Washing a Ball Cap
May 16, 2011 8:27 AM   Subscribe

Best way to wash a baseball cap?

I have a LOT of baseball style caps. Most are in great condition, but a couple, I use for running or working out, etc, and they get quite dirty...

I have a couple of wool ones, cotton ones and some synthetic ones. I have read online that you should put them in the clothes washer and other places that say you shouldn't. I have also read that you should place them in the dishwasher, and others that you shouldn't...

Just looking for some helpful hints and/or suggestions.

posted by dbirchum to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Just one data point, but I've washed mine in the top rack of the dishwasher (on the "quick" cycle) and had great results.
posted by ORthey at 8:36 AM on May 16, 2011

I have successfully washed non-wool caps on the top rack of the dishwasher. I think I take them out before the drying cycle (can't remember because I don't do it very often!), and just let them dry in the air. I know there was another thread about this here somewhere...
posted by rtha at 8:36 AM on May 16, 2011

This is the thread I was thinking of. It's not the only one!
posted by rtha at 8:38 AM on May 16, 2011

I have always used one of these cap cages in the washing machine. Air dry.
posted by mkb at 8:39 AM on May 16, 2011

I throw my caps (wool and otherwise) right into the washing machine/dryer. Never had a problem.

But I'm a wearer, not a collector. If you use the caps for activities I'd say wash them like anything else. They're going to be filthy otherwise and if they wear out then replace them.
posted by unixrat at 8:53 AM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

The washer mangles the bill in my experience-- a hat that's been thoroughly, repeatedly sweat-soaked tends to have a fragile bill.

I've never used the dishwasher because I'm not going to run it for a whole cycle to clean a hat or two and I don't want a porous, cloth hat in with dirty dishes and food particles flying around.

I wear mine in the shower when I want to clean it. Get it really wet, take it off and wash the band, interior and underside of the bill with soap (I use Dr. Bronner's peppermint liquid, but have also used astringent bar soap. I dunno if I'd use scented detergent bars and definitely wouldn't use "beauty bars"). Rinse thoroughly. Place cap on your head, apply soap to exterior and bill top, and scrub hard-- you're not going to destroy the shape you like because IT'S ON YOUR HEAD! Rinse thoroughly. Place cap somewhere dry, try it on whenever you think of it during the drying process to make sure it's not shrinking and stretch it while it's still damp if it does. I find it works well.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:29 AM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

My approach is to wash the caps in laundry with the delicates, and let them air dry and I have no complaints. The bill has held it shape thus far.
posted by dry white toast at 1:46 PM on May 16, 2011

I just throw them in the washing machine with whatever else is being washed. I've never had one damaged but, as with unixrat, I'm not a collector, just someone who does a lot of sweat-producing activities and no hair to soak up the sweat.

If it's a cap that's particularly valuable to you in some way, you could get it dry-cleaned.
posted by dg at 3:19 PM on May 16, 2011

I've always used a plastic doohickey like this and put it in the top rack of the dishwasher (sans dirty dishes). I would strongly suggest not putting caps in the washing machine.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:21 PM on May 16, 2011

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