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Hat Care & Handling - How to Clean a Hat


Extend the life of your hat by properly storing, cleaning, drying & caring for it. Our Hat Care Guide provides easy best practices to keep your hats looking their best..

Brim care
Your brim is very impressionable! Storage is vitally important to maintaining the shape of your brim. Hats with brims turned down should always be stored upside down. Pressure is taken off the brim by placing the hat on its crown, thus maintaining its form.

Crown care
Be kind to your crown! Excessive handling of your hat's crown can lead to variations from its original structure or form. Get into the habit of picking up your hat, putting it on and taking it off with both your hands on the brim.

Drying your hat
If your hat gets wet, simply place it on its crown in a dry place and allow it some time to dry itself. Your hat will dry by itself. Never attempt to force dry your hat using artificial heat. Hair dryers, radiators, and other sources of high heat will shrink your hat. Before the hat dries, take the time to smooth out any perfections.

Numerous wetting and dryings can result in shrinkage. A hat stretcher is a good defense against this rare event.

How To Clean a Hat
Keeping your hat clean is easy. Here are some care tips.

  • Furfelt and Woolfelt hats can be cleaned with a soft bristled hat brush or soft sponge. Felt hats must be brushed in a counter-clockwise direction with the crown facing you. When dealing with mud, allow the mud to dry. Once it is dry it will be a great deal easier to brush off. Grease spots can be brushed out with a little cornstarch. Many folks will also use a good dry-cleaner. 

  • Oilskin hats only need a clean wet cloth. Do not use soap because the soap might affect the finish of the hat. You'll find that mud and dirt are easily wiped away with a damp cloth. 

  • Straw hats can be brushed. A small whiskbroom can be used for those deeply textured straws. Other straws can be cleaned using a soft brush, sponge, or cloth. A moist cloth is very effective. 

  • Canvas hats can be hand washed. Warm water and mild detergent is all you need. Do not attempt to force dry. 

  • All hats: Remove dust and lint from your hat periodically to avoid deterioration and soiling.

Note: Be sure to check the label inside your hat for specific care and cleaning instructions. The cleaning suggestions above are for reference should your hat not provide these details. hats.com is not responsible for damage resulting from cleaning.

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