Tennis players always was their shorts, shirts, and socks; but how many regularly wash their sweat-soaked hats? Few. But should you and how do you?
Not All Hats are Created Equal
According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, some caps are made to be washed; other cheap versions are hardly worth the bother. Before you decide, they suggest you look at your hat. “A cap almost has to be constructed in a way that’s conducive to washing,” says Patrick Qualls, one of the owners of AmeriCap, a North Carolina hat manufacturer (americap.com).
He says check the material, examine how it is stitched, and look at the headband and the brim. If it’s well made — good-quality material, sturdy stitching, a plastic brim (and most caps made in the last 10 years fit that description) — it will be obvious and you can begin cleaning. If it’s a cheap hat with flimsy stitching and a cardboard visor, a good cleaning may spell its doom. Anything that cheap can be easily replaced.
How to Wash
If the hat is stained, use a prewash stain remover. Then toss the cap in the washer and wash gently in cold water. No bleach.
Or wash the hat by hand. Cool-to-warm water in the sink, mild detergent, gentle rubbing with a clean washcloth should do it. Rinse in cool water.
Some people subscribe to the idea of using a dishwasher to launder a cap. The dishwasher isn’t as abrasive as a washer, or so the reasoning goes.
Whirlpool, which knows about optimal use of kitchen appliances, doesn’t seem so gung-ho on the notion.
“Whirlpool’s Institute of Home Science has heard of instances in which consumers use their dishwashers to wash baseball caps and we’re aware there are certain accessories made for this purpose,” the company said in a statement. “Whirlpool Corp. does not manufacture these accessories and we advise consumers to use their appliances in accordance with the use and care guide for the best possible performance and ensure no warranty is voided.”
How to Dry
Experts say NEVER put your hat in the dryer unless you plan to give it to your tiny-craniumed grandson. No matter how you wash it, let the hat air dry. Place it on some kind of form — a coffee can, a canister, your head — to help it hold its shape as it dries.
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