How to clean a felt hat

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Everyone loves a good felt hat. That is, until you have to clean it! Felt is a very delicate fabric and it can be confusing to clean. This is because felt is liable to bleed dye or lose its shape when it is exposed to heat and moisture. Felt hats are particularly difficult to clean because they often have embellishments that are sensitive to water. In this article we tell you everything you need to know about how to clean a felt hat. 

This article provides tips that are specific to cleaning felt hats. For more general tips on how to clean felt garments you can check out our article on how to clean felt. 

How to wash a felt hat: Avoid using water to clean a felt hat if possible. Clean a felt hat with a fabric brush or use baking soda to absorb oil stains from the felt hat. If you need to use waterr on your hat you should try to clean the felt hat before getting the whole hat wet. Hand wash felt hats in cold water with a gentle detergent. Never put a felt hat in the washer or dryer.

How do you wash a felt hat?

How do you clean a felt hat? Here are some of our best tips for cleaning felt hats. 

  • You should try to wash your felt hat without water if possible. If you need to use water your next option should be to spot clean your felt hat rather than cleaning the whole thing. Washing your whole felt hat in water should be your last resort. 
  • You can use a fabric brush or a soft bristled brush to remove debris from felt hats. A soft bristled toothbrush might also work. 
  • If you have an oil-based stain on your felt hat you can try to remove it by applying baking soda or baby powder to the stain and letting it sit for 30 minutes – 2 hours. 
  • Always clean felt hats and any other felt products you own in cold water. 
  • If an entire felt hat needs to be washed then it should be hand washed. Felt hats should not be put in the washing machine or dryer. 
  • Use gentle detergents like Woolite on felt. Do not use harsh detergents on felt hats. 
  • Always follow any washing instructions that came with the felt hat. 

How to wash a felt hat without water

If you are able to wash your felt hat without using water at all that is your best option. You should try one or all of these options before washing your felt hat with water. Here are a few ways to wash a felt hat without using water. 

  • Fabric brush. If you have dirt or debris on our felt hat you might be able to brush it off with a fabric brush or another soft bristled brush. If the debris can be washed off with a fabric brush then that is your best option. If you do not have a fabric brush then a soft bristled toothbrush might also work. 
  • Dry cleaning sponge. Dry cleaning sponges are specially designed sponges that are made to remove dirt and debris from surfaces without getting them wet. If you are able to remove dirt and debris from your felt hat with a dry cleaning sponge you might not need to use water on it. 
  • Baking soda or baby powder. Baking soda and baby powder can be helpful for removing oil based stains from hats. Simply sprinkle the powder on the hat, let it sit for 30 minutes – 2 hours, then brush the powder off. The baking soda or baby powder will absorb some of the oil out of the felt. 

How to spot clean a felt hat

How to spot clean a felt hat. If you have tried cleaning your felt hat without water and you have not been able to remove a stain your next option should be to spot clean your felt hat. In order to spot clean your felt hat you will need a soft cloth or a small, soft sponge. You should run the cloth or sponge under cold water so that the cloth or sponge has a little bit of water on it. You do not want the cloth or sponge to be excessively wet because you want to keep your felt hat as dry as possible. 

Once you have a wet sponge or cloth you can use the sponge or cloth to dab at the stain on the felt hat. If the water alone is not enough to remove the stain or if the stain is oil based you might need to use a little laundry detergent. If you need to use laundry detergent you should dip the tip of the cloth or sponge in the slightest amount of laundry detergent then rub the detergent into the stain. Always use a gentle laundry detergent like Woolite. 

Many felt hats have embellishments or decorations on them that do not play well with water. If you are spot cleaning a felt hat you should try your best to keep any embellishments or decorations from getting wet. 

How to hand wash a felt hat

How do you hand wash a felt hat? In order to hand wash a felt hat you should fill a large bowl with the coldest water that you can get. If your stain is oil based you will need to add 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp of laundry detergent into the bowl and mix it into the water. Only use gentle detergents like Woolite on felt hats. 

Before you submerge your felt hat in the water you should run a test to make sure the colors will not bleed. You should dip a small corner of the felt hat in the bowl of water and leave it there for 30 seconds to see whether any colors bleed.

If no colors bleed you can proceed to wash your felt hat in the cold water. You should dip the area that is affected by the stain in the water for 1-2 seconds then remove the hat from the water. The goal is to keep the hat as dry as possible. After you remove the hat from the water you should use a soft bristled brush, soft sponge, or a soft cleaning cloth to scrub away at the stain on the felt hat. You can repeat this process as many times as necessary but try not to saturate the entire felt hat with water if possible. 

Can you put a felt hat in the washing machine?

Can you put a felt hat in the washing machine? In general you should avoid putting felt hats in the washing machine. Felt is a very delicate fabric that loses its shape and structure when exposed to water for a long time. Felt hats often have additional decorations on them that might fall off in the wash or be damaged by water. If possible you should wash your felt hat without using water at all or spot clean your hat.

Can you wash a felt hat in warm water?

Can you wash a felt hat in warm water? No, you can not wash a felt hat in warm water. Felt loses its shapes and bleeds dye when it is exposed to warm water. You should avoid washing your felt hat with water at all if possible. If you must use water to wash your felt hat you should always use cold water. 

Can you use laundry detergent on felt hats?

Can you use laundry detergent on a felt hat? Yes, you can use laundry detergent on a felt hat if you choose to wash it with water. If you use laundry detergent on felt you should use a gentle detergent that is safe to use on wool and similar natural fibers such as Woolite. Never use a harsh detergent on a felt hat. 

Can you put a felt hat in the dryer?

Can you put a felt hat in the dryer? No, you can not put a felt hat in the dryer. Most felt hats lose their structure and shape when they are exposed to high heat. Even the coolest setting on the drying is too warm for a felt hat. 

Additional tips for keeping felt hats clean

  • Store in a cold, dry place. You should always store your felt hats in a cold, dry place. Felt is a fabric that is made of fibers that are matted together using heat and moisture. Since heat and moisture is capable of tangling the fibers together, it is also capable of pulling them apart. Store your felt hats in a cold, dry place for longevity. 
  • Wash hands before handling. Wash your hands before handling your felt hat. Felt hats absorb a lot of oil so if you touch your felt hat with oily hands you will get an oil stain on your hat. Oil stains are more difficult to remove from felt hats than other kinds of stains so you want to avoid getting oil stains on your felt hats.

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