How to Clean Hats With Borax: Ultimate Hat Restoration Guide

How to Clean Hats With Borax?

To clean hats with borax, you will need to create a cleaning solution by mixing water with a teaspoon of borax for light stains or a tablespoon for heavy stains.

Test the solution on a small patch of the hat first to avoid damage.

Soak the hat in the solution for at least six hours, then rinse thoroughly and allow it to air dry or use a low heat setting in the dryer.

Borax is effective at removing stains, killing bacteria, and eliminating odors, while keeping the fabric soft and not causing it to become brittle.

It is important to note that using too much borax on dark colored hats can fade the color or bleach the hat entirely.

Follow these steps every two weeks to prevent stain and sweat build-up.

Key Points:

  • Create a cleaning solution with water and borax, using a teaspoon for light stains or a tablespoon for heavy stains.
  • Test the solution on a small patch of the hat before applying it to avoid damage.
  • Soak the hat in the solution for at least six hours.
  • Rinse the hat thoroughly and allow it to air dry or use a low heat setting in the dryer.
  • Borax effectively removes stains, kills bacteria, and eliminates odors without making the fabric brittle.
  • Be cautious when using borax on dark colored hats as it may fade the color or bleach the hat entirely.

Did You Know?

1. The earliest evidence of hat making dates back to ancient Egypt, where hats were primarily used as a symbol of wealth and social status.

2. Did you know that the famous detective Sherlock Holmes wore a deerstalker hat, popularized by his portrayal in various adaptations? However, in the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories, there is no mention of him wearing that particular hat.

3. One of history’s most extravagant hats was the “Three Straw Hat,” worn by Queen Elizabeth I of England. This hat was adorned with three large feathers and was so wide that it required a special carriage with an extended roof to accommodate its size.

4. Leading up to the 20th century, mercury was commonly used in the hat-making industry to stabilize felt. However, the prolonged exposure to mercury vapor led to significant health risks, causing mercury poisoning among workers, earning them the nickname “Mad Hatters.”

5. In the early 20th century, baseball players started wearing caps as part of their uniforms to shield their eyes from the sun. These caps eventually evolved into the baseball hats we know today, with different teams adopting unique designs and logos on their caps to represent their identity.

Benefits Of Cleaning Hats With Borax

It is a well-known fact that hats can develop sweat stains, dirt, and unpleasant odors over time. However, with the use of borax, a natural mineral famous for its cleaning and bleaching properties, hat cleaning becomes incredibly easy.

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Borax offers several benefits when it comes to cleaning hats:

  • It effectively dissolves sweat and oils, ensuring that your hat is left fresh and clean.
  • Borax is gentle on both your hands and the hat material, so you don’t have to worry about any damage occurring during the cleaning process.

Another advantage of using borax is its low pH. This characteristic enables it to kill bacteria as well as remove stains and odors effectively. No matter if your hat has stubborn sweat stains or lingering, unpleasant odors, borax can handle these issues with ease.

Furthermore, borax is non-toxic and non-hazardous, making it a safe choice for hat cleaning. You can rest assured that you are not exposing yourself or the environment to harmful chemicals while achieving sparkling clean hats.

Lastly, borax is commonly found in laundry detergents, hand soap, and household cleaning products, making it easily accessible and widely used for various cleaning purposes.

Using borax for hat cleaning simplifies the process and ensures that your hats remain fresh, clean, and odor-free.

Using Borax To Remove Stains And Odors From Hats

Step one in the hat cleaning process involves identifying the stains on the hat, which may include sweat, oils, dirt, as well as food and drink stains. Sweat and oil stains are typically brown or yellow and can be found in the hat’s band, lining, and fabric. On the other hand, food and drink stains are often red or blue and are found on the exterior of the hat.

Once you have identified the stains, it’s time to create a cleaning solution using borax.

To create the cleaning solution, you will need the following:

  • A few cups of water
  • A teaspoon of borax for light stains
  • A tablespoon of borax for heavy stains

If the stains are mild, a mixture of water and ammonia can also be used. However, it is important to test the cleaning solution on a small patch of the hat first to avoid any potential damage.

Once the cleaning solution is ready, soak the hat in it, ensuring that the hat is fully submerged.

Preparing The Cleaning Solution With Borax

Before cleaning your hats, it is important to gather all the necessary tools and products. Make sure to separate white hats from dark colored ones to prevent any color bleeding. To test for color running, lightly dampen each hat and check for any dye transfer to the water. If there is no color bleeding, you can proceed with the cleaning process.

To create a cleaning solution using borax, mix half a cup of borax with every 5 gallons of warm water in a bathtub or cleaning container. For added cleaning power and to break down oils, you can also add a small amount of dish soap, such as Dawn. The dish soap will help remove stubborn stains. Once you have added the borax and dish soap, thoroughly mix the solution to ensure it is evenly distributed.

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Soaking The Hat In Borax Solution

After the cleaning solution is prepared, it’s time to immerse the hat and let it soak. Follow these steps:

  1. Place the hat in the borax solution, ensuring that it is fully submerged.
  2. Allow the hat to soak for approximately 3-4 hours, or even longer for better results.
  3. This soaking period allows the borax to work its magic, dissolving sweat, oils, and other stains while simultaneously eliminating any odors that may have accumulated over time.

Once the soaking time is complete, it is important to give the hat a thorough rinse. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Rinse the hat with fresh, cold water to remove any remaining borax solution and any loosened stains and grime.
  2. Gently squeeze the hat to remove excess water, being careful not to wring or twist the fabric, as this may cause deformation.
  3. Remember, do not twist or wring the hat while removing excess water.
  4. Take your time and be gentle to maintain the hat’s shape.

Note: The soaking and rinsing process will effectively clean your hat, leaving it fresh and stain-free.

Proper Drying Techniques For Clean Hats

After rinsing, drying the hat properly is crucial to maintain its shape and prevent any potential damage. There are two recommended methods for drying hats:

  1. Air-drying: Place the hat on a clean towel or on a hat form to retain its shape. Ensure that the hat is not exposed to direct sunlight or excessive heat, as this may cause fading or warping. Allow the hat to dry naturally, occasionally reshaping it if necessary. This method is suitable for most hat materials and is the safest option to prevent any damage.
  2. Using a dryer: If the hat’s tag indicates that it is safe to use a dryer, it can be placed inside a hat cage or a pillowcase to protect it. Set the dryer to a low or delicate setting and avoid using high heat, as this may shrink or deform the hat. Once the hat is dry, reshape it if necessary using your hands.

Remember to follow the instructions on the tag and choose the drying method that is appropriate for the hat’s material to ensure proper maintenance and longevity.


  • Place on a clean towel or hat form
  • Avoid direct sunlight and excessive heat
  • Reshape if necessary

Using a dryer:

  • Use a hat cage or pillowcase
  • Set dryer to low or delicate setting
  • Avoid high heat
  • Reshape if necessary.

Regular Hat Cleaning Routine With Borax

To keep your hats looking fresh and stain-free, it is recommended to incorporate regular hat cleaning into your routine. Every two weeks, follow the aforementioned steps using borax to remove any accumulated sweat, oils, stains, and odors. Regular cleaning will ensure that your hats remain in pristine condition and extend their lifespan. By maintaining a consistent hat cleaning routine, you can enjoy wearing your favorite hats while feeling confident that they are clean, fresh, and odor-free.

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In conclusion, cleaning hats with borax offers numerous benefits. Borax’s ability to dissolve sweat and oils, its low pH that kills bacteria and removes stains and odors, as well as its non-toxic and non-hazardous nature, make it an ideal choice for hat cleaning. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can effectively clean your hats and restore them to their original condition. Whether you choose to air-dry or use a dryer, proper drying techniques will help maintain the hat’s shape and integrity. Lastly, incorporating regular hat cleaning with borax into your routine will prevent stain and sweat build-up, ensuring that your hats always look their best.

Check this out:

Frequently Asked Questions

Will baking soda clean a hat?

Yes, baking soda can effectively be used to clean a hat. To begin, create a paste by combining four tablespoons of baking soda with ¼ cup of water. Gently apply this paste onto the stain using a soft-bristled toothbrush, making small circular motions. After allowing the hat to sit for up to an hour, you can then rinse it with water and proceed to hand wash the entire cap for a thorough cleaning.

Does baking soda whiten hats?

Yes, baking soda is an excellent natural whitening agent for hats. Its properties help to remove stains and discoloration, restoring the hat’s brightness. By creating a paste with baking soda and gently scrubbing it onto the hat’s surface, you can effectively remove dirt and grime, leaving your hat looking refreshed and vibrant. Additionally, the deodorizing qualities of baking soda ensure that any unpleasant smells are eliminated, further enhancing the overall cleanliness of your hat.

How do you clean a sweaty hat?

To refresh a sweaty hat, begin by preparing a basin with water. Slip on a pair of gloves before beginning the cleaning process. Then, gently scrub the hat with detergent, making sure to give extra attention to any noticeable stains. Afterward, allow the hat to soak in the soapy water, allowing the detergent to penetrate and eliminate any odors. Finally, thoroughly rinse the hat with water and leave it to dry naturally.

Does vinegar clean hats?

Yes, vinegar is an effective cleaning agent for hats. When dealing with heavily soiled and odorous hats, you can pre-treat the dirty areas by spraying them with white vinegar. After allowing the vinegar to soak for approximately 10 minutes, it effectively helps to remove dirt and unpleasant odors. Additionally, for stubborn sweat stains on the brim, you can use baking soda as a spot cleaner, sprinkling it over the affected area before rinsing or washing the hat.

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