How to Clean a Baseball Cap with Cardboard Brims in 3 Steps

A. Coatess

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A. Coatess



Sean Hunter

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how to clean a baseball cap with cardboard

Most, if not all, baseball caps consist of cardboard brims. However, cardboard is not the easiest material to care for and maintain. It has a reputation for softening and eventually breaking at the touch of water. However, it is not impossible. There are indeed ways for you to wash cardboard-constructed headwear.

So, if you are into baseball, knowing how to clean a baseball cap with cardboard brims is very crucial.

In this article, we will show you our tested and trusted method for cleaning said baseball caps, which features the following steps:

  • Treat stains on the cap and scrub lightly with the right cleaning solution
  • Blot with the appropriate amount of pressure to lift as much of the stain as possible
  • Dip the hat in cold water to rinse without submerging or soaking the cardboard brims
  • Scrub off any final stubborn stains gently with a brush or toothbrush
  • Eliminate all suds by rinsing thoroughly without drenching the cardboard brims
  • Spare time for the cap to air dry on a rack or any other flat surfaces

For the details of each step, read on!


Step-by-Step to Clean a Baseball Cap with Cardboard


Washing baseball caps may sound challenging, but it’s really not if you invest time and effort into getting the right materials and following the right steps.

What You Will Need to Have

First, gather the following:

  • A soft-bristle brush or soft toothbrush
  • A mixture of mild laundry detergent and cold water
  • A thin cotton cloth or napkins
  • A basil, sink, or tub capable of running or filling cold water
  • A rack or flat surface

Once you have all the materials ready, proceed!

What You Will Need to Do to Wash a Hat

Step 1: Treat stains and scrub gently

  • For this step, find a roomy place to work. You do not necessarily have to stand and crouch over a kitchen or bathroom sink. You can settle for any flat surface, like a table. To avoid tedious cleaning afterward, consider laying out newspapers or a single-use plastic mat.
  • Hold your hat in one hand and use the other to flip and reposition while inspecting for stains. Be meticulous and have a clear idea of where all the stains you need to treat are.
  • Then, place your hat down on the covered flat surface to begin the scrubbing process.
  • Pick up the soft-bristle brush or soft toothbrush that you have prepared. Dip it into the mixture of pre-made mild laundry detergent and cold water. It is best to dip just a small amount first.
  • Test the solution on an inconspicuous stain. Make sure that there are no dramatic reactions. If you notice signs of discoloration or fading, do not proceed. It is likely that your detergent is too heavy-duty and harsh. In that case, create a new solution using more mild detergent to continue.
  • Scrub the stains gently in up-down or circular motions using the solution-dipped brush. This step is supposedly the most time-consuming. So, be patient. Scrub diligently and carefully. The more effort you put, the more you will be rewarded with, in the end. Move onto the next step once the bulk of all the stains on your cap is gone.

Note: If the stains are on the cardboard brims, make sure that you use the solution sparingly. Scrub with as little soaking as you can.

Step 2: Blot the treated stains to eliminate

  • Blot the stains that you have just treated using a thin cotton cloth or napkins. The latter is more economical, but you will have to take the additional steps of washing the cloth if it becomes too dirty.
  • Blot with an appropriate amount of pressure. Do not push downwards too lightly or harshly. You will either not lift the stain or deform the shape of your cap.
  • Blot for as long as you need. You can stop when the stains are visibly cleared.

Step 3: Rinse the cap in cold water

  • Now, you need a basil, sink, or tub. Turn on the faucet and let the cold water run. Do not put it at too-high speed. It should be slightly less than the settings for typical hand washing.
  • Place your cap under the running water but soak the cardboard cap. Do this slowly to avoid accidental submerging.
  • Alternatively, you can fill up the basil, sink, or tub and dip the head portion of the hat into the cold water. This approach is easier to ensure the dryness of the cardboard brims.
  • Rinse gently. Make sure you do not miss any of the treated stains. The detergent-containing solution should be cleaned off, taking the unsightly blemishes with it.
  • Scrub while you rinse if there are extra stubborn stains still clinging on your cap. Use the same brush from the above step, but be sure to wash it first underwater. In other words, you want to scrub it raw. No solutions should be involved at this stage.
  • Rinse thoroughly to ensure that all suds are eliminated. You do not want any lasting suds that can seep into your hat and leave unwanted consequences. These suds can also irritate your hair and head when worn.
  • To complete, shake off the water from your cap and set it out for drying. It is best to dry it on a rack. But, if you do not have access to one, you can also lay it out on any flat surface. Give time for it to air dry. Once it does, you are free to wear your cap again!

Frequently Asked Questions


Can you wash ball caps in the washer?

Unlike washing a normal hat, we do recommend washing your hat in a washing machine. Although you may opt for this method with your other hats made of mesh, cotton, or polyester, it is a no-no for baseball caps with cardboard brims.

Even the lowest settings in your washer can damage the shape and structure of the cardboard in your hat. As a result, you have a limp-looking hat that is not only an aesthetic eyesore but is also dysfunctional.

Can you go for the washing hats in a dishwasher method?

We highly advise against it. This only works well for newer hats equipped with plastic rims. You can give it a try if the label on your hat confirms it is machine-washable. In that case, watch this video on Youtube for in-depth guidance.

When should you wash a baseball cap?

There is no set standard for when to wash a baseball cap. Washing schedules should depend on your use. If you frequently wear your cap and sweat a lot, it is good to wash it every two to three days. If you wear it only once in a while, monthly upkeep is enough. Consider the frequency of use and the settings that you wear your cap. These should tell you when you need to wash your cap.


So, there you have it! You should now have a handy reference to master how to clean a baseball cap with cardboard. With materials that you can easily get around the home, you can wash your cardboard-brimmed caps in quick and easy steps.

To recap, these are:

  • Treat stains and scrub gently
  • Blot the treated stains to eliminate
  • Rinse the cap in cold water

We have also addressed a few frequently asked questions. But if you have a follow-up question that has not been answered, feel free to leave a comment. Also, share with us your cleaning experience if you have done this yourself. We cannot wait to hear from you! You are welcome to share this article with others as well.

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