Being a baseball player, my hats are constantly dirty and covered in sweat. In this instructable, I will explain the steps that I take to hand clean my hats. Each practice or game that goes by, my hats would get dirtier and dirtier. I looked up many methods myself. Some of them worked, some of them don't. So I decided to combine some of the best tips that worked for me.
Things you will need are:
- your dirty hat/hats
- a sink or bucket
- room temperature water
- laundry detergent(WITHOUT BLEACH)
- a toothbrush or something you can use to scrub the hat gently
- a towel
- something that has the same shape as your head
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Step 1: Fill Your Sink or Bucket
When filling the sick or bucket, you want to use room temperature water. Err on the side of cooler water versus hot water. You should fill your sink or bucket just enough so that your hat becomes completely submerged.
Step 2: Add Your Laundry Detergent
As the sink or bucket is filling, add a tablespoon of laundry detergent. Using a dedicated stain-fighting treatment will give you the best results. Products like OxiClean are stronger then normal laundry detergents. Dish soap will also do the trick, but wont give the best results
Step 3: Spot Clean Your Hat
Once the sink or bucket is filled, dip your hat in the water. Using the toothbrush or other scrubbing tool and the shampoo, rub the shampoo into the spots where sweat stains or dirt are. Be careful around threaded stitching. If you're too rough, the stitching can move.
Step 4: Let the Hat Soak
Once you have spot cleaned your hat, submerge your hat in the water and let it sit for 2-3 hours. If you're really in a rush, 20-30 minutes will do the trick. The longer it sits, the better the results will be. About half way through letting it sit, take a look to see if there are still any major problem areas. If you do find some, take the hat out of the water and spot was the problem areas, then submerge and let sit again.
Step 5: Rinse Your Hat
When its time to take your hat out of the water, rinse it under warm water. This will make sure you clean any remaining detergent or dirt off your hat.
Step 6: Pat Your Hat Down
After rinsing the hat, put it down with a towel to get rid of excess moisture. The hat will still be very wet. The goal of the pat down is to get rid of any sitting moisture or dripping water that is on top of the hat. This will also help make sure that water doesn't drip onto the surface that you let your hat dry on.
Step 7: Air Dry Your Hat
DO NOT PUT YOUR HAT IN THE DRYER! That would ruin the shape and the brim of the hat. Find a coffee jar, a lager bowl, or even a balled-up towel and place your hat on top of whatever you choose. This makes sure that the shape of your hat stays true. Put an extra towel under your hat to collect any extra dripping that happens. Using a small fan or hair dryer on the lowest setting will help speed up the drying process.