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How to Safely Clean Baseball Caps

April 17, 2023

Baseball is a popular bat-and-ball game that’s 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 U.S., 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.

What Kind of Gear is Needed for Baseball?

how to wash baseball capsBaseball, like most sports, requires players to wear a certain attire.

For one thing, you need a jersey. You’ll also need appropriate pants, socks, gloves, and shoes, which more often than not, will have logos. That lets allows people (both those who are playing and watching) to know what team you are on.

For this article, we’ll be focusing on the baseball cap. 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.

Keeping Your Baseball Cap Clean

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 residues to accumulate, which would lead to bad odors.

Considering this, you must clean your baseball cap regularly. What laundry detergent should you use? Is it better to wash a baseball cap with cool water or hot water? What about hand washing?

For the answers, be sure to keep reading. We’ll be going through everything you need to know below.

Different Types of Baseball Caps

snapback washing instructionsAs 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 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 their 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—which allows it to stretch and fit snugly 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 Wash Baseball Caps – Washing Instructions

Here are a few ways that you can wash your baseball cap.

Machine Washing Hats

how to wash hats in the washing machineMost baseball hats are machine washable. However, it’s always a good idea to double check the care label before tossing it into the washer.

For example, 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).

Place your baseball cap in a net laundry bag and (a pillowcase works too) – that will prevent it from getting damaged during the wash cycle.

Take your ACTIVE Detergent out, measure half a scoop of powder, 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. Gently squeeze the excess water out and let the hat 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.

Hand Wash Your Baseball Hat

To begin, fill a clean sink with cold water (you can also use a container). Avoid hot or warm water as that can cause the color to bleed.

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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.

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 the hat soak for at least 30 minutes. You can soak it for longer if the cap is excessively dirty with sweat stains.

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.

Gently massage the material with your hand, paying 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

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

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). That 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.

Knowing How to Wash a Baseball Cap – FAQs

Can you wash a baseball hat with liquid laundry detergent?

You can, however, it’s best to use ACTIVE Detergent as it’s specifically formulated to remove sweat and odors from synthetic fabrics, such as the ones used in baseball hats.

How can I remove makeup stains from my favorite hat?

Pre-treat your hat by soaking it in a detergent mixture. If necessary, you can also scrub the area with a soft bristle brush. Wash as normal afterward.

Can I wash my baseball hat with dish soap?

It’s best to use laundry detergent as dish soap isn’t formulated to eliminate odor-causing residue.

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Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant brings her extensive knowledge of laundry and clothing care to the masses with her intensive cleaning guides. Her thorough understanding of fabrics, detergents, and washing techniques helps readers master the art of maintaining their wardrobe. Sophia's advice ensures that anyone can achieve professional-level results at home, keeping their garments looking pristine and lasting longer.

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