How to Clean Straw Hats and Hat Bands

Have you ever wondered how to clean straw hats? I have a few straw hats that I wear in the summer when I’m gardening or at the beach. And, of course, since it’s summertime, they have sweat stains on the brim. I even found an adorable vintage straw hat at our local thrift store but it has stains on it that need to be removed before I can wear it. So, I started wondering how to clean straw hats without taking them to a dry cleaner.

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How to Clean Straw Hats and Hat Bands

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Clean Straw Hats

Straw hats are lightweight, stylish and functional so it cannot hurt to have a few on hand in the closet for summertime. Whether you enjoy vintage styles or prefer the latest from your favorite designer, there will probably come a time when you need to clean it. There are two different methods you can take to clean your straw hat depending on how soiled it is and if it is limp or not.

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What you’ll need to clean straw hats:

Shellac – If your straw hat is limp, you can help by brushing it with a clear shellac and an equal amount of alcohol to make it stand again.

Hat Band – You can try to wash and iron the hat band. But, if it’s very worn or dirty you may simply want to replace it with a new one.

Clothing steamer – If you need to reshape your straw hat, a clothing steamer will make the process much simpler.

How to Clean Straw Hats and Hat Bands

Clean straw hats with mild soil

Using a soft cloth dipped in warm soapy water (use mild dish liquid) gently dab at the soil until it is removed. Then, rinse with a damp cloth that has only water on it. It’s very important that you do not get the hat too wet or it may shrink as it dries.

Repair straw hats that are limp

Most straw hats should have a defined shape. And, if they get dry or damp, they may lose their shape and become limp. After removing any soil using the method above, you can try brushing the dry hat with a 50/50 mixture of clear shellac and alcohol.

How to Clean Straw Hats and Hat Bands

Straw hat cleaner

The above methods should work in most cases. However, if you have an expensive designer straw hat or vintage hat, you may want to use a cleaner made specifically for straw hats. The one I have linked should remove most water and oil-based stains.

Do you have any other methods you’ve used to clean straw hats?

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Ellen is a busy mom of a 21-year-old son and 25-year-old daughter. She owns 5 blogs and is addicted to social media. She believes you can feel beautiful at any age and any size. She shares healthy, realistic beauty and fashion information geared toward women over the age of 40. If you’d like to work together, email info@the-socialites-closet.com to chat.