Taking Care of Your Dog Dad Hat

Ain't nothin' worse than wasting a good dad hat. We believe in doing everything we can to keep our dad hats in use as long as possible. We don't think you should just toss it out because it gets a little dirty or isn't quite like new—it just has some character.

With that said, life happens, so instead of trying to keep that hat in its pristine deadstock condition, here are some tips to help you extend the life of your dad hat while living in it.

How to Clean Your Dad Hat

You may wonder if you can even wash a dad hat, or if you need to have one of those plastic hat-shaped washing cages. While those are certainly nice to have, you don’t need to have one. But before we get into throwing your dad hat into a washing machine, let’s walk through some common cleaning scenarios you might run into and how to clean your hat.

Cleaning Hair and Fuzz

You can’t be a dog dad or mom without getting some of your pup’s hairs on your hat. Ok maybe you’re one of those folks with a nice hypoallergenic or shed-free dog, but for the rest of us, we recommend rolling up some tape and swiping the loose hairs off. Just grab your tape, roll it into a loop with your fingers, use two fingers to spread the tape roll into a tape conveyor belt that you can roll along your hat. Office tape or packing tape will work, but duct tape might be too much!

Cleaning Loose Dirt

If your hat’s been through a rough day picking up dirt, then you should start with a brush. A horsehair brush has the right mix of stiffness and softness to avoid roughing up your hat while swatting away any pieces of dirt.

Cleaning Dust

Dust is pretty easy—just wipe it with a slightly damp piece of cloth. Too much water and you might actually push the dust into the fibers of your hat, and then you're on your way to having a proper smudge.

Cleaning Smudges and Stains

Sometimes the dirt is just a little stubborn. Maybe you had a hot day and sweat up a storm in your hat, or some ketchup spilled on your hat in a fit of excitement. Regardless, where we’re at now is you’ve got yourself one dirty hat that the other methods described just can’t fix, and for that, we turn to the washing machine.

But before you wash it, let your hat soak in a bath of lukewarm water with a tablespoon or so—about 15ml or half-a-medicine cap serving—for 20-40 minutes to allow your tough stains to loosen up before washing.

How to Wash Your Dad Hat in a Washing Machine

Never throw your hat in the dryer! It will shrink.

Now that that's out of the way, we understand that your hat has to get washed at some point, and that's when you turn to the machine. Yeah, yeah the machine is not recommended, and a hand-wash with brush is better, but do you really have the time to wash your hat by hand? If you do, cold water! But when time's precious, here's what we would do.

You want to toss your dad hat in with soft materials—so not your jeans, not your sweaters, shoes, towels, or rope leashes. We’re talking about soft stuff like your socks, underwear, t-shirts, or light beddings. Just make sure the machine isn't overstuffed—your hat should have room to bounce around in there comfortably without anything squishing it into a corner or against the center pylon in top-loading washers.

If you have a delicates cycle on your machine use that. You don't need to put your hat through a heavy cycle—the other fabrics in the wash will do their job as long as there aren't too many of them.

Definitely use cold water only. Hot water accelerates the fading process by washing out the dye in your hat. It can also lead to a more rapid breakdown of the firmness of your brim, leading to odd misshapen looks.

Do not bleach! Your colors will get washed out—all pigment burned from existence by the extreme basicness of bleach. Gentle detergents only, baby! We're also a big fan of using eco-friendly detergent. Cleans just as well, while being better for the environment!

But wait, there's more! 

After your load is done washing, give it an extra spin cycle to centrifuge out any excess water, then pop that hat on your head and wear it till it dries out! This prevents the hat from drying in some weird funky shape that doesn't match your head. If you don't have the time for this, find some container that sort of matches your head shape and pop the hat on that. Could be rolled up sweater, a cantaloupe, inflated balloon, or a big jar of pickles. The important thing is to not let your hat dry in a sad unstructured pile—that's a quick way to get wrinkles.

Stashing Your Dad Hat

Alright so you can't just wear that dad hat whenever you feel like it—notably in bed, or at a wedding, unless they wear encourage hats at that wedding, then neat! But what to do when you can't wear your Dog Dad Hats?

While it can be tempting to just toss your dad hat any old place, there are a few things to keep in mind to help your hat stay fresh for years.

While dad hats are designed to fade over time for a vintage look, leaving your hat in the sun accelerates this process.

You don't want to dump your hat in a place where it can get crushed and bent all out of shape, like under a pile of junk in your trunk, the car I mean.

You also probably don't want to leave that hat lying around on the couch or floor—a tempting location for any chewer pups out there. Trust me, been there, done that and you don't want to have the stress of straining through your pup's poop to make sure all of the pieces passed through. Gross and stressful!

A good place to stash your dad hat? Hang it up on a peg on the wall like the fine piece of art that it is for all to admire.

Other good places to stash your hats include the top of a coat rack, like a Christmas tree topper. You can also leave it on top of a table by the front door, next to a mask, so you never leave home without either.