How To Clean A Nylon Hat

Nylon is a popular material, and because it’s lightweight and thin, it’s a great fabric to use for hats. Breathable and non-shrinkable, a nylon hat will keep you cool on a hot day, and because it won’t shrink when you wash it, it dries quickly, and a nylon hat will retain its original shape. That’s a huge plus when you need to clean it. 

What is nylon, and is it easy to clean a nylon hat? Nylon is a synthetic fabric essentially made from petroleum. Nylon fibers are rugged, flexible, are not easily damaged, and nylon is easy to clean. Overall, nylon is an excellent material for items that see heavy use and frequent outdoor exposure, such as a hat. 

Now that we know some basic information about nylon, let’s get back to the subject, ‘How do you clean a nylon hat?’ Keep reading to learn how you go about cleaning a hat made of nylon.

How Do You Clean a Nylon Hat? 

First things first, before you throw your hat in the washer and hope for the best, have a look inside your hat and see if there’s a label that has recommended cleaning instructions listed. If you do find a label, follow the cleaning instructions. 

For the rest of us, let’s have a look at the best way to get your nylon hat clean. There are two ways you can clean your nylon hat; you can either wash it by hand or, yes, you can throw it in the washing machine. 

How to Clean a Nylon Hat Using a Washing Machine

Here’s how you can clean your nylon hat in a washing machine; besides a washing machine, you’ll need:

  • Detergent (non-bleach)
  • Stain Remover
  • Soft-bristled brush 

Here’s how this works:

  • The first thing you’ll want to do is pre-treat any stains on your hat. Apply the stain remover and gently agitate the stained area with the soft-bristled brush. The longer you let the stain remover on your hat, the more effective the stain remover is. 
  • Next, put the hat in with a load of like-colored items.  
  • When the washing cycle is finished, remove your hat. Place it where its shape can be retained or put balled-up paper towels inside and allow it to dry naturally. 

And there you have it, washing a nylon hat using a washing machine. 

There is advice out there that recommends washing your hats in the dishwasher. Never put your laundry or your hats in your dishwasher! Dishwasher soap can have bleach in it that can ruin your clothes, and dishwasher temperatures can be scorching; this is not a suitable environment for your garments. 

How to Hand Wash a Nylon Hat

To hand-wash your nylon hat, you’ll need a sink or bucket with water for washing and rinsing. These items are also helpful:

  • Detergent (non-bleach) 
  • Stain Remover
  • Soft-Bristled Brush

And here’s what you’ll need to do for the best results:

  • Pre-treat any stains with a stain remover and use your brush to agitate the stain gently. Let the stain remover set on the hat for at least an hour. 
  • Fill your bucket or sink with clean, warm water and add a small amount of detergent. You should have enough space and water so that you can fully submerge your hat. The general rule of thumb for hand-washing clothes is one teaspoon of detergent for one pound of clothing. That means you need very little to wash your hat; you do not want so much soap that rinsing becomes a complicated process. 
  • Put your nylon hat in the soapy water, agitate it and let it sit for about half an hour. Have a look at your hat, and if it looks clean, you can get ready to rinse. If you have stubborn stains, you can try stain remover a second time and repeat the soak. 
  • Rinse your nylon hat thoroughly. Let the hat dry naturally where it keeps its shape, or put balled-up paper towels inside it.

These are instructions on how to hand-wash your nylon hat, easy-peasy! 

Removing Stubborn Stains From a Nylon Hat 

If you still have stains after pre-treating and washing your nylon hat, there are a few things you can try to remove these stubborn marks.

Tips to remove stubborn stains from nylon:

  • Yellow stains– lemon juice will remove yellow stains from nylon. Do not let the lemon juice dry; immediately blot it off and rise, or throw it in the washer.
  • Mildew or mold– you can safely use hydrogen peroxide- put 3% hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and spray it directly on mold, let it sit until it’s done bubbling, blot dry, rinse and dry. Lemon and salt are a natural method to remove mildew, and there are commercial mold removers. 
  • Oil Stains– pretreat with stain remover or rub laundry detergent on the oily stain and wash in the hottest water available. Air-dry, repeat if need be. Baby powder or cornstarch can help remove oil due to its absorbent nature. 

Test any strong detergent or cleaning product first in an inconspicuous spot to ensure it doesn’t damage your nylon hat. 


Nylon is a tough, resilient, and easy to clean material. It is lightweight and cool to wear (we mean temperature-wise here, but your hat could be pretty ‘cool’ too). Follow the instructions for either hand-washing your dirty hat or throwing it in the washer, and your hat will be ready for your next adventure in a flash! 

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