How to Clean a Wool Hat: a Complete Guide

How do you clean a wool hat? It's a tough question with a number of answers, some good and some not so good. Fortunately, we got you covered. When it comes to cleaning such a durable yet delicate fabric as wool, there are a few things to consider.

First, it's important to handle the hat properly. If you have a wool felt fedora, don't grab it by the crown — handle it by the front and back of the brim to avoid ruining the shape of the crown. If you have a flat cap, grasp it by the peak.

Secondly, keep your hands and fingers free of dirt and grease when handling the hat. No need to add to the grime, right? Plus, it preserves the hat longer.

Finally, whether hand washing or not, be as gentle as possible since a wool hat (especially one with decorative embellishments) can be easily ruined by aggressive or abrasive cleaning.

Of course, you could simply take it to the dry cleaners and call it a day. Serious grease stains are hard to remove and are best handled by a professional.

However, if you're ready to take up the task and go the DIY route, here are the best ways to clean a wool hat.

Hand Wash Your Wool Hat With Ease

How to Machine Wash a Wool Hat (If You Dare)

Dry Cleaning (Without Going to the Dry Cleaners)

Helpful Tips to Keep a Clean Wool Hat

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

To help prevent sweat stains on the brim or crown of your hat, place paper towels or napkins inside the sweatband. Change them out from time to time, especially in the summer months or after heavy use when perspiration is high.

Saddle Up and Play It Smooth

Most sweatbands are made of leather. If the band becomes rigid, clean with a small amount of saddle soap and then use a leather conditioner to keep it supple. Take extra care that the conditioner doesn't touch the felt, which will (surprise!) leave a stain.

Speaking of sweat, if this is a regular occurrence when wearing your hat, it's good idea to turn the hat band outward and allow the hat to dry completely after each use. If stains form on the felt, dip a white cloth into an equal mix of distilled white vinegar and lukewarm water and gently dab or rub in the direction of the nap. Allow to air dry.

How to Store Your Wool Hat Once It's Clean

When not wearing your hat, the best way to store it is in a hat box or on a clean surface in a cool, dry area with the crown down and stuffed with tissue. If a hat rack is your only option, choose one with a wide, flat hook shape that will not compromise the shape of the hat's crown.

When storage space is an issue, you can stack hats with similarly-shaped crowns as long as they are not squished in any way.

Washed Up...In a Good Way

Keeping things fresh is always a good idea. Much like good health care, maintaining good hat care is a must if you want longevity. Now that you know how to properly clean a wool hat, you are sure to enjoy it for years to come.

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