How to remove sweat stains from a hat

How to Remove Sweat Stains & Odors From Hats

Posted on May 10, 2023 by Patrick Scott

Spring has sprung and summer is just around the corner, and that means outdoor sporting events, backyard barbecues, and tons of fun in the sun! Your favorite hat or baseball cap is going to be spending a lot of time on your head, and all that use can lead to an accumulation of yellow sweat stains and unpleasant odors. While it can be tempting to throw stained hats away in favor of buying new ones, there are simple steps you can take to remove sweat stains and odors from your hats and extend their lifespan. 

Related: How to Get Sweat Stains Out of Clothes 

What to Know About Washing Hats

If you’re thinking about tossing your cap in the washing machine, you might want to reconsider. The fins and high-speed spin cycle of modern washing machines can cause irreparable damage to your hat, especially for hats with a structured crown (like trucker hats) or hats with wide brims. To keep your caps in good shape and maintain their colors, it’s best to opt for gentle hand washing. Afraid to ruin your favorite hats? Bring them to our Dependable cleaning experts and we’ll make sure they look as good as new! 

Often, your hat will tell you how it can be washed and if it has any special cleaning requirements on its care tag. It’s always best to read and understand the tag before proceeding with at-home cleaning. Additionally, it’s best practice to test the colorfastness of your hat before washing (this will determine if the colored dye on your garment will bleed when wet). You can do this by dampening a white rag and rubbing it against an inconspicuous area of the hat in question (inside the hat band often works well). If the rag comes away colored by the hat’s dye, do not attempt to wash the hat on your own.  

DIY Sweat Stain Removal and Spot Treatment for Hats

How to Hand Wash a Hat

To wash your baseball, athletic, and everyday caps, follow these quick and easy steps:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix cool water and one tablespoon of gentle laundry detergent. 
  2. Swish the mixture around to create bubbles within the soapy water. 
  3. Use a clean and gentle brush, rag, or sponge to spot clean problem areas on the hat.
  4. If stains persist, you can submerge the hat in the bowl and allow it to soak in the soapy water for several hours. Stir the solution periodically to break up stubborn stains. Afterwards, repeat step 3.
  5. Rinse the hat in cool, clean water until the soap is completely out and no more bubbles form. 
  6. Pat the hat dry with a towel and then hang the hat to allow it to air dry. 

Pro-Tip: To better retain the hat’s shape while drying, you can ball-up a small towel and place it inside the cap. Avoid drying hats in direct sunlight to prevent color fading.                              

How to Remove Sweat Stains from a Hat

  1. In a small bowl, mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda with ¼ cup of cool water.
  2. Using a toothbrush or rag, apply the baking soda and water solution to the stained area 
  3. Allow the solution to sit for an hour or more.
  4. Rinse the hat clean with cool water.
  5. Pat the hat dry with a towel and then allow it to air dry. 

For persistent stains that simply won’t go away, don’t throw in the towel! Get the stain removal experts on your side by visiting one of our 20+ Dependable Cleaners locations.

Related: When Should You Try to Treat a Stain on Your Own? 

How to Treat Hat Odor

Your hat’s musty smell might be making you self conscious, but it’s a snap to clean. Simply sprinkle baking soda inside the hat, let it sit for 30 minutes, then shake/wipe out the powder. This will leave your hat smelling fresh and like it’s new again! 

Read More: Why Do My Clothes Still Smell After Washing Them? 

Get Your Hat Cleaned Right, Every Time

While it’s possible to remove sweat and other stains from hats on your own, it’s important to remember that DIY methods may have their limitations, and some stubborn stains require next-level help. Not only do dry cleaners have access to specialized equipment and cleaning solutions, but we also have the expertise to tackle even the most complex cleaning problems without causing damage to your hat’s colors, fit, or shape. Every garment in Dependable Cleaner’s care undergoes our 7-point quality care inspection and is protected by our extensive quality guarantee

Professional cleaning can extend the lifespan of your hats and ensure they look their best for every gameday and event. When it comes to keeping your hats looking great, we’re always Dependable. 

Stop by a location today, or consider our convenient laundry pickup and delivery service!