Hat cleaning! Lye water vs. Naptha

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Chepstow, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Chepstow

    Chepstow I'll Lock Up

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    This is an Experiment

    They do not, it could damage your hat.
    This is just an experiment to test the effect of oxygen to a hat.
    In this case, the result was good. That does not mean this will work for other hats as well .. You could ruin your hat so.


    I have an old hat Wegener from 1967. Dusty, stained, he really needs a cleaning.
    Here I use lye water. The medium is based on an oxygen.

    Attention. Oxigen can bleach out. Please read the note from Art. http://www.thefedoralounge.com/show...r-vs.-Naptha&p=1394681&viewfull=1#post1394681

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    I suppose warm water.

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    Using a measuring cup full of Oxy Clean.
    You see, the agent reacts immediately.

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    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  2. Chepstow

    Chepstow I'll Lock Up

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    I open the sweatband outward and push the whole hat with liner and stickers
    into it.

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    Liner and Stickers solve himself.

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    After one hour, you see the water. Delicious

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    After a good shower off, we get the rest out dirt.

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    Now, let it dry.

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    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  3. Chepstow

    Chepstow I'll Lock Up

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    After dry. The stains are gone. The hat clean.

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    Now a bit blocking.

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    Step 2. Liner and Sticker.

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    I use a glue similar to the Hatter.
    Apply glue.

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    Some points for the Liner.

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    Finished

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    The hat has taken no damage.
    The sweat band is in good condition and not dried out.
    The fur is shrinking a bit, but only by a few millimeters.
    If you use hot water, the fur could shrink a bit more.
    Should not shrink the hat, the hat should dry out on a stretcher.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  4. job

    job One Too Many

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    Sanford N.C.
    Great write up and pics.
    I would be nervous doing that to most of my hats. Most of my hats are new so they are not dirty. If you have a old dirty hat I can see why you would want to give it a bath. I did give a old western hat a bath to no adverse affects.
     
  5. Chepstow

    Chepstow I'll Lock Up

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    Thanks John, It was an experiment. I wanted to see whether there is an alternative cleaning method.
    This works quite well and is relatively easy.
     
  6. scooter

    scooter Practically Family

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    Arizona
    Great info, Manfred. I may put this to use on a couple of my own hats at some point soon.
     
  7. Art Fawcett

    Art Fawcett Sponsoring Affiliate

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    What a brave soul you are Sir!!! Please, anyone thinking about doing this themselves please be aware that Oxy sometimes bleaches out the color ( bleaches might not be the right term) and can leave them streaked. I'm happy yours worked out Chepstow but I only use Oxy on some liners and even then only for a few minutes.
     
  8. Chepstow

    Chepstow I'll Lock Up

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    Art, thank you very very much for your note. It is important to point out. It was an experiment.
    In normal detergent but should anything happen. What do you mean to type, Art
     
  9. Art Fawcett

    Art Fawcett Sponsoring Affiliate

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    I'm sorry Chepstow, but I don't understand your question. I use my own concoction of detergents that I know are safe and yes I understand this was an experiment for you. I applaud you.

    What I fear is that someone else will read your success and be greatly disappointed when their black hat turns purple after trying it. Once the potential pitfalls are aired, then others are better armed with information and can make their own decisions.

    Is that what you are asking?
     
  10. Rabbit

    Rabbit Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
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    Holy moly, Chepstow! That is certainly one daring cleaning. I'm glad it worked out so well!
     
  11. Chepstow

    Chepstow I'll Lock Up

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    Thanks Art, the question is answered. I understand your worry. You've got absolutely right.
    I've been at the beginning of this paper, pointed out the bleach.
    Many thanks that you have pointed out. I appreciate your opinion very much.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  12. Chepstow

    Chepstow I'll Lock Up

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    Rabbit, I wanted to find out if there are to remove stubborn stains with the medium.
    In this case it worked well. If the hat might have been black, then that would be maybe bad result.
    The danger, him fade, there is in each case. With a light colored hat, the effect could maybe be desirable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  13. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    I'm glad it worked out for you, Chepstow. But my understanding is that all these "Oxi" type cleaners are not recommended for use on protein (animal) fibers, and fur felt falls within that category. The manufacturers of these cleaning products have issued numerous cautions against using them on wool and silk (also protein fibers, of course), and I'd imagine they'd also warn against their use on felt hats if there were still enough "proper" hat wearers around to make it worth mentioning.

    I've cleaned many an old hat in Woolite and water, and even in dish detergent and water. Indeed, I have found that water-based solutions are often superior to the petroleum-based concoctions. But water can be hell on sweatbands, so when I do clean such hats I strip them down to bare bodies first. Hats that have seen hard use (Westerns, mostly, in my experience) with that greasy, funky, nasty combination of dirt and sweat staining all around the bandline, can come out clean as new with enough elbow grease and soap and water, but you had better have the right block and flange ready, as the hat body will resemble a dishrag after all of that.

    Most vintage hatband ribbon is a blend of cotton and rayon, both cellulose (plant) fibers. They'll respond differently to cleaning agents than protein fibers will. Some (but certainly not most) thoroughly trashed old hatbands can be brought back to presentable condition.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  14. Chepstow

    Chepstow I'll Lock Up

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    Tony, thank you very much for your contribution and your experience in dealing with detergent.
    This is highly interesting and valuable contribution.
    Have you any technics you can explain us?
     
  15. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    You're quite welcome, Chepstow. Not to get all sillyphophical on you here, but there's really not a whole lot more to tell you than I already have, and there's more to say than I could possibly impart in one forum posting.

    Thing is, all this stuff is quite simple to understand and real easy to mess up. You take a hat apart and wash the felt body in the sink with soap and water and then you block it and put it all back together again. Twenty-nine words there, I think.

    It just takes a lot of practice is all. These days, with such a paucity of experienced hatters around to pass along the tricks of the trade, that's about the only way most of us will ever learn. Looks like you're off to a good start.
     

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