Learning how to clean a baseball cap the right way will help your cap last for many years, and not stink (you got to face facts, everyone’s head sweats, and all that accumulated sweat leads to bacteria, which leads to, well a lot of unpleasant things). When it comes to cleaning most things, you’ll want to start with the gentlest cleaning method first, then work your way up.

If your baseball cap is only slightly dirty, a quick soak in the sink of soapy detergent and water is all it needs. But for serious sweat stains, you’ll want to pump up the stain-fighting power.

Quick Cleaning Tips

Here’s how to wash a baseball cap if it just needs an easy refresh.

1. Fill a sink or a basin with cool water, and add a drop or two of mild laundry detergent. Dunk the cap into the solution and agitate the water to create some suds.

2. Let it soak in the solution for 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Rinse it thoroughly with cool water, and gently squeeze any excess water out of the cap, but avoid twisting the brim, which can bend it out of shape. Use a clean towel to pat the cap down, and either hang it up or reshape the cap and set it on a towel to dry.

Deep Cleaning Tips

Here’s how to clean a sweat stained cap, and keep it from stinking to high heaven.

1. Fill your sink or basin with cool water, and add a colour-safe oxygen bleach and a gentle laundry detergent.

2. To target specific stains, dip the cap into the water, then apply a bit of detergent to the stained area and scrub gently with a toothbrush.

3. Let the hat soak in the OxiClean solution according to the instructions on the tub/bottle and check on it often to see if the stains have lifted.

4. Rinse the cap in cool, clean water. Gently squeeze excess water out of the cap, but avoid twisting the brim, which can bend it out of shape. Use a clean towel to pat down the cap, you can either hang it up or reshape it and set it on a towel to dry.

If you have a vintage cap with a cardboard brim, avoid fully submerging it. Instead, spot-clean problem areas with water and a delicate laundry detergent, being careful not to wet the cardboard.