How To Wash Hats Without Wrecking Their Shape

Winter means it's time to rock a ton of warm and cozy winter hats. To keep each of your hats in top shape this season, learn how to wash hats without accidentally messing up the shape. It might be safe to use all three cleaning strategies depending on your hat's style and material, but there's probably an ideal one you'll want to use to ensure the best results. If you're not super sure, just scan the label and it should have the details listed.

I was never super big on hats until I moved to Manhattan last year. Growing up in Texas and then Los Angeles, it was always too warm to really have a legit reason to rock a hat. That all changed when November struck in New York, though! Suddenly finding myself braving 11 degree weather, hats started looking pretty damn good. I ended up purchasing a really warm and cute knit beanie, a felt fedora with a little maroon bow, and one of those winter floppy hats that are surprisingly warm and good at fending off snow from getting in your eyelashes.

Each hat style requires slightly different maintenance, and the four ways to clean hats below will guarantee you can get your hat clean without ruining or jeopardizing the shape in any way.

1. Dishwasher

Wool-Lined Waxed Cotton Fowler's Cap, $30, LLBean

This method is best for cleaning warm winter baseball caps, like the one above from LL Bean. According to Mademan, you'll need a dishwasher (duh) and mild detergent.

First and foremost, take any dishes out of the dishwasher. You want to only be washing the hat. Place it on the top rack, add a thumb nail-sized amount of detergent where you would normally put dish soap, and turn off the dry heating option. Start the wash and let air dry after. Pretty simple!

2. Sink

Vegan Slouch Beanie, $32, Salt City Design

EverydayLife shared how the sink is a perfect and safe option for cleaning beanies to make sure they don't shrink. You'll need gentle detergent and a large sink.

Plug the drain and fill the sink several inches with lukewarm water. Stir in a bottle cap-sized amount of detergent and swirl your beanie around in the sudsy water for a minute or two. Drain the sink and rinse the beanie under cool water until the water runs clear.

If the beanie is made of cotton, you can ring it out. But if it's wool, roll the beanie in a clean towel to squeeze out excess water. Finish by laying the beanie flat on a clean towel to air dry. Don't stick it in the dryer or it's going to shrink!

3. Washing Machine

Multi-Color Slouchy Knit Beanie, $20, Mandalyn Bickley

Washing machines make a great choice for cleaning knit hats, according to WikiHow. To protect the hat, first seal it in a pillowcase or garment bag. Then toss into a load with similar fabrics, use the gentle/hand wash setting, select cold water, and add a capful of gentle detergent. To dry, follow the rules mentioned above for air-drying on a towel.

4. Cornstarch

Felt Fedora, $33, Shop Treasure Hunt

To clean a felt hat, Laundry.About advises simply sprinkling it with cornstarch to soak up any oils from your hair or hair products. Does it get any simpler?

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Images: Courtesy of Brands