Experienced hatters usually have a go-to favorite hat. You know, the one that fits oh-so-perfectly and magically looks good every time you wear it, even with bedhead and serious mirror neglect. Now, when a hat has scars and markings, it adds character. Every ding simply becomes a mark in its history. However, dust and spots (which are prone to happen after years of wear) cause a less-than-dapper appearance, and an unpolished hat leads to an unhappy head, not to mention an unsophisticated wardrobe, which we can’t stand behind.
As a general rule, if you love a hat, you should treat it with love — it’s only the gentlemanly and ladylike thing to do. Maintaining it is key to its lifespan and appearance. There’s no need to walk around in a dusty, spotted hat, especially when you’ve got the expertise of Goorin Bros. right at your fingertips. Start with these three quick, easy-to-do DIY cleaning tips to spruce up and restore your hat to its original, spiffy exterior.
Tools we recommend for your hat care:
1. Brush your fur or wool felt hats with a hat brush.
When it comes to fur or wool felt, brushing your hat with a hat brush is a must to keep the unwelcome dust at bay. With most felt hats, including your Goorin, you'll want to brush counter-clockwise, going in the same direction as the felt. You should see the direction of the felt mostly with longer felt hats made of thicker material, like the Franko or Pauly. A felt hat only requires maintenance through brushing and for those peskier, tough-to-get pieces of dust, dabs of a lint roller sheet. The Goorin Bros. Hat Brush, which we highly recommend for every hat collector, is available online and at our Hat Shops.
2. Hydrogen peroxide and water removes stains on straw hats.
A straw Panama fedora like the Jack Johnson should only be dabbed with cleaning solution.
Using a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water will help lighten and remove spots and stains from straw hats. First, thoroughly brush the hat to remove any solid dust and dirt particles. Then make a small, equal mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water. Lightly dab a washcloth in the solution and gently wipe over any spotted areas of the hat until the stain is lifted. With straw hats, it's important to be very careful not to rub too much and cause the straws or fibers to get damaged. We also recommend using as little solution as possible so as to not cause a hat to shrink from wetness. Another tip: remember never to use a liquid cleanser on felt hats, which may cause serious shrinkage. An alternative to cleaning hats that are vulnerable to wetness is to gently rub baby talc powder or cornstarch to remove spots. Powder cleanser can also be used to clean a hat's sweatband, restoring it to its original freshness.
3. Use a lint roller and washcloth on cotton and blended fabric hats.
The Ward 7 cotton gatsby can be lint rolled and dabbed with a wet washcloth.
Most hats should not be (nor need to be) cleaned any way other than by hand. For at-home cleaning of a cotton hat, use a lint roller to lift any dust off of it. With recent spots, gently rubbing a damp washcloth with warm-to-hot water will usually lift the stain. If you're dealing with a heavier stain, we recommend using a Tide Stick or dabbing a washcloth in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide or your usual laundry detergent, and water.
Hatters, don't forget to show your hat some affection.
Now that you've got cleaning techniques for sprucing up your favorite hat, here are some reminders on how to care for your hat. Your hat goes through thick and thin with you, so show it some love on a daily basis. Remember, a long hat lifespan starts with simple preventative care.
Avoid touching the crown of your hat. When putting on or removing your hat, especially a felt or straw fedora, hold the brim in the front and back, handling the crown as little as possible. This will keep oils and dirt away from your hat and keep the crown in tip top shape.
Keep your hat away from enclosed heated areas. Exposing your hat to long periods of heat can cause it to misshapen or shrink. Avoid leaving your hat in a car or near lamps and radiators. If your hat has been exposed to too much heat and has lost its shape, you can take it to a Goorin Bros. Hat Shop to get reshaped for free.
The Doctor felt fedora can be waterproof with the spritz of Raindri.
Use a water repellent spray to make your hat waterproof. Raindri water repellent spray turns any hat into a rain hat, keeping your hat dry throughout winter and spring showers. Before spraying, make sure that the hat is clean and free of any dust or dirt particles. Spray about three light coats seven to ten inches from your hat. This spray is available only at Goorin Bros. Hat Shops.
Place a paper towel into the sweatband of your hat to prevent sweat stains. This is especially useful during those hot summer days when you perspire the most. Change out the paper towel as often as necessary. After removing the hat for the day, flip the sweatband out of the hat and away from its body to air dry.
Store your hat properly. Felt and straw hats should always be stored upside down in a hat box or on a clean surface to prevent dirt, oil or any other mucky substances from spreading to your beloved hat. Goorin Bros. Hat Boxes are available online and at Goorin Bros. Hat Shops.
For hat care and repair, visit a Goorin Bros. Hat Shop or get in touch with our customer service. The experts at our Goorin Bros. Hat Shops can dust, clean and even reshape your hat at no cost. If we don't have a Hat Shop in your neighborhood, simply contact our hat hotline at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via phone at 1-877-HAT-1895, where we will give you specific care instructions to get your Goorin back to its original shape and condition.
A hat only looks better with age, becoming more sophisticated, worn-in and personalized the longer you wear it. The next time you take your favorite hat on an adventure, follow these simple hat care tips. You will definitely lengthen your hat's lifespan and it'll be just as good-looking as it did the first time you laid eyes on it.