How to Wash a Hat in the Dishwasher Without Damaging It

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Everyone loves a trusty baseball cap. Over time, these beloved caps collect sweat, dirt, and oils from daily wear. Sure, hand-washing is an option, but have you considered the dishwasher an effective alternative? With the right approach, getting that cap looking brand-new without risking damage is possible.

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Dishwasher
  • Dishwasher detergent (non-bleach, non-lemon-scented)
  • Laundry stain remover (optional)
  • Dishwasher-safe hat frame (optional)

Detailed Guide on Washing Your Hat in the Dishwasher

Washing your hat in the dishwasher can seem unconventional. Still, it’s a method favored by many due to its effectiveness and gentleness, especially when compared to traditional washing machines that can be abrasive. Here’s a more in-depth look into the process:

1. Pre-Treatment:

Why it’s important: Over time, hats accumulate sweat, dust, and other particles that can lead to stubborn stains. A pre-treatment helps to loosen these, ensuring better cleaning.

What to do: Apply a gentle laundry stain remover on areas with noticeable stains or dirt patches. It could be the brim, where sweat accumulates, or any spot with visible marks.

Tip: Use a gentle stain remover that doesn’t bleach or discolor the fabric. Always test a small hidden spot on the hat first.

2. Positioning in Dishwasher:

Why it’s important: Proper positioning ensures the hat isn’t deformed during the wash and allows optimal water flow.

What to do: If you own a dishwasher-safe hat frame, secure your hat inside it. It will help retain the hat’s shape during the wash. Place the frame with the cap on the dishwasher’s top shelf. If you don’t have a frame, use clothespins or binder clips to attach the hat securely to the rack. It ensures the hat stays in place and doesn’t get tossed around.

Tip: Avoid placing the hat near sharp objects or anything that might discolor or damage it.

3. Add Detergent:

Why it’s important: Choosing the right detergent can improve cleaning efficacy and ensure the hat’s fabric is not damaged.

What to do: Add your preferred dishwasher detergent to the designated dispenser. However, choosing a detergent that doesn’t contain bleach or lemon scents is crucial, which can be harsh on fabrics.

Tip: Using natural or mild detergents can be beneficial for maintaining the color and fabric quality of the hat.

4. Choose the Right Settings:

Why it’s important: Ensuring the right settings prevents damage to the hat and ensures thorough cleaning.

What to do:

  1. Set your dishwasher to a regular wash cycle.

  2. Ensure you use warm water, not hot, as extreme temperatures can distort the hat’s shape or fade its color.

  3. Most importantly, turn off the “heat dry” option.

Tip: Some dishwashers have a ‘gentle’ or ‘delicates’ cycle, which could be a great option for hats.

5. Drying:

Why it’s important: Proper drying ensures the hat retains its shape and doesn’t develop mold or unpleasant odors.

What to do: After the cycle completes, take the hat out of the dishwasher. Please place it in a well-ventilated area to air-dry. Using an overturned bowl can help the hat retain its shape as it dries.

Tip: Avoid drying in direct sunlight as it can fade the color of the hat.

Things You Didn’t Know You Could Wash in the Dishwasher:

  • Kitchen brushes and sponges
  • Hair and makeup brushes
  • Plastic toys and mouthguards
  • Vacuum attachments
  • Microwave turntables
  • Vitamix – (Be Careful)
  • Yetis
  • Hydro Flask
  • Golf balls, and more!


The dishwasher isn’t just a tool to clean your dishes; it’s a versatile appliance that, when used right, can offer gentle yet effective cleaning solutions for a range of items, including your treasured hats. Following the detailed steps above, you can ensure your baseball cap is cleaned safely and effectively, giving it a refreshed look and feel.

Always consider the material and specifics of your hat, ensuring you adjust the process accordingly. And just like that, your hat is ready for many more days under the sun!


Is it safe to wash hats in the dishwasher?

It is generally safe to wash hats in the dishwasher, especially baseball caps. However, it’s essential to ensure the hat is made of a material that won’t be damaged by water and to use the right settings on the dishwasher.

Can I use any dishwasher detergent?

Preferably use detergents that do not contain bleach or lemon, as they might damage the hat’s fabric.

Do you wash dirty hats on the top rack or bottom of the dishwasher?

Always wash hats on the top rack of the dishwasher. It ensures they are away from the main water source, preventing them from getting too agitated, which could cause them to lose shape or become damaged.

Is this method safe for all types of hats?

This method is ideal for most baseball caps. For hats with cardboard brims or delicate materials, consider hand-washing.

How often should I wash my baseball cap?

Depending on usage, washing your hat every few months should suffice. However, a monthly clean might be beneficial for those worn regularly or during workouts.

Can I use the drying feature on my dishwasher for the hat?

It’s recommended to avoid using the dishwasher’s drying feature. Air drying ensures the hat retains its shape and is not damaged by excessive heat.

Can you wash hats in the dishwasher with laundry detergent?

No, it’s not recommended to use laundry detergent in the dishwasher. Stick to dishwasher-safe detergent to ensure the hat and the dishwasher are not adversely affected.

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Ubaid Hassan
Ubaid Hassan

Introducing Ubaid Hassan – the expert who knows all about fixing dishwashers. Ubaid understands how dishwashers work and is really good at finding and solving problems. Ubaid is the person to ask for helpful advice and solutions. Loving both dishwashers and taking care of the environment, Ubaid can share smart ideas to help you use your dishwasher well and be kind to nature.

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