Washing Baseball Caps

Here’s a post from July 12, 2008.   I’m reposting this one because it was the inspiration for my syndicated newspaper column “Do Just One Thing,” which runs in papers across the country.

Every day, “Do Just One Thing” shares an easy eco tip that’s economical, ecological and easy.  The three E’s!    They are never tips like “install solar panels on house!” or “buy a new hybrid car!” but more along the lines of less-than-a-minute to do type tips that also make you go Who Knew!

This one is my favorite: using a dishwasher to clean a baseball cap, all while retaining it’s shape.   An update: You can also throw baseball caps in the freezer overnight to detox them as well.  Not as thorough as a dishwasher, but in a jiffy, it works.


Washing Baseball Caps
The other day, I was thinking, “How on Earth do you wash a baseball cap?”


Putting it in the washing machine would just tumble it to bits and take the shape out of it completely.  And scrubbing it by hand would be too arduous and probably do a not-so-good job.


So, I did a little research online and found out in some usergroups that running your baseball caps in the dishwasher was the solution.   Just run it on a regular cycle (without detergent) and then let air dry when it’s done.


I did this with my baseball caps and found it worked!   I did run it in my clothes dryer on the drying rack so it didn’t tumble.  It came out smelling fresh and looked just like new.


  1. Krista says:

    somewhere i remember seeing a form that you can use to wash caps in the dishwasher, to help them keep their shape. i always thought it was a great idea to do them in the dishwasher!

  2. Beau says:

    Great idea! I have some hats in the dirty clothes that are in need of a dishwashing cycle!
    Thanks for the tip!

  3. Green Me says:

    Normally I am not one for gadgets, but a few years ago when my husband got his favorite WHITE cap dirty, I came across I baseball cap shaped rack/mesh cage at Bed Bath & Beyond. Since then, once or twice a year I give a few of his hats a wash in the washing machine, and set them out to dry. I recently dried his white one in the sun outside and it is practically brighter than it was new!

  4. happyathome says:

    You are a better baseball ca washer than me! I throw them in with the jeans and wash them! Yes the brim is never the same, may have to use your suggestion. I know there is also a plasic mold you can purchase to put them in the dish washer, keeping their shape.

  5. jerri says:

    I waash my husbands caps/hats in the washer, and when I take them out, I put them on pots to dry to get their shape back.

  6. Katie says:

    The key step here is to wash it WITHOUT detergent in the dishwasher. My husband and I washed one of his dirty baseball caps in the dishwasher WITH detergent and the whole thing came out bleached!

  7. Kristine says:

    What a great idea! My husband has countless baseball hats that he wears all of the time. I had resorted to putting them in the washer to get the “ring around the rim” gone but it did cause them to become out of shape.
    Can’t wait to try this tip.

  8. Rhiannon says:

    I wonder if this would work for canvas shoes? My chucks need washing but the washing machine gives them a right beating.

  9. Santa's Helper says:

    If you put a spaghetti/veggie strainer under the hat, it would let the water through, and would retain the shape. Also, a very, very little bit of low suds powder laundry detergent will make it even fresher.

  10. Santa's Helper says:

    If you put a spaghetti/veggie strainer under the hat, it would let the water through, and would retain the shape. Also, a very, very little bit of low suds powder laundry detergent will make it even fresher.

  11. e says:

    Dishwasher soap has bleach in it. but an HE powder laundry soap will do the trick just fine. Just don’t over do.

  12. hey there! just wanted to let you know i ran a post about this tip over at yahoo! shine…here’s the link:

  13. JaDan says:

    I have heard about putting them in the disher with the form. How ever don’t like to waste the water doing so. Also it did not work with the form, [it shrank].
    With 15 hats in the collection, 5 active, I put them in the wash. Only one per pillow case. NO PROBLEM. let it air dry. Cold/ warm water only.

  14. Anonymous says:

    should I take the hat off before washing?

  15. Scottish Brian says:

    Going to try this tonight and hope that it works. I was in Barcelona for a couple of weeks and my cap was never off my head and needs a good clean. Thanks for the info.

  16. OurPlaybook says:

    Use delicate clothes soap in bar form and gently rinse it and air dry and shape it. This works and it keeps it clean.

  17. Jhon says:

    Wow Thats a Great idea… I love your Blog…..

  18. Acai Berry says:

    Enjoyed the post keep it up. bookmarked

  19. thanks for the update – pretty good

  20. Wow, I’ve been searching the net for some information related to a new site I’m starting in a week or so. Would you mind if I posted this article with author credit and a link back here? If not the full article just a teaser? Feel free to e-mail me and let me know. Thanks!

  21. Acai Extreme says:

    Yeah, I’ve always just put mine in the Dishwasher with like a wrapped up towel in there to maintain it’s shape seems to work and never had any trouble’s.

  22. Great site you have here. Enjoyed the post will bookmark. :)

  23. Chris Steele says:

    I never even thought to do this before.
    I’m sure this will save many people from ruining their caps in the future. I know I’ve lost quite a few to the washing maching :)