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How to Safely Clean Baseball Caps

June 17, 2019

Baseball is a popular bat-and-ball game that is played between two different teams. The goal is to score points by hitting the ball into the field and running to the different bases. The team with the most points at the end of the game is declared the winner.

In the United States, there are two Major League teams—the National League and the American League. Every year, dozens of national teams gather to play at the World Baseball Classic, which is the largest international competition of the sport.

Benefits of Playing Baseball:

  • It will increase your concentration and mental focus
  • It helps to build upper body strength
  • It will strengthen the major muscle groups in your legs
  • It will improve your hand-eye coordination
  • It’s a great way to relieve stress

What Kind of Gear is Needed for Baseball?

Baseball, like most sports, require players to wear a certain attire. After all, it’d be hard to play in a pair of jeans! For one thing, you’d need a jersey. On top of that, you’d need appropriate pants, socks, gloves, and shoes. More often than not, they will have logos—this allows people (both those who are playing and watching) to distinguish what team you are on.

types of baseball gear

For the purposes of this article, however, we’ll be focusing on the baseball cap. That’s right, it’s a necessary accessory for the sport. If anything, it has been part of the traditional baseball uniform for many years. Worn with the brim pointing forward, it helps to shield the players’ eyes from the sun. Without it, the glare could easily impact their performance on the field. After all, the game is played outdoors!

Keeping Your Baseball Cap Clean

Does it surprise you that baseball caps can get dirty? Assuming that you sweated during the game (which you most likely would on a hot day), the perspiration can easily penetrate into the fabric. Over time, this can cause bacteria to grow, which would lead to bad odors. As you can imagine, the smell would only get worse if you leave it be.

Considering this, it’s important that you clean your baseball cap regularly. With that said, you don’t necessarily have to wash it after every game. It might be a good idea to clean it every once in a while, though. You wouldn’t want to be known as the one with the stinky cap now, would you?

Different Types of Baseball Caps

As you might be aware, there are several different kinds of baseball caps, all of which are suitable for the sport. Let’s take a look at some of them below.

snapback baseball cap

Snapback Caps

Snapback hats are known for having six panels and a wide flat brim. As you can probably guess by their name, they are fitted with an adjustable snap, which allows you to customize its fit. For this reason, it is often marketed as being “one size fits all”.

Trucker Hats

Trucker hats are a type of baseball cap; they’re also known as netback or mesh caps. The style became popular in the 60s after a promotional giveaway to truck drivers (thus its name). More often than not, they come with a foam front and a plastic mesh.

Adjustable Hats

Adjustable hats are exactly what they sound like—they’re adjustable. In other words, you can fully customize its fit. Depending on the style, there might be a plastic snap, nylon clip, self strap metal buckle, or velcro strip at the back.

Fitted Hats

Fitted caps are not adjustable—that is, they do not come with a mechanism that allows you to adjust the size. In fact, the backs are completely closed; there is no opening. Instead, they come in several sizes. More often than not, they’re also made from a stretchable fabric, which gives it a bit of flexibility. Similar to fitted clothing, you want to measure your head first, before choosing a size.

They are popular among baseball teams due to their clean look.

Flexfit Hats

Flexfit hats are made from an elastic material—this allows it to stretch and fit snug on the head. Put it another way, it’s an adjustable fitted hat! Similar to regular baseball caps, they feature six panels that are sewn together and a brim that protrudes at the front, the latter of which can be curved or flat.

How to Properly Clean Baseball Hats – Washing Instructions

Is your baseball cap starting to get dirty? Here are a few ways that you can wash them!

washing baseball caps

Are Baseball Caps Machine Washable?

Most of them are. However, it’s probably a good idea to double check the care label before tossing it into the machine. Certain materials might not do as well in the washer, especially if you have a top loader with an agitator (they tend to be rougher on the items).

Note: Just because your hat is machine washable doesn’t mean that you should toss it in after every game. After all, it will get tossed around. Over time, all of that movement can cause the material to wear out—this is especially true if you have a top loader with an agitator.

Place your baseball cap in a net laundry bag and seal the opening (a pillowcase works too)—this will prevent it from getting damaged by the motion of the washer. It’s perfectly fine to wash your hat with other clothes assuming that they’re of similar colors. In fact, it can actually be bad if the machine is not loaded enough. Don’t have anything else to wash? Throw in a couple of towels.

Take your ACTIVE detergent out; measure half a scoop and pour it into the machine. Set the temperature to cold and wash on a delicate cycle. Do not use hot water; that will increase the chances of discoloring. Avoid products such as fabric conditioners and bleach.

Remove your baseball cap from the machine once the wash cycle is finished. Allow the hat to air dry in a well-ventilated area regardless of the material (putting it under direct sunlight is a no-no as it can cause the colors to fade). Do not use the dryer; that can cause the cap to warp or lose its shape.

Pro-tip: Want your hat to naturally dry in a shape that’ll conform to your head? Try placing it on a plastic form. Even a jar will do!

Washing Your Baseball Hat by Hand

You don’t have to use the washing machine if you don’t have to. It’s just as effective to clean them by hand!

To begin, fill a sink with cold water (you can also use a container). Avoid hot water as that can cause the color to bleed. Measure half a scoop of ACTIVE detergent and add it to the sink. Don’t use too much—the goal is not to have a sink full of overflowing suds. It’d also make it more difficult to rinse out later!

active detergent for activewear 1

Submerge your baseball cap in the water mixture. Depending on the material, you might want to soak an inconspicuous part of the hat first—that way, you’ll be able to check whether or not the color will bleed. Once you’ve confirmed that it’s okay, let it soak for at least 30 minutes. You can soak it for longer if the cap is excessively dirty.

Pro-tip: Are there stubborn stains on your hat? If so, you might want to pretreat the liner before washing it. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the spot—it helps to use a bit of ACTIVE detergent. Baking soda can also be used to brighten things up. Avoid chlorine bleach.

Pick up your hat once the time is up. Gently massage the material with your hand; pay extra attention to stained spots. When you’re done, remove it from the soapy water and rinse it under cold running water—make sure to wash off all the soap. Squeeze the hat gently to get rid of the excess moisture. Transfer it onto a clean towel and pat it down. Avoid twisting or wringing your cap as that can cause it to lose its shape!

Place your hat in a well-ventilated area and let it air dry. Do not try to accelerate the process with a blow dryer—the heat can cause your cap to shrink.

Washing Your Baseball Cap in the Dishwasher

Did you know that you can also clean your baseball hat with the dishwasher? Well, most of them anyway. For instance, you wouldn’t want to put ones with cardboard in as they can get damaged.

using a hat frame

As far as the actual washing goes, you want to begin by putting your cap in a hat frame (these can easily be found online). Why? They will prevent your hat from bending. Before putting it in the dishwasher, make sure that the frame is closed securely.

Ideally, you want to put your baseball cap on the top rack—furthest from the heating element. If you don’t have a hat frame, you can prop your cap up on one of the metal prongs. Fill the soap compartment with a mild cleaner and run a cold wash cycle; do not use heat.

Pro-tip: Do not wash your hat with your dishes! The food residue from the cutlery can easily transfer onto your hat, which can cause staining. Instead, make one load just for hats.

Remove your baseball cap once the cycle is finished. Set the hat on top of an object such as a jar while it dries—this will allow it to keep its shape. If you have a hat frame, you can just leave it in there to dry. Depending on the material, it can take several hours to dry completely.

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