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Knowing how to take care of your hat is important. It will need special attention, whether it be a cowboy hat, straw fedora, or any other type of headgear. Hat companies like Stetson and Resistol make specific products for the upkeep of their hats.
Here are some tips that can help you keep your hats in good condition
- Brush off any dirt or debris that has collected on top of your hat’s brim with a natural bristle brush (a regular hairbrush).
- Use a lint roller to remove dust or hair from your fedora or dress hat. If there is one small smudge on the brim or crown, use the dry cleaner method explained below.
- For a small smudge on the brim or crown of your hat, get a piece of scotch tape that is about four inches long. Fold it over once so that the sticky side sticks together, and grab some soft cotton fabric from an old shirt or other material. Place these two items face down, so you have a double layer of tape with one layer of fabric in between.
- While pressing hard, place this package on the smudged area and pull up quickly without scrubbing. This should remove any dirt from your hat’s fibers while leaving no residue behind to damage it further.
Clean leather or cowboy hats
- To clean your cowboy hat, use leather cleaner designed for hats made out of an animal hide.
- To clean a straw hat, use a slightly damp towel to remove any surface dirt and dust. If there is a visible smudge on the brim or crown of your straw hat, apply baking soda with a toothbrush or another small brush as explained in the dry cleaning method above.
- After you have wiped off all of the dirt from your straw hat’s fibers, cover it with plastic wrap so the shape stays intact, and let it sit for two days before wearing again. This will allow it to dry out naturally, which helps prevent mold growth entirely.
- If you need to clean a silk ribbon sweatband on top of your fedora’s headband, avoid spraying water directly onto this area. You can use a moist cloth to clean it instead.
Remove any sweat stains on the headband using baby powder (talcum) and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Sprinkle enough baby powder in the stained area so that you have an extra thin layer covering the affected portion, let it sit overnight, then brush off any residual powder in the morning with your lint roller or small brush.
Mix two teaspoons of baking soda with one teaspoon of water in a small bowl. If your hat needs further cleaning, add another tablespoon of each ingredient until you have a smooth paste. Apply this paste directly to stubborn stains with your toothbrush or another small brush. Let this mixture sit on your hat for five minutes or so, and then brush off with a natural bristle brush.
If the stain is still visible after this step, dampen a toothbrush and mix more baking soda and water paste as described above. Now carefully dab the paste on only the stained area rather than brushing it all over your hat. After letting this dry out overnight, use baby powder to remove any residual baking soda that might be visible.
For suede hats, apply baby powder (talcum) directly onto any scuffs or stains using a cotton ball. As you would do for silk ribbon sweatbands, avoid spraying water directly onto suede areas because this will cause them to harden.