If you're an athlete, runner, or yoga aficionado you know that your gear can get dirty and sweaty quickly. And the one piece of gear that often misses the daily shower is your hat. Not only does a clean hat help keep you looking and feeling fresh during your workouts, but it can also help prolong the life of your hat. In this article, we'll take a look at how to clean a hat.

1. Check the label

Before you start cleaning your running hat, it's important to check the label to see if there are any specific instructions. Sprints hats are all machine washable but some may need to be hand-washed. Checking the label can help prevent any damage or shrinkage to your hat.

2. Spot clean

When you take a quick shower, it’s called a pilot shower (just the wings and engine if you know what I mean). If your running hat has a few small stains or spots its called spot clean. You can use a mild detergent and a soft brush to gently scrub the stained area, being careful not to damage the fabric. Rinse the area with water and let it air dry.

3. Hand wash

If you have one of the inferior non-machine washable non-sprints hats, you can hand wash it in a sink or basin. Fill the sink with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Gently scrub the hat in the water, being careful not to twist or wring it. Rinse the hat thoroughly with clean water and gently press out any excess water.

4. Machine wash

If your running hat is machine washable, you can wash it in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. Use a mild detergent and set the water temperature to cold. You can place the hat in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to protect it during the wash cycle. Avoid using fabric softener, which can damage the fabric.

5. Air dry

Once you've cleaned your running hat, it's important to always let it air dry. Avoid using a dryer, which can damage the fabric or Velcro closure. Even worse the dryer causes shrinkage (the ED of hats). Instead, place the hat on a clean towel and gently reshape it. Let it air dry in a well-ventilated area, out of direct sunlight.

By following these simple steps, you can keep your running hat clean and fresh for your next workout. Remember to check the label, spot clean when possible, and hand wash or machine wash as needed. And always let your hat air dry to avoid damaging the fabric. With a little care and attention, your running hat can last longer than your Strava streak.

Eric Rose