How to Wash A Hat in The Dishwasher

How to Wash A Hat in The Dishwasher

A hat is a protective gear that shields you from rain, sunlight or heat, wind, and glare. They are the most popular headgear that is worn by people of all ages in different parts of the country. 

Photo Credits: bironik poroter,

Some people wear a hat casually as part of their outfit, to support a team or a form of advertisement for any business or company. Whatever you wear one for, you will agree with us that they come in handy. 

Continual use and regular exposure to environmental elements, sweat, oils, or dirt from the skin and hair leave your hat grimy. There are different methods of washing hats like using a dishwasher, handwashing, washing machine, and so on. Using a washing machine might destroy the form or shape of the hat, hence, dishwashers are a better alternative.

Dishwasher machines thoroughly clean a hat after running a successful wash cycle and retain its shape leaving it looking like it’s new. It is important that you use a dishwasher-safe detergent so that your dishwasher parts won’t be damaged. 

Also, make sure you don’t use bleach or any detergent that contains bleach or citric acid, they will ruin your hat.

If you prefer learning by video, this article is also explained here.

How to Wash Hats in A Dishwasher?

What Cleaning Supplies Do I Need To Wash A Hat In A Dishwasher?

  • Dishwasher machine
  • A Hat frame (optional)
  • Borax or any other bleach-free dishwasher detergent that is not lemon-scented
  • Stain removal or laundry additive like OxiClean or Biz(optional)
  • A Jar or tall object
  • A soft-bristled brush
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How To Wash A Hat In A Dishwasher — Steps

  • Step One – Examine the hat
  • Step Two—Pre-treat Your Hat 
  • Step Three – Attach to A Hat Frame
  • Step Four – Empty the Dishwasher
  • Step Five – Place the Hat in The Dishwasher
  • Step Six – Fill up the Detergent Dispenser
  • Step Seven – Run A Wash Cycle
  • Step Eight – Remove the Hat from The Dishwasher
  • Step Nine – Allow the Hat to Dry

Step One – Examine the hat

How Do I Know If A Hat Can Be washed in A Dishwasher?

To examine a hat before washing it in a dishwasher, check the tag from the manufacturer to find out what material it is made of. This will help you know if they are dishwasher safe. Synthetic or cotton materials can be washed in a dishwasher while wool or cardboard materials are not dishwasher safe. They get damaged during the washing cycles.

What Types Of Hat Cannot Be Washed In a Dishwasher?

Do not wash a hat in a dishwasher machine if its tag clearly states that it should be hand-washed only. Also, hats with frayed tears or edges should never be washed in a dishwasher to prevent further damage but rather be manually washed. Do not wash a hat in the machine if it is of great value to you. This is because there is always a little chance that it will be damaged.

Step Two—Pre-treat Your Hat 

How do you pre-treat a hat before washing it in a dishwasher?

Pre-treat the hat with a stain removal paste or liquid. This will boost the cleaning efficacy of the wash cycles. This depends on the state of the hat. Is it very dirty or just stained by sweat or any other substances?

Apply the paste on the hat and leave it for 20 to 30 minutes so that the oil and dirt can be broken down by the stain removal.

Step Three – Attach to A Hat Frame

Why Do I Have To Attach A Frame To A Hat To Wash It In A Dishwasher

You have to attach a frame to the hat you will wash in the dishwasher to maintain the shape of the hat after washing. The hat frame is used to cover a hat, specifically the shape of a hat thereby preventing it from curving. Open the hat frame and place your hat on top of the bulging dome so that the edge of the hat is inside. Then close the frame to firmly protect the hat.

Hat frames come in different sizes and colors. The hat frames are also dishwasher safe.

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Check out these interesting articles from our previous posts:

Video: Cleaning A Hat With Dishwasher

Watch this video to know how to wash hats in a dishwasher machine.

Step Four – Empty the Dishwasher

Can I wash my hat with other dishware in a dishwasher?

You cannot wash your hat with other dishwares in a dishwasher. There should be no dirty dishes inside the machine when you are about to wash your hat. Do not wash hats with dishes because food remains from your dishware will get stuck to your hat’s seams.

To make a big load, gather dirty hats from your family. This will save energy.

Step Five – Place the Hat in The Dishwasher

Where do I place a hat in a dishwasher?

Place your hat in the upper rack of the dishwasher machine, where it will be far from the heating element. You can place the center of your hat directly on any of the dishwasher prongs in the absence of a hat frame.

If you place a hat on the lower rack, 
the plastic components of a hat will melt due to the heat.

Step Six–Fill up the Detergent Dispenser

What type of detergent do I wash my hat with?

Use a bleach-free dishwashing detergent to wash your hat. Do not add any lemon-scented or bleach detergent in the machine because they will change the color of your hat. You can test your detergent before use by rubbing a little quantity in a spot to check if there will any color changes.


Add 1 tablespoon of Borax into the detergent dispenser compartment directly and close the dishwasher. Do not use any laundry detergent in the machine for the purpose of this cleaning.

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Step Seven–Run A Wash Cycle

What dishwasher mode do I wash my hat with?

Set your dishwasher machine settings to cold, normal, and short wash cycle. Turn off the heating or drying cycle, to prevent the formation of wrinkles and creases in your baseball hat.  Use the china, light, or delicate settings on the dishwasher machine. Do not run a drying cycle after washing your hat.


The time taken to clean a hat in a dishwasher depends on how messy the hat is. Small stains are cleaned quickly and so take a shorter time while heavy stains can take more time like 20 minutes. This time is enough to clean a hat in a dishwasher machine.

When the hat is dried, it is ready to be worn.

Step Eight – Remove the Hat from The Dishwasher

Can I dry my Hat in a dishwasher?

Do not attempt to dry your hat in a dishwasher. If you cannot switch off the dry cycle, make sure you remove your hat from the machine before the drying cycle begins. The heat produced during a drying cycle can melt or shrink any plastic components of your hat.


Some dishwashers have a display function indicating the beginning of a drying cycle.

Step Nine – Allow the Hat to Dry

How do I dry a hat after washing?

To dry a hat after washing it in a dishwasher, open the hat like you want to wear it. It is important that you allow the hat to dry completely on its own at the room temp. Place the hollow opening over a jar or any tall object so the hat can get dried. This will keep the dome shape of your hat. Do not touch the hat after this until it gets properly dried. Do not use any heat otherwise, the hat may shrink.

You can place it on the kitchen table or counter until it gets completely dried. Or you can place a fan close to the hat to quicken the drying process. 


Leave the hat inside a hat frame (if you used one before washing in the dishwasher) till it gets dried.

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How To Wash A Hat In The Dishwasher Additional Tips 

  1. Always check the hat for material, manufacturer’s information and washing instructions tag inside the hat. If no specified information about the hat, check the company’s website for clarification. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions. 
  2. Before cleaning a hat, you should find out if the hat is colorfast. You can test this by damping clean and white cloth with warm water. Then rub the wet cloth on a discreet area of the baseball hat and check if the color pigments from the material run. If the color doesn’t transfer to the cloth, the hat material is colorfast. If the dye transfers to the white cloth, then you can not wash them in the dishwasher because it will get ruined. 
  3. Do not use any detergent that contains bleach, citrus acid, and lemon-scented.
  4. Don’t wash a hat with dirty dishware in your dishwasher machine.
  5. Do not run a drying cycle or use a dryer or heat source to dry your hat, it will ruin it.
  6. Don’t air-dry a hat under direct sunlight. Allow it to dry by itself in your kitchen counter hung over a jar or tall object.

What Other Item Can You Wash in A Dishwasher?

The following are items that can be washed in a dishwasher:

  • Vacuum cleaner parts
  • Microwave oven turntables
  • Oven mitts and silicon trivets
  • Silk flowers
  • Toothbrush holders
  • Hairbrushes
  • Switchplate covers
  • Kitchen brushes and sponges
  • Bath toys
  • Makeup brushes
  • Mouthguards
  • Golf balls
  • Showerproof
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How to Wash A hat with Cardboard or Paper Brims?

The spot-cleaning method is the only safe method of cleaning of washing hats made from cardboard or paper brims. To wash the hat, mix one teaspoon of mild detergent and one cup of warm water to avoid getting your hat too damped. Then use mixture and a soft brush to scrub stained areas on the hat gently. Dip a clean white cloth in water and wipe off the soapsuds. Allow the hat to air-dry. 

These hats have paper or cardboard-stiffened bill. These hats cannot be washed in a dishwasher machine because the cardboard will dissolve, and the hat will be ruined.

Note that you may repeat these steps many times to completely remove the stains.

How to Wash Hats with Wool Brims?

To wash a hat with a wool brim, using a mild detergent and clean water hand wash the hat. Rub the soap and water mixture into your hat softly without twisting or scrubbing the fibers. Rinse the hat in water and press it with a towel thick enough to absorb most of the dampness or moisture. Allow the hat to completely dry on a jar or tall object. 

How to Wash Vintage or Commemorative Hats?

To wash a vintage or commemorative hat, first, un a colorfastness test. To wash a colorfast vintage hat, add one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to one cup of lukewarm water. Mix this solution thoroughly.

Wet a clean cloth with the soapy solution, wring out water and wipe down the hat. Dip another clean cloth in clean water and wipe the hat clean. Leave the hat to air-dry. Don’t immerse your hat in water because it might be built with cardboard and the hat can be damaged when soaked in water.

If the hat is a commemorative type with an autograph, store the hat in a cool, dry, and dark place. This will prevent the growth of mildew or mold and fading of the material. Before you wear an autographed hat, set the signature ink first.

Use a piece of white pressing fabric to cover the signature. Then iron the pressing cloth at a high temperature. This will set the signature ink.

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How to Remove Tough Sweat Stains from Hats?

To remove tough stains from a hat, add baking soda (4 tablespoons) to a small quantity of warm water in a container or bowl. Stir this mixture continuously until it forms a paste. Apply the baking soda mixture to the stained area using a spoon. Then scrub the area with a soft brush.

Leave the mixture on the soiled area for about an hour to soak up the stain. After one hour, rinse the paste out of the hat with cool clean water until the baking soda is completely washed off. Dab the wet area with a clean towel to absorb water. Then allow your hat to dry completely on its own. You can turn on the fan close to the fan to hasten the drying process.

How to Store A Hat?

To store a hat after washing in a dishwasher, store the hat in a cotton bag, plastic storage bins, or in a pillowcase. Ensure that there is nothing in it that can compress your hat, thereby altering its shape. Always store your hat in a cool, dry place far away from moisture, direct light, and heat.

To store a commemorative hat, store it in a covered bag to prevent grease and dust from accumulating on it. Once every year, lightly brush or dust the hat to keep it clean.

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If you wear a hat either to work or to play frequently, it needs some thorough cleaning occasionally. Before you wash them in the dishwasher, make sure you read the manufacturer’s instruction tag inside the cap for instructions on how to clean and maintain your hat.

In addition, you must ensure they are dishwasher safe. Dishwasher machines wash hats quickly and they come out looking fresh and sparklingly clean. 

However, you must be careful when washing them so that the machine does not ruin the hat. Follow all necessary precautions or instructions stated here especially those from the manufacturer and you will have the same result all the time. 

How to Wash A Hat in The Dishwasher — Related FAQs

How Do You Hand Wash A Hat?

To hand-wash a hat, physically examine the hat for stubborn stains. Using a brush, apply a cleaning solution to the spots that have stains on then. Make use of a detergent that is mild and will not fade the color of your hat. A hat made from white-colored materials can be washed with detergents that contain bleach.

After spot cleaning the hat, soak it in a washing solution. Gradually wash the hat using a soft brush. After that, spot clean the hat again for leftover stains. Rinse the hat properly. Make sure you get rid of all the soap used in washing the hat. Then let the hat slowly dry. Make use of a hat frame while drying the hat. Do not put the hat in a dryer as it will shrink the cap. 

How Often Should You Wash A Hat?

Wash your hat at least five times per season. This will prevent the hat from giving off a foul smell. Before washing your dishwasher, ensure you are using a detergent that will not run the colors on your hat. To assess if your hat is colorfast, using a little part of the detergent, make a washing solution with water. With the aid of a small brush apply the cleaning solution to an obscure part of the hat. If the color runs, then the detergent is not safe for the hat.

How Do You Wash A Baseball Hat Without Ruining It?

To wash a hat without ruining it, follow these steps:

  • Fill a bowl with a bucket of water. The water must be lukewarm, and this will prevent the hat from losing its shape after it has been washed. 
  • Add one tablespoon of bleach-free laundry detergent. Use a dedicated stain-fighting detergent like Oxiclean for the cleaning process.
  • These types of detergents are excellent at fighting tough stains on your hat’s fibers.
  • Spot clean your hat, as required. Visually inspect the hat for any problematic areas. Using a toothbrush, apply the cleaning solution onto any problematic area on the hat. Use a shampoo to wash off any sweat stain on the hat.
  • Pay attention to the threaded parts of the hat, do not wash those areas too vigorously; else you will ruin the artwork.
  • Put the hat in your cleaning solution and let it sit there for a while. Do this immediately after spot washing the hat. 
  • After an hour, inspect the hat. If there are still any lingering stains, then spot clean those areas again.
  • Rinse off the soap from the hat using warm water. Ensure you get rid of all the soap on the hat before letting it dry.
  • Pat down the hat using a towel to remove excess moisture. Use a microfiber towel when patting down the hat and do not be aggressive. 
  • Place the hat in a container and let it dry. The box will help the hat retain its shape while it is drying. A hat frame is an excellent option. 

How Do You Clean A Stinky Hat with A Dishwasher?

To clean a stinky hat in a dishwasher machine, follow these steps:

  1. Pre-treat your hat by spot cleaning any area that has a stubborn stain. You can make use of a stain removing solution. Make sure you do not use a detergent that contains bleach, it will make the color of your hat to fade.
  2. Place the hat on the top rack of the dishwasher and run the dishwasher wash cycle on gentle. This will prevent the hat from being deformed. 
  3. After the wash cycle is completed, air dry the hat. Make sure you use a hat frame to hold the hat in place so it does not shrink as you dry it. 

Why Does My Hat Smell Bad?

Your hat smells because of the buildup of sweat and dirt.

Over time, continuous use of your hat will make the hat give off a foul smell. The hats you wear especially while exercising collect a lot of sweat and if not washed properly, your hat will stink. To get rid of the foul smell, you must wash the hat.

Do not wash a hat in a dishwasher or a washing machine if the tag on the cap states that it cannot be machine washed. Hand washing your hat is the best way to get rid of the foul smell in your hat.

How do I clean a snapback hat?

To clean your snapback hat, you will need the following items:

  • Warm water 
  • A toothbrush
  • Mild soap 
  • A towel.

To clean your snapback hat, follow these steps:

  1. Spot clean the snapback hat: Make a wash solution using water and mild soap. Using the toothbrush, apply the wash solution to problem areas on the hat and gently scrub. Using a towel, wipe the cap clean. Repeat this step again if necessary.
  2. Wash the snapback hat inside and out: To clean the snapback hat, dip the towel into the wash solution and gently scrub the hat with the towel. After cleaning the hat, properly rinse off any suds left on the hat using clean water.
  3. Let the hat dry. Do not put the hat in a dryer. Put the hat in a hat frame while it is drying. This will help keep the shape of the hat after drying. In place of a hat frame, you can use a coffee can or any other canister.

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