How to get sweat stains out of hats

Sweaty heads are a common problem. If you don’t want to look like a sweaty mess, then you’ll need to take action.

The easiest way to remove sweat from your head is to wash it off with water. This method is effective, but it won’t last long. After a couple of hours, your hat will start looking dirty again.

There are several ways to prevent sweat from building up on your head. One of them is to wear a hat that has a mesh lining. This helps trap moisture inside the hat, keeping it away from your skin. Another option is to put a bandana around your head.

To get sweat stains out of hats, first fill a sink with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Submerge the hat in the water and gently scrub the sweat stains with a soft-bristled brush or cloth. Once the stains are gone, rinse the hat thoroughly with cool water. If the stains are particularly stubborn, you may need to soak the hat in a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar for a few hours before scrubbing. Once the hat is clean, lay it flat to dry or hang it to dry, making sure not to stretch the fabric too much. To prevent sweat stains in the future, try using a sweatband or using a light-colored hat made of moisture-wicking material.

get sweat stains out of hats

Hats are not only stylish but also functional accessories that protect us from the sun’s rays and add a touch of personality to our outfits. However, frequent wear can lead to sweat stains, which can be challenging to remove. Fortunately, there are several effective methods to tackle this problem and restore your hats to their original glory.

What causes sweat stains on hats?

Sweat stains on hats are caused by perspiration, which is a natural bodily function that helps regulate body temperature. When we are hot or exerting ourselves, our bodies produce more sweat to cool us down. The sweat then accumulates on the skin and can seep through clothing, including hats, causing stains. Sweat stains on hats can also be caused by wearing a hat that is too tight, which can cause sweating around the head and face. Additionally, wearing a hat in hot or humid conditions can increase the amount of sweat produced and increase the likelihood of sweat stains on the hat.

Baking Soda, Salt, and Hydrogen Peroxide Paste

One of the most popular methods for removing sweat stains from hats is by using a baking soda, salt, and hydrogen peroxide paste. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Mix ½ cup of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide in a small bowl.
  • Before applying the paste to the hat, test it on a hidden area to ensure it won’t damage the fabric.
  • Gently apply the paste to the inside of the hat using a soft brush, focusing on the sweatband.
  • Let the paste set in for about 20 minutes.
  • Rinse off the paste thoroughly.

Dawn Dish Soap and Hydrogen Peroxide

Another effective method involves using Dawn dish soap and hydrogen peroxide. Follow these steps:

  • Mix one part Dawn dish soap with two parts hydrogen peroxide in a small bowl.
  • Dip a scrub brush into the solution and gently scrub the sweat stains on the hat.
  • Rinse the hat with cold water.
  • Repeat the process until the sweat stains are completely gone.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

If you prefer a more natural approach, you can try using baking soda and vinegar. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Pour a small amount of baking soda directly onto the sweat stains.
  • Let it sit for at least an hour to allow the baking soda to absorb the odor and lift the stains.
  • Scrub the stained area with a scrub brush in a circular, counterclockwise motion to avoid damaging the fabric.
  • For stains on the sweatband, apply one tablespoon of white vinegar onto each splotch and gently scrub it away.
  • Let the hat air dry completely, preferably near an open window but away from direct sunlight to prevent discoloration.

Hand Washing

For hats that require a more thorough cleaning, hand washing can be an effective method. Follow these steps:

  • Fill a sink or basin with warm water.
  • Add a tablespoon of Borax, powdered laundry detergent, and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda to the water.
  • Soak the hat for a few hours to loosen the sweat stains.
  • Scrub the stains with a scrub brush.
  • Rinse the hat with cold water.
  • Repeat the process until the sweat stains disappear.
  • To retain the hat’s shape, roll a dry towel into a ball and place it inside the hat.
  • Allow the hat to air dry near an open window or fan, avoiding direct sunlight.

Dishwasher Method

If you’re short on time or prefer a more convenient method, the dishwasher can be a lifesaver. Follow these precautions and steps:

  • Read the care instructions on your hat to ensure it is safe for dishwasher cleaning.
  • Place the hat on the top rack of the dishwasher.
  • Use a cap cage or a hat form to secure the hat in place and prevent it from getting misshapen.
  • Choose a gentle cycle and use a mild detergent.
  • Once the cycle is complete, remove the hat and let it air dry completely.

Enzyme Treatment

For particularly stubborn sweat stains, an enzyme treatment can work wonders. Here’s how to use it:

  • Apply a mild enzyme treatment specifically designed for stain removal to the sweat stains.
  • Let the enzyme treatment sit for a few hours, allowing it to break down the stains.
  • Wash the hat according to the care instructions, either by hand or in the washing machine.
  • Ensure you follow the instructions on the enzyme treatment product carefully.

Always Check the Care Label

Before attempting any cleaning method, it is crucial to check the care label on your hat. The care label provides valuable information on how to clean and maintain your hat properly. Different materials and constructions may require specific care instructions. By following the care label guidelines, you can prevent damage and maintain the hat’s quality for longer.


Sweat stains on hats can be a nuisance, but with the right methods, you can effectively remove them and restore your hats to their original condition. Whether you choose the baking soda paste, dish soap and hydrogen peroxide, vinegar and baking soda, hand washing, dishwasher, or enzyme treatment, always prioritize the care label instructions and test any cleaning solution on a hidden area first. By following these steps, your hats will be sweat stain-free and ready to complement your style.


Q1: Can I use bleach to remove sweat stains from my hats? No, it is not recommended to use bleach on hats as it can damage the fabric and cause discoloration.

Q2: How often should I clean my hats to prevent sweat stains? Regular cleaning is recommended to prevent sweat stains from setting in. The frequency depends on how frequently you wear the hat and how much you sweat.

Q3: Are these methods suitable for all types of hats? Yes, these methods can be used on various hat materials, but always check the care label and test any cleaning solution on a hidden area first.

Q4: Can I machine wash my hat instead of hand washing? Machine washing is not recommended for all hats, especially those made of delicate materials. Refer to the care label for appropriate cleaning instructions.

Q5: How can I remove sweat odors from hats? To remove sweat odors, you can sprinkle baking soda inside the hat and let it sit overnight. Shake off the baking soda before wearing the hat.

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Camilo Kawas is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in the field of commercial cleaning, with a specific focus on clothes, carpet cleaning and floor care. With a profound understanding of the importance of selecting the right products for effective stain removal from clothes, Camilo has established himself as a trusted authority in the industry.