The Best Ways to Clean Sweat Stains from a Golf Cap

When gracing the golf course, it's not only vital that you play the part - you must look the part, too. As lovers of golf and the uniform that comes along with it, we know only too well how pesky sweat stains can be for your caps. We've crafted this article just for you.

So, what are the best ways to clean sweat stains from a golf cap? The best methods are:
Hand Washing
Spot Treatment
Machine Washing
Enzyme Treatment
Sweat Stain Prevention

It really is very simple - all you’ll need throughout this process is some water, a few easily-found cleaning products and a little extra care. Not forgetting your cap, of course. Every stain is different, so will require varying amounts of treatment. Nobody wants to rack up to the golf course with putters, drivers, and a… dirty cap. And, if you’ve been wondering how to make your cap look as good as new, you’d better read on - there are a couple of ground rules to follow and a quick note on color fastness.

Ground Rules

Just before we begin, it's important we lay down the ground rules. And, if you fail to stick to these, you'll be kicking both yourself and your golf cap at the end of the day.

1. When choosing which products will be your 'washing weapons', avoid those containing bleach.

This includes both during the pretreatment of your cap and the laundering that follows. Using bleach will only incite unnecessary fading, damaging the fabric and color of your golf cap, making it not so pristine. If you want your accessory to stick around for a long time, we suggest you pay close attention to this rule.

2. Whatever you do, don't even think about using the dishwasher.

Treat this as your first and final warning. As a result of an extremely everlasting game of 'Chinese Whispers', many seem to think that using a dishwasher is a clever method of getting rid of those sweat stains. This, however, couldn't be further from the truth. The high temperature you're exposing your golf cap to will render it unwearable and practically useless. And, let's be honest, it's not that hygienic either.

Color Fastness

Before even thinking about washing your golf cap, you need to source its material information. You can do this by looking at its tag or doing some light Internet research. You'll need to discover if it's color-fast or not - if a cap is color-fast, the dye won't transfer when it meets water. If you're not sure, just dampen a white cloth with some lukewarm water and carefully rub a discreet section of your cap. And, if the dye runs, this is a red flag. Don't soak your golf cap in water, no matter what. Otherwise, you'll end up without one.

If your golf cap's been hanging around for a long time, we're sorry to tell you it probably won't be color-fast. Back in those days, golf caps were made with different materials, both in their bills and crowns. Cardboard was frequently used, and soaking one of these 'relics' (dare we say it) in water will obviously damage it. Make sure to always conduct a color-fast test, as you can't guarantee whether the dye will transfer or not. Now that's cleared up, we can finally get stuck in.

What You Will Need

Here are a few things you may need to have on standby:

  • A bucket

  • Lukewarm and cool water

  • Products including laundry detergent, an enzyme cleaner, white vinegar and baking soda

  • A toothbrush

  • Pretreatment (detergent)

  • Garment bag

  • Washing machine


It's the moment you've been anticipating. Yes, it's time to find out just how to crack those sweat stains. And, before you know it, your golf cap will be as good as new. Take that for a hole-in-one! You need to be cautious when approaching your sweat stains, as you could potentially damage your cap when using the wrong method. Have a read of those listed below.


Hand Washing

Although a simple and ancient method, it's no surprise why it's still used today. After you've applied your pretreatment on sweat stains, simply add a tablespoon of laundry detergent to some warm water. Then, using a clean toothbrush, work this detergent into the stains. Rinse with some cool water and squeeze to remove any excess. Then, place your golf cap on some sort of round container - this'll help retain the shape whilst drying. It should take around twenty-four hours to completely dry, but never, ever let your impatience get the better of you - avoid that air dryer at all costs.


Spot Treatment

For those stubborn stains, grab some white vinegar and rub it into the problem area using a hot cloth. After rinsing, you're free to dry it. Another handy product to use is baking powder. Simply stir up your own paste by adding four tablespoons to warm water and dab onto the stain with a spoon, leaving it for one hour once you've done so. Use the toothbrush trick listed above and that menacing mark will stand no chance! Repeat the usual aftercare steps, and you're good to go.

Machine Washing

Although we've (sternly) warned you about using machines, we know that the washing machine is sometimes the last resort. If you really have to risk it, cover any stickers with plastic wrapping. The visor of your cap could still be altered or even shrunk, so be careful. After doing pretreatment, you can place your golf cap in a garment bag if it's in a group wash. Always use a gentle cold cycle; never use a machine with a central agitating column, either. Simple!


Enzyme Treatment

We’re taking you back to science class. No, really. Enzyme-based cleaners are easy to source online - all you have to do is let them dissolve in water. Soak your sweat stains for roughly twenty minutes, but allow more time if your stain is really acting up.

Sweat Stain Prevention

As with everything in life, prevention is better than cure. You can carry out certain preventative measures that'll reduce the amount of sweat burdening your golf cap. You can't, of course, tell yourself to stop sweating during a round, but heat, stress and diet all affect how much we produce. If it's a particularly sticky day, perhaps avoid wearing your best golfing cap - it's inevitable it'll get damaged. To keep your cap fresh, though, sprinkle a little baking soda inside and shake it out. Easy, no?



To sum up, if you want your golf cap to act as one for as long as possible, you're going to need to put your time and effort towards tackling those sweat stains - and we don't just mean a simple chuck-in-and-wash job. You’ll be grateful you’ve listened to our advice - wait and see the results!