How to Get Sweat Stains Out of Hats

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You're diligent about washing sweaty clothes, but what about baseball hats? Find out how to get sweat stains out of hats and make them look like new.

Before you throw on your favorite hat, take a closer look. We’re willing to bet it’s carrying a few (or a lot) of sweat stains. Even though hats see a lot of wear and tear, they’re not always a laundry priority. But it’s time to change that! If you want gross, sweaty hats to look like new again, we’ve got two proven methods. Here’s an easy step-by-step guide (plus extra tips) on how to get sweat stains out of hats.

The Soak Method

Ingredients

Instructions

Fill a sink with hot water, then add the Borax, laundry detergent and washing soda (basically, we’re applying laundry stripping to your hats). Submerge the hats in the water, then agitate to create suds. Let the hats soak—the dirtier the hats, the longer they should sit. Rinse in cold water, then gently reshape the hats and set them on a towel to dry.

If you have a lot of hats to wash, you can use the bathtub instead of a sink, like TikTok user @ericagrem. Just make sure to increase the amount of soap to 1/4 cup each. If you don’t have any washing soda, OxiClean is another great option. The recipe is flexible, but we suggest at least two color-safe soap products.

@ericagremstripping my dads sweaty hats 🤮 best thing I’ve done in a while #cleaning #laundrystriping #cleaningtiktok #fyp

♬ original sound – Erica Gremminger

The Scrub Method

Ingredients

  • Dawn dish soap
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Scrub brush

Instructions

Mix one part Dawn dish soap and two parts hydrogen peroxide in a small bowl. Dip a scrub brush (a dish brush or even a toothbrush works great) in the solution and scrub the stains. Let sit, then rinse in cold water. Repeat as needed.

This method is great for hats that aren’t dirty enough for a full soak, but definitely are in need of spot treatment. Remember to never pour full-strength hydrogen peroxide directly on a colored hat because it can cause mild bleaching. You can color test a small portion inside of the hat with the peroxide and soap solution to be safe.

Extra Tips for Cleaning Hats

  • Vintage hats need to be treated with a little extra care and should be spot-cleaned only. Hats made before about 1983 have cardboard brims instead of the modern plastic brim, and will become misshapen if submerged in water.
  • Some hats can be simply thrown in the washing machine with your laundry. This works best for flimsy hats that don’t need to hold a strong structure. You can also get one of these handy hat holders that helps hats hold their shape when running through a wash cycle.
  • When reshaping your hats after washing, place the cap on top of an upside-down bowl, rolled-up towel or another object that mimics the shape of your head.

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Erica Young
Erica is a cleaning and home décor expert. She knows exactly how to tidy a filthy kitchen and straighten out a mixed-up pantry! When she's not writing you'll find her organizing a closet, buying more bins she doesn't need or bingeing her latest TV show obsession.