Knowing how to wash a vintage trucker hat will maintain your retro look while on the road. Trucker hats made before the '80s may have cardboard inside the brim, while hats made after that will likely have plastic inside the brim. If your vintage trucker hat has a tag inside that gives the fiber content, the brim is most likely plastic. Feel the brim, and you can pretty much tell which is which.
To wash your vintage trucker hat you will need:
- Pre-treatment stain spray
- Gentle liquid hand wash detergent
- Very soft dish brush (For cardboard brimmed trucker hats)
- Plastic baseball cap form
- Spray any stains with the stain spray. Usually, the sweatband inside the hat will need attention. Let dry for five or ten minutes.
- Plug the sink. Fill it half way with cool water. Put in 1/4 cup of liquid detergent. Swish it around with your hand.
- Carefully wash the crown of the vintage trucker hat by hand, holding it carefully by the brim, and not submerging the brim. Never immerse the brim in the water.
- Carefully rinse the crown of the trucker hat only. Use cool water from the tap.
- Clean the brim only if necessary. Use the soft dish brush dipped in the detergent water to gently scrub the brim. Do not use any more water than is needed, and again never immerse the brim in water.
- Rinse the brim with the same soft brush method, trying to use the absolute minimum of water to do the job.
- Put the trucker hat inside the plastic baseball cap form. Let air dry.
To wash a plastic brimmed vintage trucker hat:
- Follow step one above.
- Place the hat inside the plastic baseball cap form. Put it inside a pillowcase. Knot the pillowcase.
- Machine wash with 1/4 cup liquid laundry detergent in cold water on the gentle cycle.
- Take your hat out of the pillowcase. Leave the vintage hat inside the plastic form and set in the sun to air dry.
You can find plastic baseball cap forms online and at dollar stores. Now that you know how to wash your vintage trucker hat, it will be looking and smelling good once again.