What is the best way to wash a baseball cap made out of cotton? I’m pretty sure the bill is plastic inside the fabric. Can I put it in the dishwasher?
Hanna Friedman, Boulder, CO
I’m glad you provided all these details so that I can tell you what is the best way to wash a baseball cap. It helps to know that the fabric is cotton and the bill is not cardboard. That combination of materials makes it simple to launder without fear of warping it. Otherwise, you’ll want to reference this page for tips on cleaning wool or cardboard: https://www.tipsbulletin.com/how-to-wash-a-baseball-cap-the-ultimate-guide/
While you could clean the cap in the dishwasher, you run the risk of damaging it. The water in a dishwasher gets very hot and that can fade the color and shrink the hat. Instead, you’d be better off laundering it by hand or in the washing machine.
If you choose the machine, you can protect the hat with a cap shaper. It’s a plastic cage that helps the hat retain its shape. But be sure to use mild detergent and the delicate cycle with cold or lukewarm water.
Otherwise, the safest bet is to handwash. First, use a wet cloth or old toothbrush dipped in soapy water to rub away sweat stains. Then soak the cap in suds for three hours before you rinse it. Finally, let it drip dry out of direct sunlight.
In addition, if you’re concerned about the dye fading, test it first. Dampen a white cloth and rub on an area inside the brim. If the color transfers to the cloth, you’ll have to be very careful about what detergent you use. Plus, stick to cold water only to prevent bleeding.
In conclusion, you may find that shampoo is a good way to remove sweat and oil stains without harming the cap.