How to Clean Salt Water and Sweat Stains from a Hat? – Here are 3 Simple Tricks!

by Stephanie Yankova

If you’re someone who wears hats in the summer, you’re most definitely familiar with the annoying white stains that always ruin your favorite cap! It’s no secret that sweat and salt water stains are a nightmare to clean! Before you throw another cap away, here are my tried and tested tips and tricks on how to clean salt water and sweat stains from a hat for good!

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How to Clean Salt Water and Sweat Stains from a Hat?

Usually, the easiest way to clean a hat is by throwing it in the washing machine. However, some stains are a lot more stubborn than others and require a different treatment. The salt stains are usually white or yellow depending on the fabric, and they can really ruin your look. The best thing you can do when you notice the stains is to clean the cap as soon as possible! Here’s how to do it quickly and cost-efficiently at home!

Cleaning Your Hat from Salt Water Stains

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These types of stains are incredibly common in the summer. Wearing a hat anywhere near a sea or an ocean will most likely end with it getting white salty spots. At first glance, it may appear as if your hat has faded, but don’t be tricked! This is the salt deceiving you! Act quickly and remove this ugly stain in no time with the following at-home method:


  • running warm water
  • laundry detergent
  • clean toothbrush
  • 2-3 towels


  1. Fill a sink or a tub with warm water.
  2. Add 20 ml of laundry detergent to the water.
  3. Stir it until you get a homogenous mixture.
  4. Soak the hat in the water for 30 minutes. (Don’t soak the sun shield if it’s made of cardboard.)
  5. After the hat is done soaking, use a wet towel to rub out the milder stains.
  6. For the more stubborn and deep stains, use the toothbrush.
  7. Once you’re done, rinse the hat under hot running water.
  8. Pat the hat with a dry towel to remove excess dripping water.
  9. Roll a dry towel into a ball and put it inside the hat to help it hold its shape.
  10. Let the hat air dry. Keep it away from direct sunlight as this will bleach your hat.

How to Clean a Hat from Sweat Stains?

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The biggest downside of baseball caps, or any hat made of cotton or synthetic fabric, is that you can’t hide the sweat stains! The good news is that this case is just as common, as it is easy to resolve! It’s super simple to clean sweat stains from fabric hats and you probably already have all the ingredients! Here’s what you’re going to need to make your hat look brand new in no time:


  • baking soda
  • distilled white vinegar
  • cold water
  • a cloth or a towel
  • a cup or a small bowl
  • a toothbrush


  1. Take a cup and mix 4 tbsp of baking soda and 30 ml of water with the toothbrush.
  2. Apply the mixture on a dry hat with the toothbrush with soft, circular motions.
  3. Let the hat sit for 30 minutes to an hour depending on the size and intensity of the stains.
  4. After that, pour 30 ml of white vinegar into a cup.
  5. Take the toothbrush, dip it into the vinegar and give the stains a gentle brush again in circular motions.
  6. Let the hat sit for 20 minutes.
  7. Once it’s done, rinse it thoroughly under cold running water.
  8. Pat the hat with a dry cloth or towel.
  9. Let it air dry while keeping it away from direct sunlight to avoid bleaching.

Read also: Removing Underarm Stains From Your Clothes – Here Are The Best Tips!

How to Remove Sweat and Salt Water Stains from a Straw Hat?

cleaning straw hat sweat salt water stains diy homemade remedies

Credits: The Spruce

Straw hats may look stain resistant at first, but even they aren’t immune to sweat and salt water spots! The main thing you need to keep in mind when washing straw hats is that they don’t have the same water durability as a fabric cap. This is why you can’t just aimlessly soak it in a tub of dish soap-infused water. Here’s what you should do instead:


  • a cup or small bowl
  • 30% hydrogen peroxide (for light straw hats)
  • household ammonia (for dark straw hats)
  • warm water
  • a toothbrush
  • soft white towel


For a light-colored straw hat:

  • In a cup mix 1 tbsp of hydrogen peroxide in 20 ml of warm water.

For a dark-colored straw hat:

  • In a cup mix 1 tbsp of household amonia in 50 ml of warm water.

Once you’ve created the concoction, here’s what you need to do next:

  1. Dip the toothbrush into the mixture and clean the stains in small sections. Scrub with gentle, circular motions. (We suggest you wear gloves and be careful not to get any of the cleaning solution onto your clothes and into your eyes.)
  2. Once you’re done with the scrubbing, clean the hat with a damp clean towel.
  3. Let the hat air dry.

Read also: How to Remove Foundation Stains From a Hat? Here Are The Best Methods and Tips!

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