How to clean a wool hat?

Discussion in 'Hats' started by HanauMan, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. HanauMan

    HanauMan Practically Family

    Messages:
    809
    Location:
    Inverness, Scotland
    I have just bought a Harris tweed wool hat on ebay and it stinks of cigarette smoke. I would like some advice on how to get rid of the stale smell and on how to clean it. I guess throwing it into the washing machine is NOT the way to do it! I don't want to shrink it, so I'm guessing putting it into cold, or slightly warm, water will be OK? Any advice would be most welcome.
     
  2. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    If it's one of those tweed trilbys or flat caps & you don't want to have it dry cleaned, gently washing it in luke warm water with a little washing powder/liquid, then rincing well & set aside to dry naturally, should be OK, may not get rid of the ciggy stench completely but airing it for a few days afterwards should do the trick.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
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  3. viclip

    viclip Practically Family

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    Location:
    Canada
    I would use Woolite or similar product, gently hand washing using cold water. Apparently wool items should never be wrung out, just left to dry while supported after being blotted with a towel.
     
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  4. HanauMan

    HanauMan Practically Family

    Messages:
    809
    Location:
    Inverness, Scotland
    Many thanks for all of the advice.

    You know, I never even thought about dry cleaning the hat.
     
  5. johnnycanuck

    johnnycanuck Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,561
    Location:
    Alberta
    Woolite in cold water, Roll it in a towel to take out some of the moisture, and let air dry (not in direct sin light). Putting it in the freezer could help as well. Leaving it outside on a windy day to "air it out" could help as well. I have hit a hat with Febreze or an antibacterial spray in the past was well. Hope that helps some.
    Johnny
     
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  6. Ricky66

    Ricky66 New in Town

    Messages:
    2
    Newbie here! I have a Dorfman Pacific, dark brown felt hat with a wide brim, the crushable one maybe though I've never had the nerve to crush it. It has a lot of light brown spots on the brim. I just used water on a brush, a brush designed for suede shoes. thin copper wires, and the spots I tried that on got a lot dimmer, but not enough.

    Can I use some kind of soap in the water? Liquid shampoo? Ivory flakes (I think I still have)?

    The felt is a little brushed down. Should I use a different kind of brush? Nylon bristles? Boar bristles? or how do it liven up the felt I flattened?

    ---- Now the embarrassing part. The hat was under some newspapers for months and I think the spots are mouse pee. Does that change what you said before about how to get the spots out? What should I do different?

    Is this the best sub-forum for this question? TIA
     
  7. 1967Cougar390

    1967Cougar390 Practically Family

    Messages:
    642
    Location:
    South Carolina
    If I had to guess your Dorfman Pacific is most likely a wool hat. I would use distilled water only if I had to. Try giving your hat a good brushing with a hat brush. I would not use any cleaning agent without testing it in a inconspicuous place first. Do you have pictures of the hat and spots?

    Steven
     
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  8. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,551
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    One other caution; do not use a brush with too stiff bristles as it will tear the wool fibres. A hat brush was designed specifically with the right stiffness.
     
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  9. You might try Woolite. On fur felt hats it’s very rare that I want a bristle any stiffer than the standard horsehair hat brushes, and I’d think the same would apply on wool. You might also be able to have it dry cleaned?

    Good luck.
     
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  10. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,551
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    I agree and would try woolite or Dr Bronners or other gentle soaps being cautious with limiting the agitation or brushing. Body temp to wash, and same to rinse.
     
  11. Ricky66

    Ricky66 New in Town

    Messages:
    2
    Thanks to all of you. I got the spots out, tbh with just a soft rag (used to be toddler's fuzzy shirt) and plain water. A lot more water stuck to that than did to the metal brush, and any "damage" I had done also disappeared. I'm embarrassed. I guess I panicked with my first effort didn't work well. And I was also afraid to use water, probably because the label didn't say it when I bought the hat, or maybe I forgot that it does well in the rain -- I bought it 15 or 20 years ago at Sunny's Surplus, a camping store that used to be in Baltimore and nearby -- so the first time I tried to use very little, only enough to wet the spots.

    But I'm very glad to know about this forum. I've read several threads and they're very interesting. I'm going to read some more tonight. Thanks again.
     
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