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Felt hats are a true fashion piece that can complete any look. But let’s face it, figuring out how to clean them can be quite tricky because the fabric is sensitive to heat and moisture.
Whether it’s a fedora, cowboy, beret, or a Dobbs hat— here’s how you can clean a felt hat to make it look as good as new:
Take Off Any Dirt
First, remove particles on your hat’s surface, such as hair, lint, dust, and other dirt. You can use a lint roller or even a piece of tape to take them off.
If you are using a lint roller, gently brush on the surface. If it’s a tape, gently dab the sticky side across the area.
Remove the Stains
It is not always necessary to clean with water and soap, as it can deteriorate your felt hat if done repeatedly. You should try to remove the stains first before washing them thoroughly. The best tool for this is a gum eraser or any damp, gentle sponge to avoid damaging the hatband and other decorations. Rub the stain circularly until it fades. You can also buy custom sponges made to absorb dirt or any particles that are effective for spot cleaning.
Using cornstarch can also remove grease stains. Put half a teaspoon of cornstarch directly on the stain and wipe it lightly with a moist cloth. Let it settle for 5 to 10 minutes.
Another method is to use a gentle stain remover suitable for the hat’s fabric. Apply an ample amount to a damped cloth and carefully wipe the stained area. Remember to rinse the used cloth afterward to remove all the chemical residue from the hat.
Deep Clean Your Hat
If the spot cleaning is not enough, you can do a full-on wash afterward. Place the hat in a sink or bowl using cold water. To maintain the condition of your felt hat, use only a teaspoon of non-bleach detergent or any mild soap.
Do a spot test first to make sure the substance doesn’t ruin your hat’s color and fabric. Using a hat brush or any soft-bristled brush, carefully scrub the felt hat counterclockwise to clean the remaining stains and excess dirt. It is important that you scrub in the same direction.
After you have covered the entire surface, submerge it in the cold water for 20 to 30 minutes. To rinse, place under running water and gently squeeze it once you are done.
After hand washing, use a dry cloth and gently dab onto the hat. Lastly, air dry the hat. Avoid direct sunlight and place it in a well-ventilated space.
Store it Properly
The last step is to store your hat in a cool and dry place. Your felt hat must stay away from sunlight to maintain its rich color and texture.
When storing your hat, place it upside down where the crown is at the bottom. Don’t worry because the crown will not be damaged if you put it on a clean and smooth surface. This also allows the hat’s brim to stay intact.
And these are the four easy steps to clean a felt hat effectively. As you make your hat squeaky clean, keep in mind to use the right tools and be gentle all the time.