Care & Maintenance Tips: The Proper Way To Clean a Straw Hat

Nothing says summertime like a straw hat, whether it’s a floppy hat for the beach or a flat-brimmed boater hat for a walk through the park. But the one caveat of being able to wear a straw hat just about anywhere in the summer is the fact there are so many more opportunities for it to get stained.

But don’t despair, straw hat lovers. Once you know the proper way to clean a straw hat, you’ll be able to savor a stain-free summer.

Cleaning the Straw

If you’ve ever taken a trip to a barn, you’ve experienced the smell of straw that’s been left out in the rain. If you toss your hat in the washing machine, the same thing may happen to it, or worse, it will lose its shape. The correct way to clean a straw hat avoids excess moisture to help preserve it.

Spot Cleaning

Most of the time, you’ll be able to get away with cleaning spots with a non-liquid cleaner and a broom or cloth. Sprinkling talcum powder and cornstarch onto stains will typically help absorb them if you let them sit for long enough. For scuffs, use a gum eraser to gently wipe them away.

Deep Cleaning

For deep cleaning, you can use either a specialty straw hat cleaner, a combination of water and hydrogen peroxide, or a glass cleaner. Remember, our goal is not to soak the hat. The best way to apply your cleaner is to put it into a misty sprayer and wipe the surface with a clean cloth.

Cleaning the Fabric

Not every part of your hat is made of straw. For the fabric parts, such as the sweatband and outer band, use a solution of water and detergent with a clean cloth. Dip your cloth in the detergent and wring out the excess. Then, carefully apply the cloth to the fabric. Dabbing motions are preferrable to help avoid rubbing makeup stains into the fabric.

Drying Straw Hats

If your hat does get wet, your first instinct might be to do whatever it takes to get the hat dry as quickly as possible. Still, you should resist the urge to take a blow dryer to your hat or to leave it in the sun. Both options will warp your hat. Instead, follow these steps:

  • - Gently dab the hat with a cloth or paper towel to remove excess water.
  • - Fold the sweatband out.
  • - If the hat has natural bends, like a turned-up brim, make sure these parts are refolded.
  • - Leave the hat sitting upside down on a flat surface.
  • - Keep the hat away from direct sunlight.

An even more effective option is to leave your hat to dry on a wall peg or on a mannequin head. This will keep the hat from losing its original shape as it dries.

From fedoras to garden hats, straw hats will always be the crown of summer. If you browse our collection of ladies fashion hats, you’ll find a style for every summery occasion.