March 11, 2022 6 min read

How to Clean + Reshape a Straw Hat:

 The Complete Straw Hat Care Guide

Keep your straw hat feeling, looking, + smelling new. With our complete straw hat care guide, you’ll be able to clean + reshape your straw hats so you can wear them for many seasons to come!


Reshape Your Straw Hat With Steam

Open up the fibers in your straw hat with steam - doing so will allow your hat to become pliable enough to manipulate the woven strands back to their original shape. 

 

Reshape Your Brim

womens straw hat

 

Flat Brim

After you’ve evenly steamed your brim all the way around, go ahead + flatten it out with your hands so that each side lays how you want it. You can also distribute weights onto the brim all the way around, + let them weigh down the top of your brim over time to ensure it dries flat. 

A-line Brim

Steam your brim all the way around as you continually work the shape back into it with your hands. This will take a little bit of time + precision, so use your design eye to make sure your brim is looking good from all angles. Your brim may dry before you have reshaped it to your standards, that’s okay, simply apply the steam again + continue to shape it till you’re satisfied with how it looks. 

 

Reshape Your Crown

Crowns come in many different shapes + steam can get them back to their original state with some help from your hands. As with the brim, make sure the steam has hit the entire crown before you begin to manually reshape it. 

 

Crowns can be trickier than the brim because they have more contours to work with - make sure as you reshape your crushed crown that you are paying the same amount of attention to both sides so that they come out evenly. 

 

 wide brim straw hat

Straw Hat Care

Before we get to the nitty-gritty of cleaning your straw hat, we want to properly cover straw hat care even before any scrubbing needs to take place. While your straw hats are woven with special care + precision, they still need to be maintained so you can keep wearing them as you’re planting your flower bed or picking your apricot tree. 

 

Straw Strands: 4 Types of Straw

The type of straw your hat is made of is a major factor in how you keep it looking pristine + how you will go about cleaning it + maintaining it. Check out the types of straw only the best straw hats are made of. 

Raffia 

Flexible, durable, + fibrous, raffia straw is a thing of beauty when woven into a gorgeous straw hat. 

Wheat 

Woven from the stalks of wheat, this straw is a wonderful straw hat for any weather, rain, or shine.

Palm  

Tightly woven into intricately designed straw hats, palm straw offers a sturdy weave that will ensure a straw hat that will stay in excellent condition for years. 

Seagrass 

A loose weave provides plenty of ventilation + protection from the sun on a hot day. Seagrass is strong, yet pliable + makes a beautifully natural straw hat

The best straw hats you will find are made of raffia, wheat, palm, + seagrass. Taking care of your straw hats is as important as cleaning them when they need it the most. We have the top tips for you to try next time you return from the beach + need to give your straw hats some extra attention. 

 

How to Clean a Smelly Straw Hat

straw fedora woman hat

Since your straw hat is made of organic material, it may develop a musky scent after a while - this can be due to any type of moisture, most likely it will be caused by sweat or rain that your hat has absorbed over time. If you live in a humid environment, all the moisture in the air could also be causing your straw hat to smell a little funky.

Your straw hat will be smell-free with these easy steps we have developed for you. 

 

Clean a Straw Hat in 3 Steps: 

white straw fedora womens hat

- Make a simple cleaning solution.

All you need to do is mix equal parts of water with hydrogen peroxide, two things you already have in your home! This is a solution that will be gentle on your straw hat + will not change the color of the straw or compromise the strength of the straw.

- Grab a reusable washcloth.

A soft washcloth will ensure that your straw gets scrubbed with just the right amount of friction. Using something like a toothbrush or a dish brush would be too harsh + could possibly fray the strands of straw your hat is woven from. 

- Gently Scrub.

Scrubbing slightly, in a circular motion will get you the best results you can imagine. This technique will clean the surface of your straw hat better than any other method because it will lift the debris out of the straw without causing any damage to your hat. 

Within minutes you’re going to have a brand new smelling straw hat that will dry in no time + you’ll be ready for your next relaxing float downriver. 

 

Keep Your Hat from Stinking

womens boater straw hats

Storing your straw hat properly is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent the straw from absorbing an unwanted stench. 

 

Keep Straw Hats Dry + Cool

Keeping it in a dry + cool environment as much as possible will make your straw hat happy. Without heat + moisture, your straw hat will be able to keep its shape nicely without having to fight the elements.

 

Give Your Hat a Rest

womens straw hats

Of course, straw hats are made for those hot summer days when you want to keep the sun on your skin + out of your eyes, but cooler temperatures will allow your hat to rest well while it’s not on your head. 

If you’re out enjoying a hot morning at the farmer’s market to get your freshly squeezed limeade fix, you’re likely to be sweating on the inside of your hat where your headband is. We have the solution for you when it comes to cleaning the inside of your hat band where your forehead meets your hat. 

 

Clean the Inside of Your Hat Band

Leather or cloth hatbands are sewn into the inside of your hat for comfort + also for the purpose of catching the sweat from your forehead before it seeps into the crown of your straw hat. 

The inner hatband is a crucial area to keep a close eye on, you’ll want to ensure it is cleaned more often than the surface of your hat. This requires the same 3 step process as your crown + brim, but you will want to use a cleaning brush instead of a reusable washcloth. 

 

Scrub Both Sides of Your Inner Hat Band

Cleaning the hatband on both sides is a great way to keep it extra clean - if you bother with the one side, the other side that is closest to your well-designed hat crown could be growing bacteria. 

 

Makeup + Sweat Removal

hat cleaning kit

Your makeup + sweat will stain the inside of your hatband, but it’s really easy to scrub off with the cleaning solution that is made of hydrogen peroxide + water. The stains will come off quickly, + more importantly, your hatband will have no chance of irritating your skin.

After cleaning your adjustable inner hatband, you’ll feel like you’re wearing a brand new hat. Other than cleaning your straw hat, there are also a few other ways you can bring your hat back to life.

 

Rejuvenate Your Straw Hat

Did something absolutely barbaric happen to your straw hat + it looks like there’s no way you could ever get it back to its original form? Don’t worry about it - you can get it looking great again + we can help. 

 

How to Stiffen Your Hat

Spray a stiffening agent evenly + thoroughly on both the outside and inside of your hat. Be sure to get the stiffener that is best - watch out for the sprays that are made especially for straw hats.

Allow your straw hat to dry on both sides + if you need, apply the stiffener again to really make it hold its shape. 

 

 Waterproof Your Hat

natural straw hat fedora

Keep your straw hat in its best condition by using a waterproofing agent to help protect it from molding + deformation over time. A little water is okay, but if your straw hat gets soaked, the straw could be weakened + the weave could loosen up to the point of no return. Plus, you don’t want your straw hat to form mildew, then it will really start to smell! 

Find a waterproof spray that is best for straw + be sure to apply it outside where you have plenty of open space. Scotchgard is a great water repellent to use for your straw hat + it also repels stains. Apply the Scotchgard only after you have cleaned your hat for best results.


Our complete straw hat care guide will help you extend the life of your much-loved straw hats. We want you to make your favorite things last as long as they can, especially your carefully crafted straw hat - take good care of your straw hats + you’ll be able to wear them every season + they’ll still look + feel brand new. xx



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