How To Best Protect, Clean, and Repair a Hat

How To Best Protect, Clean, and Repair a Hat

Our modern society has a throw-away problem. Once something is deemed “old” or “broken,” it’s thrown away.  For example, rather than learning how to clean a white hat, it may actually be easier to buy a new one each summer. With new options available at every turn, it’s easy to replace used items for an “upgrade.” But this mentality is leading to the two billion tons of waste created each year. For the sake of our planet (and ourselves), it’s time to make a switch. Simple acts like protecting, repairing, and yes- just properly washing items, can keep them out of landfills for longer.

When it comes to hats, the first and most important step to reducing waste is to choose a hat that’s made to last. Look for hats that are made with durable, natural materials like cruelty-free wool and organic cotton. A well-made hat may cost more up front, but in the long run, it’ll be well worth it.

Daily Care: How to Store a Hat

Your hat is made to be worn and enjoyed, so don’t be afraid to use it as you please! When your hat is not in use, storing it properly will keep it in good condition for longer. Ideally, keep your hat on a hat rack when you’re not wearing. Even if your hat is crushable or packable, storing it in the shape you want it to stay is beneficial. If you don’t have a hat rack, place your hat upside down on its crown. This will help the hat retain its shape and keep unnecessary wear from flattening the hat.

Make Your Hat Last Longer: How to Waterproof a Hat

Some hats, like those made of leather, often come with natural water-resistant ability. But regardless of your hats material, it’s easy to give it an extra level of protection by waterproofing it. Not only will a waterproof hat keep you dry in the rain, it makes your hat more resistant to accidental spills and stains.

The product we recommend for waterproofing is Nikwax Waterproofing Spray. This is a non-toxic product that is safe for you and your hat, and you can use it on any hat material. Depending on your hat’s material, how you apply the waterproofing finish will vary. Watch this quick video for detailed information about how to waterproof each hat material.

Keep Your Hat Looking New: How To Reshape A Hat

Even if you give your hat good care, it may still get bent out of shape. Traveling, hiking, and everyday use can lead to your hat getting accidentally crushed or jostled. Luckily, getting your hat back into the shape you prefer is simple.

Many Conner Hats come with adjustable brims that feature a bendable wire inside. If your hat has this feature, you can use your fingers to bend your hat brim as you like, and quickly smooth out any bumps or uneven parts of your hat brim.

If your hat doesn’t have a wire brim or you need to reshape the crown, use steam from a pot of hot water to manipulate it. Wool, straw, and cloth hats are easily reshaped using this method. Here’s what to do:

Bring a pot of water to a boil, and then hold your hat over the steam that is created from the water. Allow the hat to soften with the heat, and then reshape the hat as you please. Let the hat cool completely before moving or wearing it. Once it’s cool, enjoy a perfectly reshaped hat!

Stains Happen: How To Clean A Hat

Whether due to an accidental spill or just the wear and tear of everyday life, a well-loved hat will likely acquire a stain or two through the years. Keeping your hat well-waterproofed can help reduce the severity of these stains, but when they do happen, this is how to clean a hat.

How to Clean a Cloth or Straw Hat

Cloth hats made from organic cotton or straw hats made from raffia or toyo straw are best treated by spot-cleaning. Use a cloth damped with cold water and a small amount of plant-based soap (like this biodegradable option) to clean smaller stains. If necessary, gently hand wash your cloth hat in the sink. If you’re washing lighter colors, keep reading to learn how to clean a white hat.

How to Wash a Leather and Suede Leather Hat

If your oily leather hat gets a stain, you can try to remove it by firmly rubbing your thumb across the stain, or by using a leather-colored chalk to soak up oil-based stains. If your stain isn’t budging, use a leather dressing to darken and further waterproof your hat. This will mask the stain and reduce the risk of future damage.

A suede leather hat is best washed using a suede brush or fine-grit sandpaper to gently brush out stains. For future use, make sure to waterproof your suede hat to increase its durability.

How to Clean a Wool Hat

Wool is ideal for year-round, multi-season wear. This durable and timeless material is also quite easily kept in like-new condition. To remove lint, grass, or other surface stains, use a lint brush or the sticky side of a piece of tape to lift the unwanted material off. To protect wool from deeper stains, waterproof it before use.

Tricky Hat Washing: How to Clean a White Hat

Uh-oh! You’ve managed to get that fresh white hat you love scuffed up. In general, to learn how to clean a white hat, use the techniques best-suited to its material. For cloth hats, spot cleaning (perhaps more than once), should be enough to clean your white hat. If you’ve tried these tips and you’re still not sure how to clean a white hat, contact the customer service for the hat company you’ve purchased from. They may offer a cleaning service, or suggest that you take your white hat to a dry-cleaner that specializes in headwear. 

 how to clean a white hat

How to Clean a Hat with Sweat Stains

If you’re often working or enjoying outdoor activities, sweating in your hat is inevitable. But those dark, unsightly rings around your hat aren’t. If you’ve attempted to clean a hat with sweat stains by spot treating or hand washing with soap, but had no luck, try this! For colorfast, cloth hats, make a paste of baking soda and water, and gently brush across the sweat stained area. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then remove with cold water. Let your hat dry completely before wearing it again. And, to prevent having to clean a hat with sweat stains again, finish your hat with waterproofing spray so that it doesn’t absorb sweat.

By learning how to clean a hat and keep it in good condition, you can prevent unnecessary items from being thrown away (and from being created in the first place!). 

Do you have a question about how to clean a white hat, a hat with sweat stains, or any other tricky issue? Contact us- we’re happy to help!

So, why is a hat company telling you to buy less? This music video made by our founder, Will Conner, will explain why.

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1 comment

RE: Order

I recently purchased the following hat:
Aussie Cooler Canvas Mesh Hiker Hat – Beige / Small

It is a little tight.
The card that came with it said to contact you for instructions to stretch it a little.

Looking forward to your reply,


Don Schmidt

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