Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cleaning Snapback Hats

I buy and sell a ton of vintage snapback/ trucker hats. I find most of my hats at yard sales. And while the ones I find are usually in great shape, they aren't always very clean. Often times they are hats that have been sitting in a closet or garage somewhere and have collected lots of dust. So, I have to wash them.
You can not just throw these hats in the washing machine. That is a sure fire way to ruin them. You can add them to the washing machine if you first put it in one of those plastic doo dads meant for hats. I personally don't care for those, especially when washing vintage hats. Some of the older hats may be made with cardboard bills and letting it soak in water for any amount of time will ruin it. I did a little research on the best way to clean snapbacks and this is the way that seems to work best for me.

you will need:

-a dirty hat - duh
-a towel or two
-a little bit of laundry detergent
-a toothbrush
-thin cardboard (mac and cheese boxes are perfect for this)
-plastic grocery bags
-spray starch (optional)
... and a sink

The first step is to get your cardboard ready. The point of the cardboard is to help shape the hats as they are drying. Macaroni and cheese boxes are the perfect size for this, but any thin cardboard can be used.
Unfold your box and cut in half.

Trim away the edges so you are left with one big side of the box and one side part.

Make cuts up to the fold all the way across.

It should look something like this when done. Put it aside for now.

Put some warm water and some of the detergent in the sink. Use a toothbrush to spot clean the hat.

You can also dip it in the water for just a second. DON'T let it soak! If the brim is made of cardboard as opposed to plastic it could ruin the hat. And rinse the soap off briefly with running water.

Don't forget to scrub the inside brim of the hat. This is usually the spot that gets the dirtiest.

Once you've washed it, gently wipe it dry with a towel.

Now, place the cardboard on the inside brim of the hat to help keep the shape of the front as it is drying.

Next, stuff the hat with towels to hold the shape. You could also use plastic grocery bags to fill it in. Leave in the entire time that it is drying.

TIP: If you're hat is really out of shape, stuff it very full to help mold it back into proper shape. This may cause a little bit of stretching, so be careful. Normally, if the hat is in good shape, I will only use a hand towel to stuff it to retain it's shape while drying, but I will not stuff it very full.

Next step is to set it out to dry. This may take awhile depending on what type of fabric your hat is made of. At this point, you could hit it with a little spray starch to stiffen it up a little bit, but it is not necessary. I would recommend it for hats that are very misshapen. 

A counter top full of drying hats. I had to re-stuff that "R" hat after I took the picture. 

That is all there is to it. 

All of these hats will be listed in the shop tomorrow. I have a good number of hats in stock right now, too. 
use coupon code: OHSNAP for free shipping on U.S. orders.
$10 minimum purchase.

go see all the hats in the shop


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