Is it Better to Wash a Hat in the Dishwasher Or the Washing Machine?

Although washing hats in the washing machine may ruin the shape, a dishwasher can be a good alternative.

Before washing your hat, make sure it is machine-washable and free of cardboard.

But washing it in the dishwasher can cause other problems.

In this article, you will learn about the best method to wash your hat along with caring tips.

Here’s what this article covers in detail.

Reasons why you should avoid washing your Hat in Dishwasher

The heat from dishwashers can damage the hat’s shape and color. Therefore, it’s best to hand wash a hat.

Dishwashers are not designed for clothing, and detergents in the dishwasher can break down the fabric of your hat and make it unwearable in the long run. The hat can also twist or bend post washing them in the dishwasher.

Always make sure that the detergent you use doesn’t contain bleach or citric acid since these ingredients will destroy the fabric of your hat.

If you still want to go ahead and wash your hat in the dishwasher, make sure to place it on the upper rack and not on the bottom.

Some hats are designed to be machine-washed. So, if your hat is machine washable you can place it in a pillowcase or laundry bag for added safety.

Disadvantages of Washing a Hat in a Washing Machine OR Dishwasher

There are several disadvantages to washing a hat in a washing machine OR Dishwasher.

Depending on the material, the water pressure from a washing machine OR Dishwasher may ruin the hat’s shape.

Furthermore, The rough motion of the washing machine can also disrupt the shape.

To avoid this, make sure to put the hat in a pillowcase or laundry bag. However, even if you put the hat in a pillowcase, it may still get matted.

Here are some common disadvantages of washing hats in a washing machine OR Dish Washer.

Limited Control

When you put your hat inside the washer or dishwasher you have very limited control over the washing process.

Furthermore, you won’t realize the extent of the damage until the wash cycle is completed.

Compatibility Issues

Not all hats are made the same, which also means not every piece of hat that you wear is compatible with washers.

Danger of Ruining the Fabric

No matter how sturdy your hat is, it will likely go through a lot of wear and tear if you select the wrong wash cycle.

Even if your hat is machine washable, the fabric may still get damaged if you make use of the wrong detergent combined with an inappropriate wash cycle.

Void Warranty

If your hat is an expensive one, it’s likely that it is covered under a warranty.

However, you may be unknowingly voiding the warranty if you machine-wash your hat.

Advantages of Washing Hat in Washing Machine OR Dishwasher

It’s not that there are only disadvantages, there are a few advantages as well.

Here are some advantages of washing hats in a washing machine OR dishwasher

Saves Time

The positive point about washing your hat in a washer is that it saves time.

While the machine does its work, you can complete other household chores.

Reduce Manual Effort

Along with saving time, it reduces manual effort, which means you don’t need to manually wash and clean your hat.

Saves Money

You save money because you don’t need to go to professional laundromats.

So, if you are able to get the hat washed in a dishwasher OR a conventional washer, you end up saving money.

Now, with all the advantages and disadvantages you can decide what is the best option.

Personally, when I look into the advantages and disadvantages of washing hats in either dishwasher OR a conventional washing machine I think the disadvantage simply overpowers the advantages.

Therefore, both options may not be the right choice.

I would instead stick to hand washing.

If you want to know how to machine wash hats safely, I have written a comprehensive guide around that. You can refer to that article here.

Why is Hand-washing hat the safest method?

Hand washing gives complete control over the washing process and it is much gentler.

Hats require more care and attention than other materials and may easily fade if you don’t use the right technique.

Prevents Fading

Fading is a common problem, especially with hats that spend a lot of time outside in the elements.

A common solution for fading is to hand wash your hat in a specially formulated detergent and allow it to air dry afterward.

Retains Shape

Since you get more control over the washing process, it’s less likely to disrupt the shape of the hat.

To make sure the shape of your hat doesn’t get distorted during hand washing, grab the brim on both sides and pull it taut, then let go.

Prolongs the Life Span

Hand Washing being gentle limits the wear and tear, which may not be possible if you are using a dishwasher OR Washing Machine.

Remember, the dishwasher OR washing Machine operates at their fixed setting.

Limited Environmental impact

Handwashing your hat consumes less water and is considered environmentally friendly as it takes a lot of water to wash a single hat in your washer.

Easy on your pocket (Most Budget Friendly)

In order to hand wash a hat, you simply need detergent, water, and a tub. However, in order to machine wash, you will require a washer, lots of water, detergent, and a small budget for the electricity bills.

Hand washing is extremely convenient in order to wash a single or even two hats at a time.

Final Thoughts

Washing your hat in a dishwasher OR washing machine isn’t a crime, you can wash your hat in either of them as long as you are aware of the process and if the care label allows you to do that.

But when you actually do the benefit analysis, you will find that handwashing is the safest method.

Machine washing gives limited control in the washing process.

Just in case you want to learn how to wash hats in a washing machine safely, you can always read the comprehensive guide here.

Hemant Sarkar is a seasoned techie with a diploma in computer science and an impressive track record of over 15 years in dealing with speakers, kitchen appliances, and various home appliance-related issues. He is widely recognized for his exceptional expertise in repairing dryers and washing machines from all major brands. In addition to his appliance repair prowess, Hemant maintains engaging blogs on topics related to music and speakers. For any inquiries or assistance regarding appliances or tech-related matters, you can reach out to him at: hemant (at)