How to Clean Sweat Stains From a Hat




Tired and sweaty farmer with a hoe on his shoulder.

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If you’re like me and love wearing hats, you know that sweat stains can build up over time, leaving your favorite headgear looking worn and dirty. But fear not! Removing sweat stains from a hat is easier than you might think.

First, check the care label to see if the hat is machine washable. If it is, toss it in the washing machine on a gentle cycle using cold water and a mild detergent. Add a capful of vinegar to the wash to help eliminate any lingering odors. If the hat is not machine washable, fill a sink or bucket with warm water and add a small amount of gentle detergent.

Gently agitate the hat in the water, paying extra attention to the stained areas. Rinse the hat thoroughly with cool water to remove all soap residue. Next, place a clean towel on a flat surface and shape the hat around it, ensuring that it retains its original form.

Allow the hat to air dry completely, preferably in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. Once dry, use a soft-bristled brush or a lint roller to remove any remaining debris or loose threads.

And there you have it – a clean, fresh hat ready to be worn again!


  • Use a mild laundry detergent
  • Spot clean the sweat stains using a clean cloth
  • Gently scrub the stained area using a soft bristle brush
  • Rinse the hat thoroughly with cold water
  • Allow the hat to air dry completely


  • Do not use bleach or harsh chemicals
  • Avoid using hot water or high heat for cleaning
  • Do not scrub vigorously, as it may damage the material
  • Avoid machine washing or drying, unless specified
  • Do not expose the hat to direct sunlight for extended periods

Step 1

Pre-treat the hat by applying a stain remover directly to the sweat stains. Make sure to follow the instructions on the stain remover product.

Step 2

Fill a sink or basin with warm water and add a small amount of laundry detergent.

Step 3

Submerge the hat in the soapy water and gently agitate it to loosen the sweat stains. Let it soak for about 30 minutes.

Step 4

Gently scrub the sweat stains with a soft-bristle brush or sponge. Focus on the stained areas and be careful not to damage the fabric.

Step 5

Rinse the hat thoroughly with clean water to remove all the soap. Gently squeeze out excess water and reshape the hat. Allow it to air dry completely before wearing or storing.

Final thoughts 💭

Cleaning sweat stains from a hat is fairly simple with the right techniques. Whether it’s a baseball cap or a straw hat, start by spot cleaning the stains with a mild detergent or baking soda paste. Then, depending on the material, soak the hat in a cleaning solution or gently hand wash it. Rinse thoroughly and reshape the hat while it’s still damp. Finally, air dry the hat away from direct sunlight to avoid any shrinkage or damage. With proper care and regular cleaning, your hat can stay fresh and stain-free for a long time.

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