Wool hats, when cared for properly, can last for years. However, in the course of wearing your wool hat and keeping your head warm, you are bound to run into the occasional stain or smear that mars the fabric of your favorite wool hat. Before you throw your wool hat in the washing machine or even try to clean it in the sink, take a minute to check out your cleaning options. Careless cleaning can destroy your hat and leave it completely disfigured.
Wash your hands. If you handle your hat with unwashed hands, the oils from your hands can make the hat "felt up" and look matted. In addition, instead of cleaning your hat, you will be getting it grimier.
Place the hat on top of the oatmeal can. This will help it keep its shape while you are cleaning it. If you have a Styrofoam storage head, that is even better, but it is not necessary.
Brush the hat with a dry, clean cloth. If the stain is crusted dirt or mud, it may flake off with the dry cloth. Wetting this type of stain will just make it worse.
Brush the stained area gently with a cloth dampened with fabric stain remover, then "rinse" the area with a cloth dampened with water. Do not saturate the area, or you will encounter difficulties when the hat dries, because that portion of the hat may shrink or become otherwise disfigured.
Allow the hat to dry in a warm, dry place. Some people place their hats on a flat surface, while others leave them on the oatmeal can or storage head. If your hat is stained in an area that the can will potentially push against and distort during the drying process, then you should place the hat on a flat surface instead.