How To Clean Golf Hats And Avoid The Cost Of Replacing (2023)

Golf hats aren’t just a fashion accessory – they’re very handy at keeping the sun out of your eyes while playing. But where there’s sun, there’s usually also sweat.

Over time, your golf hat will most likely become tarnished by sweat and dirt. But there’s no need to throw it away just yet. You can easily get it looking clean and feeling fresh again with a simple wash.

In this guide, we’ll go through the safest way to clean your golf hat. We’ll also discuss other possible ways of going about it.

Before You Start

Before you get on with cleaning, it’s important to first establish what kind of cap you are working with. Most golf caps nowadays are made from cotton and are colorfast, in which case you can safely proceed with the following method.

However, it’s worth noting that some older caps aren’t colorfast. To test this, you can rub a small amount of cleaner on the underside of your cap with a small rag. If the rag comes away with color, it means your cap isn’t colorfast, so you’ll have to avoid using any kind of soap. If the rag comes away clean, however, you’re good to go.

If your hat is made from wool, felt, leather, silk, or satin, you’ll also want to avoid the following method. Instead, you should consult the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning advice.

The Best (And Recommended) Way to Clean Your Golf Hat

For this method, all you’ll need is a sink (or bucket), some water, some detergent, and an old toothbrush.

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  1. Fill your sink with tepid water. It should really be no warmer than tepid – if in doubt, just stick to cool water.
  2. Add a tablespoon of detergent to the water as it’s filling. Dish soap might also work, but detergent, or a specialised stain-fighter such as OxiClean, will be far more effective at removing stains from your hat.
  3. Spot clean your hat, as needed, before submerging it into the water. If there are some obvious stains on show, you should target them by dabbing some detergent and scrubbing with an old toothbrush. Shampoo has also proven to be pretty effective when it comes to removing sweat stains. Be careful not to scrub too vigorously, especially around threaded stitching, as you could end up ruining the material.
  4. Soak your hat in the soapy water for a few hours. You can soak it for as little as 30 minutes if your cap is not that dirty, or as long as four hours if it’s in a particularly bad way. Swish the hat around a few times as it soaks. About halfway through the soaking process, you could remove the hat and inspect the stains. The bad ones will show, even through the wet fabric, so you could get your toothbrush and once again scrub those areas.
  5. When it’s finished soaking, rinse your hat off with cool water. Make sure you get rid of all the soap residue.
  6. Let the majority of the excess water drip off, and then pat your hat dry with a towel. Don’t be too rough with it, as you want to retain the shape of the hat.
  7. Even after patting it dry, your hat will still be pretty wet-through, so you’ll need to air dry it. Ideally, you’ll place your hat on some sort of container, rather than leaving it crumpled up on the counter, in order to make sure your cap dries in its true shape. Any kind of jar or small container will work fine. Don’t dry it in direct sunlight. You can speed up the drying process by facing a small fan towards it, or by using a hairdryer on a low setting.

Can You Put a Golf Hat in the Washing Machine?

It’s not recommended, but it is possible to clean your golf hat in the washing machine without completely ruining it.

Firstly, you’ll need to make sure that your cap is colorfast, and that it is made from cotton, twill, or washable polyester. Check the label for the manufacturer’s guidance.

Only ever wash it on a cold, gentle cycle. Don’t use any bleach, and use an appropriate amount of detergent as recommended by the manufacturer. Make sure it’s a lightweight wash – if there is too much stuff in the wash, your hat’s shape will be compromised. It’s a good idea to place the hat in a garment bag to keep it separate from your other items of clothing.

Remove the hat promptly when the wash has finished, and leave it to air dry. Never put a golf hat in the dryer.

Can You Put a Golf Hat in the Dishwasher?

You may have heard various discussions in golfing circles as to whether or not it is possible to wash a golf hat in the dishwasher. Admittedly, it is possible, but all in all, it’s often the case that the results are hardly worth the hassle.

It will only work on cotton, jersey mesh, or blended polyester fabric caps – any other kind of cap should stay well away from the dishwasher.

The cap must be placed on the top rack – the furthest point from the heating element of the machine. Otherwise, your hat will be warped beyond recognition. Also, the hat should be washed alone, as you don’t want your sweaty hat residue to end up on your dishes.

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Only use non-bleach dishwashing detergents – the coloration of your hat won’t stand a chance against bleach. Use a cold water cycle, and deactivate the heated dry option. Once the cycle’s done, you’ll need to reshape the hat before leaving it to dry. Good results are not guaranteed.

More trouble than it’s worth, in my humble opinion.

How To Remove Stubborn Stains From Golf Hats?

If you’ve got some especially stubborn sweat stains that just don’t seem to come out with detergent, you might find greater success with baking soda.

Put four tablespoons of baking soda into a small container, and mix it with warm water. Stir until a paste is formed. Then, using a spoon, dab the paste onto the stain. Scrub the mixture into the stain with a soft bristle brush.

Leave the paste to soak for an hour or so, then rinse it off with cool water.

How To Remove Sweat Stains From White Golf Hats?

White hats that have yellow stains can prove more difficult to clean. One solution is to use hydrogen peroxide – a powerful bleaching agent (use with caution).

Drip a few drops of the peroxide onto the stains of your hat, and then gently scrub with a soft bristle brush. Leave it to soak for roughly ten minutes, and then rinse off with cool water.

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Final Thoughts

The safest and most reliable way to clean your golf hat is to use cool water and detergent. It requires minimal effort, and it should be sufficient to remove all the sweaty and dirty stains from your hat.

You could put it in the washing machine, or even the dishwasher, but you’d have to take many precautions, and the results are hardly worth the hassle.

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Nick Lomas

Website | + posts

Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.


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