seem to kill?
posted by plinth at 5:48 PM on June 4, 2005

Here is what you do if your are my husband:

You soak them in the kitchen sink with woolite and then scrub them with an old toothbrush. Then you use the brand new hand towel you got for your wedding and stuff it inside the cap and let it air dry to shape. Then you (or rather your wife) discover that the dark blue cap has left unsightly marks on the sparkling white towel.

Often we have a whole series of caps sitting in a row on the bottom of our bathtub. But at least I can kiss him up close without a nose plug.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:49 PM on June 4, 2005 [1 favorite]

I haven't had very good experiences with the plastic ballcap buddy-style frames. They seem to be designed for perfectly round caps with perfectly flat brims, and few baseball caps fall into that category.

Gravy's husband seems to have the right idea, though you might make sure the brim isn't made of something that will suffer from being soaked, and you may want to substitute for the white wedding towel.
posted by box at 6:21 PM on June 4, 2005

I wash mine in the shower with shampoo as I'm taking a shower myself. Where I'm at now in a desert I just wear it to dry it. I would just let it drip dry elsewhere, avoiding heat.

People use this technique with ties, I hear, but I try to avoid ties - wearing them or being around them.

However, I've been spending a lot more time in the sun, and heat, so I've had to wash it a lot more often. It used to be a black hat. With the words "Black Hat" embroidered on it in black. (I won it at a hacker/usergroup contest - long story.) Now it's kind of gray. With black letters. Which is fine, because I'm more gray hat or even white hat then black hat anyway. It's still a good way to meet nerds.

Most hats these days have plastic inserts in the bill instead of cardboard like they used to, which certainly helps for machine washing, but the main problem I've found isn't the shrinkage or deformation, but the hat will often rise to the top of a load of laundry and end up getting rubbed against the sides or lid of the washer and 'burnt', melted or worn off by the friction.
posted by loquacious at 6:31 PM on June 4, 2005

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