Even if you know how to properly store felt hats, you may not be as accustomed to the practice of cleaning them. Felt is a unique material that is sensitive to high temperatures, cleaning chemicals, and strong agitation. As a result, tossing your felt hats in the washing machine or taking them to the dry cleaners will often result in degraded materials. With time, you could end up completely ruining your favorite accessories.
So, what is the best way to clean a felt hat? What can you do to spot-treat stains or sweat marks on felt? Finally, how can you do a simple dust cleaning to keep your felt hat collection in peak condition? Read on to find out!
How To Spot Clean Felt Hats
Keeping your hats safely stored away while not in use is one of the best ways to prevent stains. Unfortunately, there are some things that even the best precautions cannot prevent. As a result, many felt hat and fedora owners end up with stains from chemicals, food, beverages, or natural oils.
In any case, the sooner you jump to action, the better. Felt is like most other kinds of fabrics; the longer you wait to address a stain, the harder it will be to completely eliminate it. So, try not to give the stain too much time to settle in.
Once you have identified a stain on your felt hat, you should use the following steps as soon as possible:
- Add a small amount of cool water to a cloth or soft sponge. It is very important that you only dampen your cleaning instrument, as a fully saturated cloth or sponge could end up worsening the stain. If the stain is strong (i.e. it is dark and readily apparent at first glance), you might consider adding just a touch of mild soap to your cloth or sponge. However, in most cases, a little bit of cool water is more than enough.
- The type of felt you have can also help you pick the best cleaning material for the job. For example, you should typically use a cloth or sponge that matches the color tone of your hat; dark materials for dark-colored felt, and light materials for light-colored felt.
- Use your cloth or sponge to wipe the stained area and remove any potential debris (dirt, dust, etc). Be careful to avoid any parts of the hat that should not be exposed to water, like a leather band.
- Continue rubbing the stained area using a circular motion. Typically, it is recommended to use a counterclockwise motion, though the direction of your cleaning strokes should not make a significant difference.
- If you haven’t noticed a difference in the stain after rubbing the area, it could be that it is more set in than you initially realized. In this case, you can add just a bit of cornstarch, baby powder, or baking soda onto the stained area and softly rub it into the material. You will then need to let the cleaning solution of your choice absorb any oils or moisture for at least 30 minutes.
- After waiting for half an hour or more, wipe away the powdered solution to see if the stain has been removed. If not, you should repeat the same process until the stain has been lifted or significantly reduced. Finally, let your hat air dry for a few hours (ideally in a dry, indoor area) before wearing it again.
Whether you’re trying to figure out how to clean a fedora or, more generally, how to clean a felt hat at home, the steps above should help you keep your hats clean and tidy. Additionally, it’s important to remember that prevention is often the best strategy. This is why applying a felt water stain repellant can help you keep most kinds of stains from ever setting in at all.
However, you may not always need to scrub a felt hat to keep it clean. If you’re not dealing with stains from foreign substances, you will still want to know how to clean dust or even sweat marks off of your felt hats.
How To Clean Dust Off A Felt Hat
If you want to keep your felt hat looking great at all times, it’s best to practice a little maintenance and beautification on a regular basis. Fortunately, this is extremely easy with a felt hat brush. You can simply give your hat a good brushing with a firm cleaning brush between uses. If you plan to keep your hat stored for extended periods of time, you should make sure that it is kept protected from the elements or extreme temperatures and, whenever you take it out, give it a once-over with your cleaning brush. This way, you don’t have to worry about dust settling into the fibers of your hat.
If you’re hat has already been collecting dust for a while, you may need to start with a light brushing and then continue with a lint roller or even tape. However, be gentle when using adhesive products, as you don’t want to cause any damage to the felt. Once you’ve followed both of these steps, gently wipe away any remaining debris with a soft cloth.
How To Get Sweat Marks Out Of A Hat
Thus far, we’ve addressed some of the best ways to handle specific issues you might encounter as a felt hat owner — namely localized stains and dust. However, one common problem that many people will encounter is the appearance of sweat marks on hats, particularly where the interior of the crown meets the hat brim.
Many fedoras and similar dress hats have interior hat bands to absorb sweat, but after extended use, you may find that marks appear on these bands and the felt. When this occurs, you will want to handwash your hat to ensure that the marks can be removed and your hat will not store any odors.
To clean sweat marks off hats and keep your hat looking and smelling fresh, you should do the following:
- Fill your sink (or a large bowl) with cold water. Then, put in a teaspoon of mild soap or detergent. Make sure that the cleaning solution does not contain any bleach, as this could discolor and ruin your hat.
- Use the water and soap solution to spot treat and remove sweat marks. This will help you know if the solution is too strong before you submerge the hat. In some cases, complete submersion may not even be necessary.
- Scrub the stains with a cloth or a soft brush for at least 20 minutes. Do not let water come into contact with leather bands or any other decorative elements of your hat.
- If you can remove leather and other decorative elements from the hat, you can then submerge it in the water for no more than 30 minutes.
- Then, remove the hat from the solution and carefully squeeze out the remaining water. Next, dab the hat dry with a cloth.
- Finally, allow the hat to dry in a ventilated area. Preferably, the hat should have a direct light source to provide warmth and help speed up the drying process.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, it’s not too complicated to clean a felt hat by removing stains, dust, or sweat marks. You just have to treat your hat with care! If you’re looking for the right materials to keep your hat looking pristine, you should also consider acquiring a hat care kit. It could make the cleaning process a whole lot easier!
We hope you found this guide on how to clean a felt hat useful! If you’d like to buy a high-quality felt hat to add to your collection, be sure to check out Bellissimo Hats today!