How to Clean a Straw Hat: Methods for Every Level of Grime

When the weather is warm and the sun is shining, chances are you're not leaving home without a straw hat. A must-have at the beach, on tropical vacations, and even crisp fall days, straw hats are easy-breezy accessories that are as sensible as they are stylish. They also come in countless shapes and styles, from cowboy hats and stetson hats to fedoras and floppy hats.

The thing is, as with any hat you wear, eventually it's going to get a little dirty. To help you clean up your act, look no further than our step-by-step guide on how to clean a straw hat from low-level grime to full-on filth.  

Different Types of Straw

How to Clean a Straw Hat: Methods for Every Level of Grime

Before you roll up your sleeves and get cleaning, you need to know what kind of straw you're dealing with because not all straw is created equal. There's shantung straw, panama straw, raffia straw, hemp, sea grass, toyo straw (also called paper braid)...and the list goes on. Every type of straw has a different level of durability and water resistance, so read the hat care label to find out if it can be cleaned with water.

If your hat doesn't have a label, pay attention to the tightness of the weave. A straw hat with a loose weave is probably not as strong as one that is finely woven. Also, just because you have an expensive hat doesn't mean it can withstand being doused with water. Make sure you do your homework before treating a straw hat with water.

Rage Against the Machine

Do we really need to tell you that you shouldn't put a straw hat in the washing machine? Well, consider yourself told. A washing machine will totally wreck your hat, so don't do it.

How to Spot Clean a Straw Hat: Low Dirt Level

How to Clean a Straw Hat: Methods for Every Level of Grime - Low dirt level

How to Remove Stains from a Straw Hat: Medium Dirt Level

How to Clean a Straw Hat: Methods for Every Level of Grime - Medium dirt level

How to Hand-Wash a Straw Hat: High Dirt Level

How to Clean a Straw Hat: Methods for Every Level of Grime - High dirt level

How to Store Your Straw Hat

How to Clean a Straw Hat: Methods for Every Level of Grime - Storage

You wouldn’t leave your gadgets and gear out in the sun to get destroyed, so treat your hat the same way. Keep it in a cool, dry place — a hat box is ideal. If the brim is curved, store the hat upside down to protect the brim's shape.

Never leave a straw hat in direct sunlight as this will cause it to become brittle and break.

Don't keep a straw hat in a plastic bag since this can discolor the hat and trap moisture, which could cause mildew.

The Final Straw

How to Clean a Straw Hat

If you still have questions after all this talk of straw hats, there's nothing wrong with dropping by your local dry cleaner to find out which method is best for your hat. Whatever you end up doing, the bottom line is that we want you to enjoy your hat for years to come. Don't miss out on the latest mens straw hats and womens straw hats that promise plenty of good times ahead.


If you need help washing a different kind of hat, check out our complete guide on washing hats.


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