Aargh! Salad Dressing on my Johnnyphi!

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Hoss & da Posse, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. Hoss & da Posse

    Hoss & da Posse One of the Regulars

    I wore my hat to a business function last night and during the evening must have splashed some oily salad dressing on the brim and ribbon of my grey Adam Majestic (it was on the table, not my head...even I don't eat that voraciously). I dabbed at the spots with a dry towel and absorbed some of it off the hat, but there are still oily spots in several locations. After searching the archives, it appears Naptha is the miracle cleaner but I thought I'd ask first if anyone has experience cleaning oil-based stains from a hat...Thanks, Hoss
     
  2. Rev Tom

    Rev Tom New in Town

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Georgia
    I did the same thing to my Akubra Banjo about a year ago - still have not gotten the stain out. I would like some suggestions also.
     
  3. airspirit

    airspirit New in Town

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Water won't take it out. The only way is to break down the oils themselves. Cleaners like naphtha don't make the oils disappear, but rather break them into something water soluble that you can flush out.

    While I've never done this with felt hats, on my wool navy peacoat I'd dab on small amounts of shout gel, let it sit for a bit, then use a rag with cold water to dab it out, repeating as necessary. If you go this route (or any cleaner), I'd test the tinyest area for colorfastness, probably right outside the sweatband on the bottom. Let it sit a few then dab it out. If good, then go nuts on the stains with SMALL amounts of cleaner. It is critical to do this as soon as possible, because fats rot and when they do they can and will damage the surrounding fibers leaving a permanent stain.

    Unfortunately, the year old stains might have ruined your hat, but depending on the color of it it may be salvageable.
     
  4. Rachael

    Rachael A-List Customer

    Messages:
    466
    Location:
    Stumptown West
    I have gotten fat-based stains (fish and chips grease) out of silk using Huggies brand baby wipes. Again, daub don't rub and check for color fastness first. I would also put a lint-free cloth behind the stain to absorb excess moisture being pushed through. But those things work!
     
  5. Mahagonny Bill

    Mahagonny Bill Practically Family

    Messages:
    559
    Location:
    Seattle
    Corn Starch?

    I have heard that if you put corn starch on the stain and let it dry, you can brush off the starch after a few days and it will remove the oil. Now, I have never tried this and I think you have to put the corn starch on while the stain is still fresh, but it's worth a shot.
     
  6. airspirit

    airspirit New in Town

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Corn starch will pull out some of the surface oils and may make it visibly go away if you're lucky. It will not pull out all of it though, and you'll still have oil rotting in your felt regardless of the initial results which could cause problems down the road.
     
  7. suitedcboy

    suitedcboy One Too Many

    I have used corn starch with great success on light hats.
    The last stain was automotive rear end lube which is a heavy oil, splashed onto a 100X silver belly western.
    I used baby powder and dusted and re-applied two times and I can't see where it was stained now.
     
  8. HarpPlayerGene

    HarpPlayerGene I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,682
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    :eek: Aww, Hoss, that's lousy.

    The cornstarch thing is a new one on me. I have a copy of a turn-of-the-century hat refurbishing book and it only discusses "gas baths" (translate Naptha nowadays) for cleaning.

    Also, the flushing with water bit would concern me on a hat as pristine as a JohnnyPhi. Not poo pooing it as an idea, and I'm a fan of water for reshaping but, again, it's not mentioned in the traditional methods for handling this sort of issue so I would be leery. It has the potential to shrink the felt or the sweat.

    What the Naptha does is to break up the oil or dirt, grab onto it and actually lift it out as it so quickly evaporates. For soaked in oil spots, it may take a time or two of applying Naptha dabbing and letting it evaporate again. Y'know that real oily Neosporine ointment? The stuff that's like runny Vaseline? I got a blob of that on an almost white hat. Got it out again with this method, a clean toothbrush and patience.

    NOW HERE'S THE REAL TROUBLE:
    1) When I've done spot cleaning with this method on light hats it sometimes left a ring around the cleaned area. Had to keep doing the process to mitigate that. I've read that bathing the entire hat in the Naptha is the only way to avoid this effect.

    2) The felt is one thing. I'd rather have to deal with a stain there. The ribbon is another kettle entirely. That can be nigh impossible to rectify, even for Optimo (who, by the way, may be the best choice for a pro cleaning).

    I feel for ya' man.

    I've learned for myself the hard way on this too. For me, linguini is the natural enemy of my hats and shirts. :eek:

    G'luck.
     
  9. Hoss & da Posse

    Hoss & da Posse One of the Regulars

    Well...I can tell you Tide sticks didn't do the trick and apparently I had dabbed enough of the dressing off so that corn meal wasn't effective...Naptha is up next :rolleyes:
     
  10. Wil Tam

    Wil Tam Practically Family

    Messages:
    670
    Location:
    Metropolis
    not corn 'meal'

    corn starch ...leave it on for a while to let it pull it out ... then dust with baby talc ... try it on the ribbon also ... naphtha is used in lighter fluid... I use that to remove glue off plastics but never tried it on material

    and never ever leave a hat on a dining table with food or drink on it ... that's just inviting catastrophe!
     
  11. warbird

    warbird One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,171
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    But don't use lighter fluid. Get coleman white gas. There's a big difference in the composition and cleanliness between traditional lighter fluid and Coleman White Gas.
     
  12. retro50

    retro50 Familiar Face

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    I unfortunately a while back somehow was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got some compressor oil sprayed on a felt hat. Oops! I got a can of Scout felt hat cleaner (for black hats) and voila, out out damn spot. DO NOT USE the cleaner for light/white hats, as it bleaches, and will ruin anything but a white hat.

    To avoid rings/spots when cleaning, I have found that once the undesirable spot is gone, one must clean the entire hat afterward.
     
  13. HarpPlayerGene

    HarpPlayerGene I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,682
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    THAT'S probably why I was getting the old ring-around-the-cleaned-spot effect.
    :eek:
     
  14. HarpPlayerGene

    HarpPlayerGene I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,682
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    Ahhhh, sounds like the best of both.
     
  15. randooch

    randooch I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,868
    Location:
    Ukiah, California
    Now THERE'S a story! What was a hat like that doing within blup-shot of 90-weight gear oil?!:eek:
     
  16. jake_fink

    jake_fink Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,279
    Location:
    Taranna
    Corn meal!?!?!?!?

    Just send it off to someone who cleans hats. Why you would spend weeks pouring things on your hat is beyond me. If you're an obssesive DIYer then DIY, but if you want your hat coming out the other end of the process then let a knowledgable person do it - and pay them.

    Anyway, if it's oil, your hat is almost certainly spotted for good, and the ribbon is even more likely to be permanently spotted.
     
  17. retro50

    retro50 Familiar Face

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    It was compressor oil, and it got on the ribbon too, and the Scout cleaner removed it completely. There is no sign it was ever there.
     
  18. warbird

    warbird One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,171
    Location:
    Northern Virginia

    Pretty impressive stuff right there.
     

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