How To Wash Hats In The Dishwasher

January 9, 2023
Dishwasher Repair

Have you ever considered washing your hat in the dishwasher? Yes, you read that right! Strange as it might sound, the dishwasher is the best place to wash your hat without knocking it out of shape. Read on to find out what to do!

Types of hats that you can wash in the dishwasher

While the most common hat to wash in the dishwasher is a baseball cap, this method also works for bucket hats or any cotton or synthetic based hat that you’d be reluctant to throw in the washing machine. Hats made of materials such as leather, suede or straw, however, aren’t suitable to be washed in the dishwasher. 

Why the dishwasher?

The great advantage that the dishwasher has over the washing machine is that it doesn’t tumble or agitate its contents. This means that an item like a hat is able to retain its shape while being washed. Using the dishwasher is also easier and more thorough than hand washing. 

Before washing your hat

Before you start the dishwasher cycle with your hat, have a close look at the tag inside. As stated previously, cotton and synthetic materials should be fine in the dishwasher, but if the label explicitly states your hat should be hand-washed only, then it’s not suitable to wash in the dishwasher.

Also, take note of the condition of your hat. If it’s frayed or has holes in it, a gentle wiping down with a damp cloth may be preferable. You don’t want to risk your beloved old hat getting more damage.

 If your hat has any particularly dirty marks or stains, try gently rubbing them with a damp cloth and a mild detergent before you begin. This ensures that your hat has the best chance to get perfectly clean. 

Assemble what you need

Before you get started, assemble everything that you need. If you’re particularly worried about your hat losing its shape, you can place it inside a hat frame before putting it into the dishwasher. Hat frames can be purchased online, although they aren’t strictly necessary. 

You’ll also need borax or a gentle dishwasher detergent that doesn’t contain bleach. 

Place your hat correctly

Whether your hat is in a hat frame or not, it’s essential that you place it on the top rack of the dishwasher to wash it. This is so that your hat is as far as possible from the dishwasher’s heating element, and therefore less likely to sustain heat damage. If you’re not using a hat frame, place your hat in the center of the top rack, with a clean cup or bowl beneath the crown to help it keep its shape.

Make sure your dishwasher is clean

It should go without saying, but please don’t wash your hat with a load of dirty dishes! This could result in food residue soaking into your hat and your hat ending up even dirtier than before. Make sure you’re washing your hat on its own.

If it’s been a while since you cleaned your dishwasher, make sure that the filter is cleaned out and that no food particles are on the bottom.

Choose the wash cycle

First, fill the detergent compartment with the detergent of your choice, ensuring it’s either plain borax or a gentle dishwasher detergent. Then, select whichever cycle is the shortest and coldest. This differs depending on your dishwasher, but most dishwashers have a delicate cycle, and some have the ability for you to manually adjust the heat settings of each cycle. 

Remove your hat from the dishwasher

You need to remove your hat from the dishwasher before the drying cycle begins as this tends to be very hot and could damage your hat. Some dishwashers allow you to select a cycle that doesn’t have a drying component, but if yours doesn’t have that option, you need to stay close to your dishwasher while it’s running and when it switches over to the drying cycle, open it and remove your hat. 

Dry your hat

Inspect your hat to make sure it appears clean. If it doesn’t, you need to try handwashing it instead. If all appears fine, you can then dry your hat. 

If you used a hat frame to wash your hat, you can leave it in the frame while it’s drying; this helps it retain its shape. 

If you didn’t use a hat frame, you can use something like a can or jar to place the hat on to help it retain its dome shape. Then you can place the hat somewhere warm and leave it there until it’s completely dry. 

Please note, never use high heat to dry your hat, even if you’re in a hurry. This could not only knock your hat out of shape, it could easily cause your hat to shrink, making it too small to fit on your head. If you’re in a hurry to wear your hat, you can try setting up a fan to blow cool air on it while it’s drying in order to speed up the process. 


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