How to Best Wash Fitted Hats

Baseball cap

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It's one thing to sport your favorite fitted hat, but it's another thing to clean it properly. Hand-washing is the most effective and gentle way to do so, since it lowers the risk of shrinking the hat or damaging the brim. Follow these steps to keep your fitted hat looking like new.

Read the inside tag to find out what material your hat is made of. Most newer fitted hats are made of cotton/polyester or wool, and both require slightly different cleaning methods.

Pre-treat any visible stains on cotton/polyester hats with mild detergent or spot cleaner. Hand-wash in lukewarm water and scrub problem areas—like the headband—with a toothbrush. Let air dry.

Hand-wash fitted wool hats in cold water with mild, wool-friendly detergent. Do not scrub or wring the hat, or you risk fraying the material. Soak up excess water by patting dry with a towel. Let air dry.

Never put your hat in the dryer, since heat will damage the form. And skip the common suggestion to give your hat a quick spin in the dishwasher; hand-washing lets you keep an eye on the hat the entire time.