Straw hats are exceptionally common in the summertime. They are lightweight and stylish which means a lot of people use it as their daily hat. Furthermore, a star that can be combined with basically any outfit – from something a bit more stylish like a shirt to a regular T-shirt or a polo shirt. But, there is something which isn’t so good with straw hats. They are made, well, from straw and what this means is that these types of hats are extremely fragile. A paradox, if you ask us since they are used the most near the sea and water can damage them a lot.
Straw is very easy to handle and mix up in order to create a dense material. This material is flexible but it’s also quite easy to damage and rip. Furthermore, dust and dirt is probably the biggest enemy of straw. Dust can get in between tangled straws and thus create an issue which can damage your hat in the future.
So, is there something you can do in order to prevent your straw hat from losing its ground? Or prolong its lifetime a bit more? Yes, there is. In this article, we’ll cover some of the methods which are most used in order to battle all the issues your straw hat may have. And, we will give you some tips and tricks to use as a prevent measure in order to maintain your hat and keep it safe from breakage or any damage. Above all, we’ll see what can damage your hat, and what are some actions which can save it from further going down the drain.
Before you dive into the cleaning process, you need to look for a couple of things. Firstly, you need to check if your hat is capable of cleaning. What does this mean? Generally, most straw hats can be cleaned. But, for some, the label they have indicate that the water can damage the straw and therefore you should avoid any water type cleaning. This is something you need to check before starting anything. The manufacturer of the hat always needs to put what you can and can’t do with the hat. It’s their obligation to do so.
Next, remove any extras. Straw hats are in their raw, well, just straw hats. But, many manufactures add some extras in order to make the hat prettier. Things like bands, ribbons or other decorative pieces. You’ll need to take them all off and clean them separately. Often dirt and dust can fall between their pieces and the hat itself. Therefore, if you want to clean the straw hat thoroughly this is a step you wouldn’t want to avoid.
First thing first, you need to brush off your hat. You don’t want to start to clean with heavy artillery at the very beginning. Some of the items used to clean the hat can damage it if not used the right way and therefore, you should start with standard brushing as your first line of defence. In most cases, gentle brushing can clean 80% of hats. Everything after brushing is used to battle those 20% of hats which have stubborn issues which can’t be cleaned any other way. Next thing you should need to do is vacuum cleaning. If the dust can’t be removed with the help of regular brush, you should bring a vacuum to the game. Be sure that you cover the vacuum with some type of cloth because this will prevent the possible damage on the surface.
If you want to avoid the vacuum cleaner because it’s too harsh, you can use a peroxide solution. How to make it? Just mix up half of warm water with half hydrogen peroxide. Now, you should either spray this solution on some kind of cloth or just dip the cloth in the solution. Use that cloth to clean the hat. With circular motion and gentle touch, use the cloth to soak and clean any dirt that may be laying on the surface of the hat. You can use soap as well. Just instead hydrogen peroxide use some soap and repeat the process. This one is less harsh for the hat.
Lastly, you can do something simple. Just rinse your hat with water. While it’s often not advised to pour water on straw hats, if the label says that it’s okay to do it, then you should have no worries. Just rinse it a bit and with the help of fine brush we mentioned earlier, your hat will look as new in no time. Just keep in mind that rinsing means rinsing. So, don’t soak up your hat with water like you’re having a bath with it. It will destroy the hat 100%, that’s something we can guarantee.
Removing stains is a problem of its own when it comes to cleaning hats and basically every other material. If your hat has stains, just rinsing it won’t do much. You need to bring the heavy artillery and try to save it. There are different types of stains and they are all a bit different when it comes to cleaning. Some of them are harder to clean while the others are super easy. Oil stains can be cleaned with the help of talcum powder. Put some of it on the stain and use a brush to remove the stain. In most cases it will work, you just need to be persistent.
We mentioned that straw hats are usually used during the summer. What does this mean? Well, it means that you’ll probably sweat a lot. And since you’re sweating, some sweat stains might appear on the hat. If that’s the case then you need to act fast. To prevent stain from damaging the hat, immediately wipe the area with a white damp cloth. Why white? Because if you use a colored one, the color can transfer to the straw and that’s something we want to avoid. This of course doesn’t apply if you’re using the cloth which has the same color as the hat. For an example, if the hat is red, then you’re okay with using the red cloth as well. But, just to be safe, use the white on. It will work in every possible situation.
To remove scuffs, you can use an unusual method. In most cases, there are special products which are designed to help you with scuffs. They can be bought in special stores and often aren’t so cheap. If you don’t want to use them, the next great thing is a regular rubber. Yes, a pencil rubber. Gently use it to clean the scuffs and we can guarantee it will work.
Maintaining Your Hat
This might be the most important part of this article. Sure, if you have a stain you’ll use something to take it off. And if your hat is dirty, you’ll brush it with a quality brush. But, why not maintain your hat in the first place? The whole idea is to prevent these situations from happening and prolonging the life of your hat.
So, what are some of the methods you can utilize in order to keep your straw hat in good condition? Let’s start from the basics. First thing first, you need to keep your hat dry. Straws are more prone to breaking if they are damp or wet and to make them last longer, your hat needs to be dry. Therefore, whenever your hat gets wet, try to dry it out as soon as possible. If your hat stays wet for a long time, it can lose its shape and look a bit silly. We want to avoid that.
When you aren’t wearing your straw hat, keep it in a safe, dark place. If you have some kind of a box, that could work as well. Also, don’t let your hat get super hot. The sun can damage it as well and make the straws brittle and prone to breakage.
Also, handle your hat with caution. We can’t address more how easy it is to damage a straw hat. So treat it that way. Be gentle, and think of it when you aren’t wearing it. Just to make sure you don’t sit on it.
The fact about straw hats is that they can last a ton of time if they are treated the right way. They might seem like they don’t have much strength to them, but believe us when we say that they are pretty strong. And, don’t think about the mess if you clean the hat. Most of the methods we mentioned above are mess-free and you really don’t need much for the whole process. So you really don’t have any reason not to do it. Above all, you do want to keep your hat in perfect condition, right?
Just Keep It Cool
To be honest, straw hats are a great piece of clothes to have. As we said, they are extremely versatile, stylish and can be mixed up with various clothing parts. And, it’s no secret that they are very cheap as well. That’s why you can see about 1 out of every 5 people on the street during the summer. Straw is extremely cheap and it’s often quite easy to process and handle. If you just look online, you’ll see that there are thousands of different straw hat options. From small, big brim ones, to the ones with mild or a bit crazier decorations.
After establishing what type of damage your hat has, follow the instructions from this article. Stains are different from regular dirt and therefore, you should treat them that way. Some solutions like peroxide oxide for an example, should be used only as a last case scenario. They aren’t made specially for cleaning straw hats. People just found out they can use it for that among other things. So, they can be pretty harsh for your hat. Check if a gentle brushing finishes the job (in most cases it will). Only after proceed to the other, more drastic approaches.
And, even if you don’t clean your hat the way you wanted to, don’t be sad. Remember when we said that these types of hats are very cheap. This means that you can replace them with ease if they become damaged or if you just happen to lose them. Be happy that we aren’t talking about some more expensive hats such as fedora.
To sum up, we hope that you found everything you may need in this article. From cleaning different types of stains, dirt or dust issues, or just maintaining your hat. But, the most important thing you should know is that you should enjoy your hat. Of course, keep an eye on it, and clean it occasionally, but generally speaking, chances are you won’t need to do anything about that. So, rock your straw hat, and enjoy the look of it.