Not everyone can rock a fashionable or old-fashioned hat, but if you’ve got the style and bravado to pull one of then you need to take care of your headpiece – because nobody looks good in a hat that’s stain filthy.
So, what can you do? Fedoras are definitely undergoing a hot look right now, but felt is a delicate fabric and it’s rare to find a dry cleaner that can handle hats at an affordable rate – so if you’re wondering how to clean a hat then the reality is that you’re best doing it yourself. Luckily, we’ve got expert tips to help you clean your fedora (or any felt hat, really) quickly and without breaking the bank…
How to Clean Dirt and Dust
One of the issues with felt hats is that they attract dust and loose dirt, but can loose their shape if you pat or brush the dust off by hand. The solution is to use a a soft brush to clean loose material away, using a polishing motion to gently knock larger debris free. Don’t use hard-bristled brushes as they can puncture the felt or cause damage.
How to Remove Pet Hair
Soft brushing may work for loose dirt, but animal hair can be a bit more stubborn. The easy way to tackle fuzz and bristle is to simply use a piece of brown packing tape to pull loose fibers off the felt without damaging the material. Standard lint rollers are a handy alternative if you already use one to clean your suits and overcoats.
How to Remove Stains
Cleaning stains on felt requires a gentle touch, so our cleaning experts recommend using a soft sponge to start by buffing the stain out. If that doesn’t work then specialty hat cleaning sprays can prove helpful – or a gentle spray of very dilute soapy water. Either way, finish by air-drying the hat slowly and away from direct sunlight.
Even our cleaning experts agree that felt hats are always very tricky items to clean, so the best solution is to prevent stains and take good care of your headpiece in the first place. This includes handling the hat by the brim, not the crest – even though it doesn’t always look as cool.
Smells are another issue to watch out for too, as well as dirt. The best way to prevent strong odors is to remove your hat in hot weather and pop the sweatband out so it can air dry without getting smelly – though a quick spray of Febreeze can safely neutralise most smells in a pinch.