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How to Clean a Hat and Other Hat Care Tips

Here are some tips on caring for your hat and cleaning a hat that will make your investment last. 

Handling your Hat

  • It's always best to handle your hat by the brim. Put it on or take it off with one hand on the front of the brim and one hand on the back of the brim.
  • Avoid grabbing the crown (top of the hat), this will misshape your hat, or, with straw or raffia, cause cracks on the edges. Dirt and oil from handling will be much more noticeable on the crown, than on the brim.
  • To keep the brim shaped properly, use a hat stand, if you don't have a hat stand store it upside down - this keeps the brim in its intended shape. It's best not stack more than one hat on top of each other. You can also order a hat stretcher to keep inside of your hat. That will help keep the hat in tip-top shape, much like a shoe tree for shoes. Just make sure to adjust the stretcher so that it is not stretching the hat out of shape.
  • Avoid prolonged direct sunlight on a hat that is not on your head. This is especially true when leaving a hat inside a hot car. Excessive heat will cause the leather headband to shrink and may cause the shape of the hat to be altered. 
  • Avoid long term exposure to rain. Most hats are made to handle some rain, however, extensive exposure may cause discoloration or mishapen the hat (this does not apply, if the hat is meant for foul weather, like our oil-cloth cap). If your hat is water soaked, turn the hat upside down, on the crown, fold out the sweatband, and let it dry. This is also a good idea if the hat has been exposed to excessive sweat.

Cleaning off dust

  • For felt hat cleaning, start with a hat brush. Begin at the top top and work your way down to the brim. A hat brush is curved and soft, with bristles just stiff enough to clean a hats. It's best to use a dark brush for a dark hat and light brush for a light hat. Check out the nice hat brushes that we offer. Don't use a hair brush, wire brush or cleaning brush. Of course, you didn't need us to tell you that, did you?
  • If you don't have a hat brush you may substitute masking tape rolled inside out, but be gentle.

Spot Cleaning

  • For liquid spots, try running the affected area lightly under water, blot the area with a soft cloth and let it dry. Or, dab the spot gently with a moistened cloth towel.
  • For more stubborn stains, baby products work well. Lightly apply baby powder on stubborn stains, let it sit and then gently brush it off - this works especially well for oil stains. Baby shampoo often works better than other detergents (never use a harsh detergent on your hat!) Use very gentle blotting (never rub your hat) with a cotton cloth or use your hat brush (make sure to blot or rinse all shampoo residue off before drying). If you rub any hat too vigorously, you will cause the felt or cloth to get a dark spot, show a worn area, or pill and ball up on the surface.


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