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Hats aren't just clothing. They are expressions of self, celebrations of fandom, and one of your first impressions when greeting a friend. Your favorite headwear deserves a little TLC, and it's about time you learned how to properly clean a hat. Routine upkeep involves more than washing a heavily soiled cap. It also means everyday cleaning and paying attention to detail, but a little effort goes a long way in protecting your investment. Whether you're researching hand-washing techniques for that cable-knit beanie or restoring your football team's Draft Edition cap, preserve your hat collection with a few professional techniques.

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1. Get to know your fabrics

Before you get down to cleaning your caps, check the inside label for fabric and washing instructions. Cloths like wool will shrink if immersed in warm water, and straw hats warp when they are wet. Quality caps may be dry-cleaned only, while others are better-off hand-washed at home. Consider these details the next time you're looking for new headwear. Ask sales attendants for professional cleaning tips, and browse cleaning kits when shopping online retailers. You may prefer to invest in cotton hats for workdays and outdoor activities.

The fabric of a hat determines how you should clean your headwear KM6064 / Getty Images
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