How to Clean a Fedora 🧼

Bring those lids back to LIFE.


If you own a Fedora, then you already know that it accumulates dust, lint, and dirt stains like no other, especially if made out of wool or fur. And if you don’t already own one, then well you need some convincing. But I’ll save that for another day! Lol. And if you’re in that boat, these tips will also work for cleaning a classy wool or suede jacket, so stick around. Often times, a fedora is the first thing most will notice about your outfit, and so you just can’t afford to have it looking anything else but pristine. Well then, let’s take a closer look at how to get this show stopper back to new.

Step 1 - Gather Cleaning Tools

First, let’s gather up all the items we need to get the job done. You’ll want to have the following items listed below, which should be pretty easy to find at your local Walmart, Target, Amazon or HomeGoods store.

  1. Hat Brush

  2. Lint Remover

  3. Clear Hand Soap or Detergent

  4. Wash Cloth

  5. Steamer and/or Iron

  6. Hat Stiffener Spray

Step 2 - Remove Debris

With time, your hat is going to gather airborne particles, from dust, to lint, to pet hairs if you happen to own one. Grab your hat brush, and brush outward to remove these particles from your hat. You’ll want to work from the inside out, so start with the crown area, and then work from the inner-brim to the outer-brim. Don’t forget the under-brim and inside the crown of the hat as well. Next, grab your lint roller, and roll gently around the crown and brim to remove any remaining particles.

Step 3 - Eliminate Stains

Next up is our battle with stains. And lighter the hat color, the tougher the battle. So if you’ve got a dirt stain on your fedora, it’s time to grab a wash cloth, grab a bit of colorless detergent or hand soap, and squirt a dab of soap into a cup of water. No more than a teaspoon’s worth, as you’ll want to avoid hat discoloration from any soap residue.

For best results, use a wash cloth that’s similar in shade or color to your fedora. For instance, a white or light grey wash cloth for a white or camel colored hat, and a black wash cloth for a darker colored hat, in order to avoid introducing unnecessary fabric lint to your fedora.

Apply a light amount of your wash solution to the washcloth and scrub gently in a circular motion. You want the washcloth to be damp and NOT soaking wet. For more stubborn stains, try using an old toothbrush. Scrub the stained area gently in a circular motion.

Next, wipe off any excess moisture on your fedora, with a dry area of the washcloth. Brush the cleaned area with your hat brush once more and allow to dry on a flat surface.

Step 4 – Restructure & Reshape

It’s highly likely that if your fedora needs cleaning, it also needs a little reshaping and TLC. If so, it’s time to grab your standing or hand held steamer, and get to work. Steam out the crown and brim slowly, to bring the hat back to its original form. Check out our ‘How to Fix a Crushed Hat’ tutorial for more information on this topic. If you own a flat stiff brim fedora like our Geoffrey, James or Ferguson Fedora, you’ll want to iron the brim with high heat and steam, to bring it back to it’s completely flat, blade-like form. We’ve also covered this procedure extensively, in our Hat Straightening video. Now set your steamed or ironed hat on a flat surface to dry and take shape, and give it a few minutes.

Step 5 – Storing your NEW Hat.

Now that your hat is as good as new, you’re probably wondering where or how to store it. Great question, and the real answer is…it depends. One option is to invest in a hat rack, or create a hat wall if you have an empty wall in your living space. The downside here, is that your hats are bound to accumulate dust over time, so they’ll need a good brushing periodically. The other option, is to invest in a hat box or boxes, depending on how many Fedoras you own. Of course, these take up a significant amount of room and/or closet space, but it definitely solves the problem of a dust pile. Nonetheless, you’ll have to give this some thought, and decide what works best for you!

And that’s it. Fall is around the corner and there couldn’t a better time to rock your favorite lids, and layer with your favorite outerwear pieces. Remember, you invested in a great hat, to elevate your wardrobe and style game, and I can only assume that you have every intention of keeping things that way. So never forget, ‘Maintenance is the name of the game’. Until next time.

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