Donning a hat is a great way to make a strong fashion statement. But a dirty or wrinkled hat can easily send the wrong message. If you want a crisp, clean look, keep your hats clean and wrinkle-free. Hat maintenance depends on the style and material of the hat, but a careful wash and dry will usually leave you with a hat that looks like new.
Determine that your hat is safe to wash in a machine. Read the label for the correct cleaning directions. Older hats and those made of wool may need to be washed by hand.
Test your hat to make sure the color will stay in place when washed. Apply a dab of detergent to a portion of material inside the cap, where it will not be seen. If the soap alters the color of the hat, choose a different brand or lighter soap.
Clean any stains or hard-to-remove spots with a spray-on cleaning product. Read the instructions on the bottle before applying. Most cleaners will instruct you to spray the spot and let the product set for a certain amount of time.
Buy a plastic hat form. Placing the hat on the form will help it to keep its correct shape in the washing machine. The form will also help remove wrinkles.
Wash the hat in the washer on a regular cycle, either alone or with a load of laundry. If the label advised not to use a machine, carefully wash the hat by hand in a sink with your chosen soap and warm water.
Take the hat from the washer when the cycle has finished. Do not put it in the dryer. Instead, place the hat on the plastic hat form and allow it to air dry.
Remove any wrinkles that may have occurred before or during the cleaning process by smoothing the hat with your fingers. Begin in the center of the hat and move toward the sides, gently applying pressure to press out the wrinkles. This process will be most effective if you do it while the hat is still damp.
Determine which area of the hat is prone to wrinkle and apply a spray starch to the area while the hat is still damp. Smooth out the area using your fingers. After spraying, dry the area with a hair dryer. The heat from the dryer will allow the starch to set. Remove the hat from the form once it has completely dried.