How to clean your hat

Some easy ways to get your hat clean. When in doubt take it to a professional cleaner.


Remove dust from your hat regularly with a soft brush as stiff brushes may tear the hat felt. A hat brush is ideal with a curved brush with wooded handle and soft bristles. Starting at the left side of the hat, and brush it anticlockwise toward the back and around again. Match the bristle colour to your hat colour eg. dark bristle for dark hat and vise versa.

Dust can also be removed with a damp towel with a slight nap by gently rubbing the damp towel in a circular anticlockwise motion over the surface to quickly. A bath or shower towel is ideal, but do not do this with stiff hats.

If a hat brush won’t do, then use a soft small-pored sponge such as a makeup sponge, or foam rubber which are sticky enough to coax surface soiling away from the felt. An art rubber will work as well if you rub in an anticlockwise motion to the grain.

Deep stains

Deep stains will need to be sanded with very fine sandpaper moving it gently anticlockwise to reach the dirty stain. Be careful not to dig in or use your finger to push up against the spot from underneath as either of these will cause the sandpaper to dig in and create a weak spot. When sanding make sure you only remove a very thin layer of felt as not to weaken the hat.

Oily stains

Fuller’s Earth is best for oily stains as it will not stain your hat but will draw the oil out of the hat fibres. Brush the oily mark first then apply Fuller’s Earth letting it sit for two or three hours. Brush off the Fuller’s Earth afterwards with a soft brush or towel. Repeat if necessary. When finished, use a synthetic or rubber sponge to clean away powder that has penetrated into the felt.

If your light coloured fur felt become spotted with water or grease, you can clean it with a little baby talc or cornstarch – no liquid cleaners!

Heavy sweat stains

Heavy sweat stains need to be cleaned by a professional as they penetrate deep into the body of the felt.

If all else fails…

Find a professional cleaner or hat renovator for your hat!

Cleaning straw hats

Dirty marks on straw hats can be removed by gently wiping with a clean damp cloth. If not successful try using dry cleaning fluid. Use sparingly and test it on a small hidden area of the hat first. Apply the dry cleaning fluid with cotton wool and do not over wet the area as this could remove the dye or varnish.