What’s all the fuss about?
From the jump, I’m going to eliminate using the dishwasher. I wouldn’t wish this on any cap, not even a Manchester United one.
A dishwasher is just too harsh. For starters, the temperature of the wash and rinse cycle is too hot for safe cap cleaning. When you combine this with dishwasher detergent, it’s a recipe for disaster.
Still, your caps will inevitably get dirty at some point. Even if you brush regularly and store your caps correctly, it only helps to a point. What happens when you spill something on your cap or drop it in a muddy puddle?
Don’t just pop your cap in the machine. Although many people do clean their caps this way (I have - and it didn’t end well) there are effective, safe alternatives. Keep reading to find out how to safely clean your cap.
Instead of asking “Can I put my cap in the washing machine,” the question should be “Is this any good for my cap?”
To that my response is NO. Compared to the alternatives, The washing machine is only going to damage the shape, colour and shorten the life of your cap.
What do the manufacturers recommend?
Cleaning caps is more complicated than cleaning shoes. There are more ways to ruin a cap. It’s possible cap manufacturers advise against washing caps at all because they’d like to avoid the headache of customer support they would have to offer. Should you put your cap in dishwasher? Here are a few things to consider first.
Occasions when you may be able to get away with washing your cap in the machine:
Things to consider before deciding to use the washing machine:
What are the alternatives to washing your caps in the machine?
I deep clean my caps when its completely dirty. I use a professional machine for full restoration projects.
However, hand washing your cap is a good deep cleaning method, it is not as damaging to your cap as using a washing machine.
It's best to only use this method when spot cleaning wont do. I will be covering the in detail how I deep clean caps in another blog. In the meantime here are a few pointers:
It’s not so much that your cap is going to self destruct in the washing machine as that it speeds up wear. When I show you the potential negative outcomes, understand these signs don’t necessarily appear in the first wash.
In fact, if you wash your cap in the washing machine, it may come out fresh and clean! However, consistent machine washes will cause your cap to lose colour and damage the shape at a faster rate.
This is why hand washing or spot cleaning is preferable for anyone who wants great results the first time with minimal wear. Personally, I don’t recommend washing a new or valuable cap in the washing machine. Other cleaning methods are much safer, so try these first!
Got any washing machine horror stories or even some restoration triumphs? Please do comment below.