Cleaning and Maintenance

How to Properly Clean a Straw Hat (3 Steps)

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Hats made from straw are trendy accessories to wear in warm climates. The reason for their popularity is quite simple. This type of hat is lightweight and breathable without requiring a very difficult maintenance process. As opposed to other fashionable accessories, straw hats don’t typically need deep cleanings on the regular. They can be maintained in good shape when washed at least once a year.

Straw hats can only be cleaned properly using some specific methods that take into account their various levels of durability. Some types of straw hats can be more delicate than others so it’s best to stick to the safest cleaning methods to avoid ruining your practical head accessory. Before exploring the proper way to clean a straw hat, make sure you consider the advice shown on the care label of your particular model.

1. Cleaning Straw Hats Without Liquid

Although it would be very convenient, straw hats can’t be cleaned in the washing machine. Most models could be easily damaged by all types of cleaning methods involving liquids so it’s best to stick to dry cleaning first. Straw hats can accumulate a fair amount of dirt and debris that can be easily wiped away with a dry cloth.

If you’re dealing with hat scuffs, it’s recommended to try a gum eraser to remove them. When it comes to sweat stains, it could be difficult to attempt cleaning without the use of liquid. However, it’s important to consider some dry cleaning methods first such as talcum powder and cornstarch. These ingredients can absorb stains quite effectively when allowed to soak up the sweat. If it doesn’t seem to work that well, it’s probably time to go for liquid spot cleaning.

2. Cleaning Straw Hats With Liquid

Some cleaning jobs can be more difficult so it’s probably a good idea to consider methods based on liquids. The best cleaning results can be obtained immediately after the stain appears but a damp cloth with a bit of dish soap can be effective for most stains on straw hats. If you’re tackling the stains of sweat found on the hat’s internal band, it’s recommended to get your hands on a gentle brush.

Instead of dish soap, the sweatband can be cleaned more efficiently with a blend of equal parts warm water and hydrogen peroxide. The resulting mixture can be applied with the help of a soft cloth but it could be more convenient to try spraying it on the sweatband. Don’t forget to rinse all the cleaned areas with a moistened cloth. Take care to avoid getting the straw hat excessively wet, especially if you didn’t find the care label or if it explicitly says that submerging in water is forbidden.

3. Maintaining the Straw Hat Clean

Straw hats don’t have to be cleaned too often. A good set of maintenance practices can also contribute to preventing the problem of an excessively dirty hat. It depends on the particular type of straw hat, but some models seem to be more durable than they really are. That makes them vulnerable to damage and overall prone to stains and dirt.

One essential aspect when it comes to keeping your straw hat in top shape is to maintain it dry at all times. Hats can get wet accidentally but it’s recommended to let them dry quickly to prevent stains and misshaping caused by too much dampness. Similar to this, excessive exposure to sunlight will most likely damage the fabric of the straw hat in the long run. Synthetic materials can even melt and become seriously deformed.

Storing your straw hat properly is just as important as maintaining it clean. It’s a good prevention method to use a hat box that protects the hat from dirt and exposure to sunlight or wetness. Make sure you use a storage method intended for straw hats because improvisations such as plastic bags might cause mildew if the hat hasn’t been dried properly beforehand. Check out this hat box on Amazon.

The way you’re handling the straw hat can have a significant impact when it comes to the dirt level it develops over time. If you’re careful to avoid touching it when your hands are not clean, it will be less likely for oil stains and dirt to appear. Taking off the hat should be ideally done by holding the brim because the hat’s crown is more vulnerable to damage and staining.

By Stefan Bucur

Stefan is the founder and owner of Rhythm of the Home. He has 6 years of experience in home improvement, interior design, cleaning and organizing.

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