How do I clean the inside sweatband of a Panama hat?
May 22, 2011 6:26 AM   Subscribe

I have a real straw, made-in-Ecuador Panama hat. It's not stupidly expensive but it's nice enough. It has a cloth sweat band that, after a few months of wear in a tropical climate, has an awful sour smell. How do I best clean it?

Note I don't need to clean the brim, the crown or the outside band, but the inside sweat band that touches my head and hair.
posted by m1ndsurfer to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total)
Bacteria's causing the smell. Spray the sweatband until it's thoroughly soaked with Lysol, then let air dry. Alternately, soak it with rubbing alcohol & let dry. Try to wet just the sweatband (probably easier with a spray). That should do the trick. I used lysol similarly on an umbrella that smelled like old towels and it worked well. It's how they clean bowling shoes between customers at bowling allies too.
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 6:45 AM on May 22, 2011

I use 'bac out' -- an enzymatic cleaner to clear the bacteria out of my bike helmet. Seems like it should work on this too.
posted by daver at 6:49 AM on May 22, 2011

Got room in the freezer? Put it in there for 48 hours. Should kill most if not all bacteria, will kill the smell.
posted by likeso at 7:40 AM on May 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

There are home dry cleaning sprays available...don't know any by name you'll have to search em out.
posted by Not Supplied at 8:53 AM on May 22, 2011

Sunlight could help.
posted by krilli at 10:04 AM on May 22, 2011

I second freezing. Works for shoes too.
posted by pwb503 at 10:31 AM on May 22, 2011

I'd do alcohol and immediately dry it outside with three days of strong sunlight following. Some people swear by spraying on vodka. I've never tried that. You may have to repeat this a couple times to get the odor out, and then do it after several wearings, also.

Good luck.
posted by BlueHorse at 12:03 PM on May 22, 2011

Febreeze Sport Extreme it.
posted by paulsc at 6:21 PM on May 22, 2011

(The UV light in sunlight kills bacteria. Clean it with chemicals, and then let it hang outside for as long as you can. Really works. I've gotten rancid rag stink out of a synthetic material running shirt using only sunlight.)
posted by krilli at 9:18 AM on May 24, 2011

« Older Ovarian Cyst Woes   |   Mig langar að fljúga. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.