You Probably Aren't Washing Your Baseball Hats Enough

The sporty girl aesthetic will probably never go out of style — at least, we hope not. On the days when you'd rather use brain power on tasks other than choosing an outfit, turning cozy and casual into cute is a win. Whether you're running to the gym or finishing errands at the grocery store, throwing on a baseball hat can save precious time and salvage bad hair days. It's a wardrobe must-have that can turn a lazy look into comfortably chic. Popularized by the queens of tomboy sexy — like Hailey Bieber, Zoë Kravitz, and bad girl Rihanna — the baseball cap has become a favorite fashion staple for girls who have more sneakers than heels.


But even though the ease of throwing on a baseball hat can save you from spending time on hairstyling, that doesn't mean it should be considered entirely low-maintenance. If you have a favorite cap that gets more weartime than the others, it's probably time to give it a good wash. Failing to wash hats worn on the regular can not only lead to dinginess and sweat smells but also skin and scalp issues (via Tiége). Here's why these dirty caps may be a real problem, and how to keep them so fresh and so clean.

Baseball hats get dirtier than you think

Your laundry days are probably a blur of darks, lights, sheets, and towels. But how often are you tossing your sweaty baseball caps in the wash? Between wearing it to the gym, going for hikes, and doing yard work, chances are your favorite baseball hat is collecting a lot of sweat, dirt, and bacteria. Unfortunately, failing to clean this headgear can create poor skin hygiene and lead to acne or other skin issues if severe enough.


According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, ineffectually cleaning sports equipment or headwear can lead to acne mechanica, a form of acne that develops from wearing tight-fitting clothes that rub against the skin in conjunction with heat and sweat. If not properly treated or prevented, this can even lead to painful skin lesions and unflattering pink or red pimples (via Healthline). If not correctly cared for, baseball caps can become a prime culprit for contaminating and damaging the skin around the forehead and hairline.

How to wash baseball hats safely

When deciding how often to wash your baseball cap, consider its wearability and how active you are. If you only don it occasionally for leisurely activities, it won't need too much washing. "Clean it when it looks dirty, has gotten sweaty or you can't remember the last time you washed it. Your favorite baseball hat may need to be washed several times a year," Jessica Ek of the American Cleaning Institute tells Today. On the other hand, if you work out often and sweat regularly into the cap, more regular washing will prevent sweat stains and bacteria from accumulating. The sports clothing experts at Quality Logo Products recommend a wash at least two to three times per season for practicing athletes, or up to once per week if you wear the same hat constantly.


Before tossing your cap in the washing machine, read the label and check if it's washable. Due to their unique structure and material, some baseball caps are better hand-washed. Per the guidance from Quality Logo Products, here's how to get started. To hand-wash your hat, fill a sink or bucket with cool water and about half a cup of laundry detergent or mild shampoo. Use a toothbrush or sponge to gently scrub out any dirt or sweat stains. Run the cap under cool water to rinse any bubbles and detergent, then squeeze out excess water. Do not put the hat in the dryer; let it air dry instead. And voilà, your hat is clean and primed for wear again!