How to Clean a Baseball Cap With Cardboard? – 3 Methods


Written by

Michael Rogers



Leo Hagenes

how to clean a baseball cap with cardboard

Cardboard or paperboard used to be a prevalent material for cap visors before manufacturers preferred HPDE, resin fiber blends, and plastic for durability.

So, if you still have a vintage baseball cap made with cardboard, like the new models, it must be a precious item. Generally, it’s not easy to wash such a cap frequently without ruining it.

If you are here for some good tips, you are at the right place. Read on for some different methods on how to clean a baseball cap with cardboard to keep it intact.

Best Tips for Baseball Hat Cleaning


You do not want to soak your cardboard cap visor in water, especially hot water, as it will damage the material. So, it naturally follows that you cannot put the cap in the washing machine. Here’re some of the safer alternatives for cleaning.

Method 1: With a toothbrush


Instead of washing baseball caps, we can brush the whole piece gently to remove debris and dirt in even the tiniest crevices.

What you need to prepare:

  • A toothbrush
  • Mild detergent
  • Warm water
  • Some pieces of microfiber cloth

Here’re the steps to clean your baseball cap by hand:

  • Mix the detergent with warm water for a mild cleaning agent. Please note that this cleaner is best for new dirt.
  • Scrub the stains on your cap first. Be gentle when brushing the cap visor. Also, do not forget to get into its crevice and brims.
  • Dampen a cloth in clean, warm water. Then, use it to absorb the detergent on the cap. Do it several times to ensure you have already removed all the cleaner.
  • Leave the cap in an open space for it to air dry.

Method 2: With a no-rinse cleaner

We already know that we cannot wash baseball hats with cardboard visors by submerging them in a mixture of water and detergent. So, is there another way for a thorough cleaning?

The answer is a no-rinse cleaner. This type of product can remove oil-based stains well with a fast-acting formula. It is usable on cap fabrics such as cotton, canvas, and polyester.

Here’re the items you need to gather:

  • A cap stain cleaning kit (often featuring a stain remover and a fine misting bottle)
  • A brush with soft bristles (or a toothbrush)
  • Some pieces of microfiber cloth

Steps to wash a hat by hand using a no-rinse cleaner:

  • Spot-treat the stains with the fine mist. You can spray a bit of the agent onto each individual mark, then use the brush to rub the stain off.
  • Afterward, spray the no-rinse cleaner onto the cap, including the visor and other parts, for deep cleaning.
  • Now, use the soft cloth to blot the fabric and apply some pressure on the dirty areas.
  • Then, use another clean piece of cloth to absorb the cleaner.
  • Finally, let the cap dry naturally.

From our experience, this is also the best way to clean a white baseball cap.

Method 3: With dishwashing detergent


To clean the brim of a hat made of cardboard, we cannot use an abrasive cleaner as it can discolor the piece. Therefore, this method is usable for vintage or commemorative caps that you want to preserve for a long time.

What you need to prepare:

  • A piece of white microfiber cloth
  • Two soft, absorbent towels (also preferably white)
  • A cup
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent
  • Warm water

Here’s how you clean the cap:

  • Take a small microfiber cloth to test the cap’s colorfastness. Dampen the cloth piece, then scrub lightly onto a hidden part of the cap to see if the color can be rubbed off the cap.

If the cloth remains white, proceed with the deep cleaning steps below.

  • Create the cleaner by pouring one teaspoon of the detergent into a small warm water cup.
  • Then, dip a towel into the soapy water and rub the cap with it. Do not miss out on any spot while cleaning. However, you should not use too much force or make the cardboard visor soaking wet.
  • Use the other clean towel to wipe down the cleaner on the cap. Then, let the cap air dry. You should not use any excessive heat, like a hair dryer or heater to dry a baseball cap.

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I know if my hat brim is cardboard?

To check if you have the old cap model with a cardboard visor, you can do a little testing. Just flick the hat’s brim and listen for the sound it produces.

If the sound is strong and solid and the visor bends easily under your tapping or flicking, then yours might just be a cardboard cap.

How do I get sweat stains out of a baseball cap with cardboard?

Ugly stains caused by built-up sweat are often a huge issue with vintage caps. You can mix Dawn dish soap and Hydrogen peroxide and use a soft toothbrush to rub the unsightly stain marks.

Just make sure to test for color fastness first and avoid soaking your hat; then, it will be just fine!

Can I wash my baseball cap in the washing machine?

Yes, if the cap does not have a cardboard brim and is not made of leather or wool. You can put your baseball cap in the washing machine if it is mostly cotton or polyester. Just make sure not to use a potent cleaner for washing it.


Now you know how to clean a baseball cap with cardboard without damaging its visor. Always remember that soaking is out of the question. Bleaching or using any abrasive cleaner is also a no-go.

It’s best that you find a no-rinse product that allows cleaning without water. I am sure vintage caps are easy to clean, as long as you are gentle and patient.

Also, act fast the moment the dirt gets there, since built-up sweat, oil, or other stains are really hard to remove without a potent cleaner or vigorous rubbing.

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