How To Clean Felt and Straw Cowboy Hats? (Explained!)

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a felt cowboy hat made of wool or a straw cowboy hat that you wear on specific occasions; it will get dirty if you wear it once or twice. Multiple things are available for wreaking havoc on your cowboy hats, such as debris, dust, and sweat stains.

But you don’t need to be worried about that since cleaning a cowboy hat isn’t something you will find a headache. You need to follow the 3 Cs in this regard, Care, consistency, and Common Sense.

So, the main question is how to clean felt and straw cowboy hats. Well, let’s take a look at the former. It would help if you saw what felt actually is; it all starts with wool, which, when treated using pressure, moisture and heat, forms wool felt.

You can also make felt using the fur of animals, but we’ve only enlisted ways to clean felt cowboy hats made of wool. You can’t use the same methods you do to clean leather or straw cowboy hats since it can damage the hat. Use a gentle approach and see the following ways of cleaning a felt cowboy hat.

How to clean Felt Cowboy Hats?

Please look at the methods below to see how you can clean felt cowboy hats without ruining them. These methods are beginner-friendly and will take no time.

· Keep Your Felt Cowboy Hat Clean

There is no better way of keeping a cowboy hat clean than to clean it every time you wear it. This surely doesn’t take a lot of time and no effort. You may use a toothbrush for this purpose, but a hat brush specifically made to clean the cowboy hats is a better option.

Just sweep away all the dirt and dust while keeping the fabric smooth. Using a lint roller can also be handy since it will roll the hat’s fabric and simultaneously remove dirt and dust. Some people do it using a piece of tape as well. So, it’s pretty easy to clean your hat.

· Keep Your Felt Cowboy Hat Cool And Dry!

Keeping a felt cowboy hat clean is possible if you store it in a better place. For example, keeping it away from sunlight in a dry place (when you aren’t wearing it) or putting it in a hat box can save it from dirt and debris. This will also help it avoid fading.

Another way is to arrange the hats in upside down position with the crown at the bottom. This is possible only if you have so many hats in similar shapes and you have a place also to store them like this. Otherwise, the method mentioned above is a better option.

Also read: How to keep cowboy hat from blowing off?

· Hand-Wash Your Felt Cowboy Hat

It’s always risky to bring your cowboy hat in contact with water since it may ruin the hat. But hand-washing is a good option if you don’t get any results from simple cleaning. Follow these steps in this regard:

  • Fill a bowl with cold water and add one teaspoon of soap.
  • Use a spot test to see if this method affects the fabric and color of the hat.
  • Use a brush to remove the stains first, then let it settle for at least 15 minutes.
  • Don’t forget to look at the hat band since water may damage it.
  • Submerge the hat in water for half an hour if the stains are too big or heavy.
  • Rinse it with cold water and let it get dry through natural air. Please don’t bring it to a warm place since it may cause the stains to be sticky. Make sure the sun is away from sunlight when you’re drying it.

This is a risky but better way of cleaning your felt cowboy hat.

Now that you know how to clean felt cowboy hats let’s look at how you can clean straw cowboy hats.

How to clean Straw Cowboy Hats?

Cleaning straw cowboy hats can be done in the same way as Felt Cowboy Hats. Let’s take a look at a few ways to do it.

1. Clean it using a brush

Seeing the debris or loose dirt on your cowboy hat is painful, and you can remove it using a hat brush which keeps the fabric soft. But if you don’t have it, you can use a dry cloth also for this purpose.

2. Use Packing Tape

Packing tape can also help to remove the specks of dirt. Roll a piece around the fingers, press it against the dirt and then lift it to remove debris. This may be ineffective as it can also affect the upper layer of your hat, so try this method only on straw cowboy hats.

3. Use Hydrogen Peroxide Solution

A combination of water and hydrogen peroxide and a clean cloth will help remove embedded dirt. Spray the solution first on your hat and use the cloth to remove it.

But the drawback is that it will only clean the spots; you can spread it all over the hat. Also, ensure that your straw cowboy hat doesn’t get too wet, as it will damage it.

4. Use Talcum Powder or Dish Soap

Using dish soap is the ultimate solution for removing stains, but you must be careful. On the other hand, you can also sprinkle small amounts of talcum powder on the stains.

Let the powder soak up all the stains by leaving it for an hour or so after sprinkling. Use a brush then to clean those stains.

Also read: How to hang cowboy hats?


The methods mentioned above will help you eliminate stains, even the stubborn ones that are not letting you wear your felt or straw cowboy hats. All you need is to look at what kind of stain there is.

If there is dust or debris only, you don’t need to use any complex material to handle it. But if it’s something that doesn’t seem to end anytime soon, you may use chemicals or talcum powder also. 

Make sure you don’t affect the cowboy hat quality by using any such thing. Protecting your cowboy hats is essential, and you must be careful about that.


What is the best way to clean cowboy hats?

The best way to clean cowboy hats is to use a brush or a dry cloth to remove the debris and dirt. If the stains are big or heavy, you can use a hydrogen peroxide solution or talcum powder to remove them.

Can I use water to clean my cowboy hat?

You can use water to clean your cowboy hat, but you must be careful. Water may damage the hat, so it’s better to use it in small amounts.

Can I use dish soap to clean my cowboy hat?

Yes, you can use dish soap to clean your cowboy hat, but you must be very careful. Using too much of it may damage the hat.

What is the best way to protect my cowboy hat?

The best way to protect your cowboy hat is to avoid dust and dirt. Always store your cowboy hat in a cool and dry place.

My name is Brandon J. Nava, and I consider myself an expert on the cowboy lifestyle. I regularly attend events at the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) am I am a member of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA). I've participated in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo or the Pendleton Round-Up and I aspire to be awarded by the American Horse Council or the United States Equestrian Federation in the near future. In addition I've visited lectures and educational programs at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.