Do you also feel excited about taking your felt fedora for its first stroll of the season? Fall fedoras are the main star of our fall outfits as well! However, while waiting for the warm and sunny late summer evenings to turn into colorful fall days, felt fedoras can often get dusty and lose their original shape. Even though they are an extremely durable accessory, after waiting for the air to turn crispy in our closets, they just need a little bit of love to feel and look like they used to.

To help you with refreshing your beloved accessory, we prepared a guide on how to clean and reshape your felt fedora, so you can take it out and about in no time.

How to Clean a Felt Fedora

Keep Your Fedora Clean as You Go
Blond woman looking down while brushing a white fedora hat with a small brush.

When at home, use dry bristle brush to brush away any dirt that has accumulated on top of your fedora. To help you achieve its original form you can also dampen the brush slightly to make the dirt easier to clean. This is a simple way to keep your beloved felt hat clean on the regular.

A great, specialized alternative to a dry bristle brush is a hat sponge. Also known as dry cleaning sponge, it can help gently tackle any dirt on top of your felt fedora hat.

Quick Refresh On the Go

The best way to assure your fedora stays fresh and crisp-as-new every time you wear it, is to clean it as you go. Lint rollers will become your best friends - you can even get yourself the mini ones you can keep in your purse or in the console of your car. Lint rollers are also great when dealing with dust and pet hair on top of your felt hat.

About Spot Cleaning Your Fedora

A stack of colorful circular sponges in yellow, blue, pink, and green, on a white background.

Even if you’re keeping your hat clean and fresh as you go, you still might get some smaller stains that lint rollers and dry brushing won’t stand up to. Here’s how to deal with stains on your felt fedora:

  • Lightly dampen a sponge, such as a makeup sponge, and rub away the dirt in round motions.
  • If you think it will help, you can also use mild soap to help you get rid of the dirty spot. Make sure to avoid wetting the leather bands, if your fedora has any.
  • For the extra stubborn stains, don’t give up just yet - sprinkle the smallest amount of baking or baby powder directly on the spot that needs some extra love, and gently rub it in. Let it sit for 15 minutes, brush the residue away with a dry brush and let it air dry. 

Hot tip: Before trying any method of cleaning a hat, try it out on a hidden test spot first to see if the method alters the appearance of your hat in any way. 

Hand Washing your Felt Hat

Water can alter your felt fedora’s shape! Before hand washing your fedora, try out spot cleaning or dry brushing it, as described above, as washing it can end up ruining your loved accessory.

  1. Add cold water and the smallest amount of mild soap to a bowl or clogged sink.
  2. Remove all accessories, such as leather bands.
  3. Gently scrub away the stains with a soft brush.
  4. Apply the mixture to a hidden spot of your hat for a few minutes, and pay attention to whether the fabric in the spot is changing, or if the color is bleeding. 
  5. Only continue if your test spot isn’t altered in texture or color when dry.
  6. Submerge your hat into the water with a little bit of soap for about half an hour.
  7. Rinse the hat under cold running water and very gently squeeze out the excess water.
  8. Dab it with a dry and clean cloth, to dry it further and reshape where needed.
  9. Air dry your hat away from direct sunlight.
  10. When your felt hat is dry, you can refresh its fibers with a dry brush.

Felt Fedoras and Machine Washing

We don’t recommend machine-washing your hat, as it can lose its shape from the motion of the washing machine. If you don’t want to hand-wash your hat, we recommend looking into dry-cleaning it professionally.

How to Reshape a Felt Fedora

After your beloved Felt Hat is clean, lint and dust free, you can try reshaping it to its original shape. The material gets softer and easier to manipulate when damp, so spray it with a little bit of water if you haven’t done so while cleaning it. Then you can start gently manipulating the damp felt hat crown with your hands where needed, to restore it to the original shape. If you have a hat stand, let your fedora sit on it while it dries down into its refreshed shape. If the misshapen bits are really stubborn, try steaming it and gently letting it get back into its shape.

Did your brim get crumbled up? No worries, place your hat on a straight surface while its brim is still drying down and evenly apply pressure to it with a weighted object for a few minutes. If it is still wavy, do it again but for a longer period of time. Try steaming it if needed - this can help refresh wool fibers and return them into their original state.

Hot tip: Not sure about doing it yourself? We get it. We love our hats very much, and sometimes it is better to find a professional hat service to do the reshaping for you.

Precautions, to Keep Your Fedora Fresh as New

Make sure your hat stays fresh at all times. Here are some tips on how to keep your felt fedora just like new throughout the years.

Brush It Regularly

Brushing your hat with a sponge brush is a great way to refresh your hat, even if it doesn’t need to be cleaned. Gently brushing refreshes the felt or velour fibers and gives it that fresh pop!

Lint Rolling

Lint rollers come in different sizes. Keep a small one on the go, for whenever you go out so you can keep your hat fresh at all times.

A hand using a lint roller on a brown fedora hat placed on a mannequin head, with two other hats (one green and one rust-colored) and a white brick wall in the background.

Storing a Felt Hat

Avoid your hat from gathering dust or getting crumbled all together. Here’s some tips on how to store your hats:

  • Cover it in a fabric bag.
  • Hang your hat on a flat hook. Hook it from its tag, to avoid crumbling the felt, and make sure it’s covered, so it won’t gather dust.
  • Invest in a hat box. Buying an accessory for your accessory might seem silly, but our hats are meant to last, so as long as you take good care of yours it will last you a lifetime.
  • Store it in a dry place, away from sunlight. 
  • It might seem unintuitive, but storing your hats upside down, so its crown is upside down is the best way to do it. The crown shouldn’t be smashed or pushed in, to help it stay in shape use fabric to fill in the crown and support the brim. 
  • Shop for a packable hat, which can be folded and stored with your clothes on in your fall drawer. When you need to use it, it will pop right back into its shape.

Can a Felt Fedora Get Wet?

We don’t recommend getting your fedora wet, as with moisture the felt fibers get softer and they’re easier to manipulate. However if you do happen to get it wet, shake off the water and let it air dry. If your hat loses its shape, use our previous tips to reshape it.

Felt fedoras are an investment and you shouldn’t just give up on yours if it loses shape or gathers a bit of dirt and dust. We sincerely hope you’ll be able to refresh your hat, clean it and reshape it to its best self. Every hat deserves to be loved for a lifetime or even for generations. 

A woman with shoulder-length brown hair wearing a denim shirt and a gray fedora hat, smiling and holding the brim of the hat.

Now, get your favorite Hat Attack all freshened up and style the coziest outfit of your life.

Written by Cooper

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