How to keep my new hat stain-free?
August 30, 2018 12:23 PM   Subscribe

I have a hat made partly of paper fibers that has been deeply stained by the oil from my forehead. I've given up this hat for lost, but how can I keep this from happening to my new hat?

I own this hat and I have been very happy with it, except for one thing.

I have very oily skin, and over time, the oil from my forehead has wicked into the sweatband of the hat and into the hat itself, making a large dark stain on the front of the hat. I'm pretty sure this is because the hat is made partly from paper fibers. I have ordered a new identical hat; how can I protect my new hat from ending up like the old one? Is there some kind of oil-proofing treatment I can apply to it? Please help!
posted by all the light we cannot see to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total)
Can you replace the interior sweatband occasionally?
posted by acidnova at 12:27 PM on August 30, 2018

How is the interior sweatband applied to the hat? I think acidnova is on the best course, to just replace it when it starts to look a bit grotty (I'm assuming that the stain took, like, months to develop, not days). I could also see taking a textile with a moisture barrier on one side of it and stitching that over the sweat band, or maybe fitting it in between the band and the straw.

Basically, figure out how to apply a sacrificial layer/surface to where you sweat on the inside of the hat.
posted by kalimac at 12:41 PM on August 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Maybe try this teflon spray on the back of the band in your old hat, then wear the hat backwards around the house to test?
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:43 PM on August 30, 2018

The sweatband is sewn into the hat itself. I'd have to pick the hat apart to get it off.
posted by all the light we cannot see at 12:43 PM on August 30, 2018

You could glue in something like a knit fabric headband to buy some time (check notions department of a fabric store for options), but honestly, that is a common hat style. You're probably going to have better luck getting one made with straw / leaves and no paper or one with a different built-in sweatband. It's the end of summer, you can probably find them on sale now.

I would not use fabric with a moisture barrier, that will feel gross.
posted by momus_window at 1:14 PM on August 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thinking way outside the box here: Could you pre-emptively oil the hat with a different oil that will not darken/oxidize? Mineral oil maybe? The fibers will then not be so eager to absorb your face oils. You could test this on the old hat you currently own before ruining the new hat.
posted by DSime at 1:40 PM on August 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Also, before giving up on the current hat entirely, try sprinkling it liberally with baking soda and cornstarch mixed together and setting it aside for a couple of days. Sometimes this will draw out oil stains (though I have never tried this on woven paper so it would be really experimental).
posted by DSime at 1:49 PM on August 30, 2018

Here and here are some guides on maintaining straw hats. Since it sounds like you already have given up on your first hat, you could use it to try out these methods to see what works.
posted by slkinsey at 2:23 PM on August 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

The sweatband is sewn into the hat itself. I'd have to pick the hat apart to get it off.

Boo, yeah, that's a dead end. Sticking a sacrificial layer over the sweatband might still work, though - being careful with glue that won't seep through and give you a new, different stain.
posted by kalimac at 2:39 PM on August 30, 2018

It's too bad you ordered your replacement already. You might've gone a size up and then basted in a terry cloth sweatband. Of course you could still do that but the hat might be too tight now. Or try a microfiber cloth, which would be thinner but still absorbent.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:21 PM on August 30, 2018

Buy some cloth headbands and wear them when you wear your hat? You could also try a mattifying spray—I also have oily skin and they don’t work for me, but they might for you. I personally just blot a few times a day (paper napkins are ideal for this).
posted by Autumnheart at 4:54 PM on August 30, 2018

You can get disposable adhesive hat band liners. Sometimes they double as collar shields. They are literally like little maxi pads between forehead and hat. I use them and like them.

I mean, you could probably actually use pantyliners. I might try that myself; pantyliners are cheaper than the brand of collar/hat liners I got on Amazon. Or the kind of ultra-thin maxi pads that have a soft surface rather than a rough mesh surface.
posted by snowmentality at 4:56 PM on August 30, 2018

Put a thin maxi pad (like a pantyliner) into the hat so it sits against your skin and absorbs the oil / sweat.

U by Kotex pantyliners are excellent for this purpose - they're paper-thin, the adhesive goes edge-to-edge, they don't peel apart with friction, and they feel soft like cotton. I use 2 them, overlapped, as armpit shields, to keep shirts from showing moisture.

The main caveat is that the adhesive is a little too good, so heat + pressure will really make it melt into whatever it's stuck on. Change them frequently, like maybe after every 4 hours of heat they endure.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:19 PM on August 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

« Older Planning to invest $150 in stock monthly, should I...   |   Mispronouncing words at work... to correct or not... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.