Coastal Boats

How to properly clean your cap from saltwater stains

Wearing a cap while rowing is perfect for keeping your face in the shade on a sunny day. We all have experienced how quick our nice caps turn dirty and filthy after a day of contact with sweat and saltwater. So let’s look at options to clean our hats from sweat and saltwater, which can give your cap a yellow stain or even let it fade.

Most caps cannot be thrown easily into the washer like the rest of your sportsgear. Not interested in cleaning but want to buy a new one every time? Click here for a new one. But jokes aside. Look at the different options we recommend for you!

Before you start, look at the sunshield of your cap, especially if you use a baseball cap. Newer ones usually have plastic sunshields, while older caps usually have cardboard inlay. Obviously it would break if you soak an old one but there are still options.


Method A: Clean baseball caps in the dishwasher

There are many different opinions about this method. The comments go from “the perfect method” to “never again”. In all honesty, we’ve tried it several times and it’s still our preferred method of cleaning. Especially to clean caps that were soaked in saltwater.

All caps with plastic sunshields are usually machine washable.

You Need: 

  • A dish washer set to a mild program (that’s usually the glass program)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of dishwasher detergent or half a dishwasher tablet
  • A bowl or a sieve as a base for the cap

The advantage of using a dishwasher is, that the shape of your cap will stay how it was before the wash.

Clean your baseball cap in the dishwasher – procedure: 

How to properly clean your cap from saltwater stains
How to properly clean your cap – Use a bowl or a sieve that fits the inside of your cap


How to properly clean your cap from saltwater stains
How to properly clean your cap – Put the cap on the bowl/sieve and place it in the top drawer
  • Empty your dishwasher and make sure that there’s no leftover food anywhere.
  • Take a bowl/sieve and fit the cap on it.
  • Place the cap-on-a-bowl/sieve in the top drawer.
  • Put dishwater detergent/tablet in the dishwasher as usual.
  • Turn the dishwasher on a light/mild program (usually something like the glass program).

Not convinced?

Method B: Hand wash your caps

Note (that you hear before, but it’s important): If you have an old baseball cap, it’s likely the sunshield is made out of cardboard. If that is the case, you have to keep the sunshield out of the water and you have to clean it careful and not throughout. There’s basically only one rule for the cleaning of your baseball cap – never use too much water if the sunshield insert is made of cardboard.

You need:

  • A sink.
  • Warm water (not hot!).
  • Mild detergent or soap.
  • A toothbrush (If you use an old one, clean it beforehand).
  • 2 towels – one for cleaning and one for drying.
  • A hairdryer.

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1 thought on “How to properly clean your cap from saltwater stains”

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