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?

Video: Cleaning Hat With Dishwasher

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

Cleaning Supplies You Will Need

Dishwasher machine

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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Step One – Examine the hat

Look at the hat carefully and check the tag from the manufacturer to ascertain what material it is made of. This will help you to 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. Do not put your hat in the machine if its tag clearly states that it should be hand-washed only.

Also, hats with frayed tears or edges should be manually washed with hands to prevent further damage. Do not wash your 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 

Pre-treat the hat with a stain removal paste or liquid that can 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 oils and dirt can be broken down by the stain removal.

Step Three – Attach to The Hat Frame

The hat frame is used to cover a hat specifically the shape of your 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 or lock the hat.

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Step Four – Empty the 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 might get stuck on 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

Put your hat in the upper rack of the dishwasher machine only 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 the hat on the lower rack, plastic components of the hat may melt due to the heat.

Step Six – Fill-up the Detergent Dispenser

Add 1 tablespoon of Borax or any other bleach-free dishwashing detergent into the detergent dispenser compartment directly and close the dishwasher.


Do not add any lemon-scented or bleach detergent in the machine because they may 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.

Also, 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

Change the machine settings to a cold, normal, and short wash cycle. Then switch off the heating or drying cycle if possible. This will prevent the formation of wrinkles and creases in your baseball hat. 

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


You can use the china, light, or delicate settings on the dishwasher machine if it has any of those options. 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 any type of hat in a dishwasher machine.

Step Eight – Remove the Hat from The 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

Open the hat like you want to wear it and place the hollow opening over a jar or any tall object so the hat can get dried. This will retain the dome shape of your hat. Don’t touch it after this until it gets properly dried.

It is important that you allow the hat to dry completely on its own at the room temp. 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. 


Do not use any heat otherwise, the hat may shrink. Leave the hat inside the hat frame (if you used one before washing in the dishwasher) till it gets dried.

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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 your 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 your 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 your 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?

Apart from dishes and hats, there are other household items that can be washed in a dishwasher machine. These items can be placed alone in any of the rack compartment or with other dishes in the upper rack or on the lower rack. Here are some examples:

Vacuum cleaner parts

Microwave oven turntables

Oven mitts and silicon trivets

Silk flowers

Toothbrush holders


Switchplate covers

Kitchen brushes and sponges

Bath toys

Makeup brushes


Golf balls


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How to Wash Hats with Cardboard or Paper Brims?

Some hats have paper or cardboard-stiffened bill. This type of hats cannot be washed in a dishwasher machine because the cardboard may likely dissolve, and the hat will be ruined. The spot-cleaning method is the only safe method of cleaning these hats. 

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 soap suds. Allow the hat to air-dry. 

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

How to Wash Hats with Wool Brims?

Since you cannot wash a wool hat in the dishwasher, it should be hand washed using a mild detergent and clean water. 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?

The first thing to do when you want to wash your vintage hat is to do the colorfastness test like earlier described. If the material is colorfast, 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?

Some tough sweat stains will not come out from your hats no matter how hard you try. The following cleaning method might help, when other methods fail. It involves the use of baking soda and some techniques.

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?

Hats should be kept in cotton bags, plastic storage bins, or in a pillowcase. If you are using a bag, 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.

Store commemorative hats in a covered bag always to prevent grease and dust from accumulating. At least 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. 

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