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Yes, you can wash your hats in the dishwasher—here’s how

Illustration of Dishwasher with hats inside

If you see someone in your family loading hats in the dishwasher, you might have questions. But washing hats in the dishwasher is actually a good idea. Structured hats like baseball caps can lose their shape while tumbling or agitating in the washing machine. Here’s everything you need to know to wash your hat in the dishwasher. 

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Which hats can you safely wash in the dishwasher? 

Not all hats are dishwasher-friendly. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Safe to wash in the dishwasher. Baseball caps, bucket hats, and other cotton or synthetic hats.
  • Don’t wash in the dishwasher. Hats made of leather, suede, straw, or hand-wash-only hats. 

What supplies do you need to wash hats in the dishwasher?

Before you hit start on the wash cycle, you’ll need to gather a few things:

  • A hat frame. A great way to help maintain your hat’s shape is to place it inside a plastic hat frame, which you can buy online. If you don’t have a hat frame, you can shape your hat using a cup or bowl.
  • Gentle detergent. Make sure you’re using detergent that doesn’t contain bleach. 

How to wash your hat in the dishwasher

Here are our best tips for washing your hat in the dishwasher: 

  1. Make sure the dishwasher is clean. Check for food residue, wipe down your machine, and clean the filter before you begin the cycle. 
  2. Don’t wash your hat with a load of dirty dishes. Wash your hat on its own or with other hats. 
  3. Pretreat your hat. If it is particularly dirty, you may want to apply stain remover and let your hat sit for at least 10 minutes before you put it in the dishwasher. 
  4. Place your hat on the top rack. Whether you’re using a hat frame or not, it’s best to place your hat on the top rack of the dishwasher to protect it from the machine’s heating element. 
  5. Choose the right wash cycle. After you load gentle detergent into the dispenser, select the shortest, coldest cycle on your dishwasher and run the load. 
  6. Don’t run the drying cycle. If it’s an option on your machine, switch off the drying cycle. The temperature could be too hot and shrink or damage your hat. If it’s not an option, make sure to remove your hat before the drying cycle starts. 

Drying your hat post wash

Once you remove your hat from the dishwasher, set it on a flat surface to dry. If it’s in a frame or you’ve placed it on a bowl, keep it there until it dries so it will maintain its shape. 

Forks up or down? Check out our guide on how to properly load your dishwasher.

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