Why Does Your Hat Smell Like Hell: Reasons & Solutions

Who likes stinky hats? No one, that’s who. Not only do stinky hats make you look and smell bad, but they’re also a breeding ground for bacteria. Gross.

But our hat just smells for no reason; what gives? There are actually a few reasons your hat might start smelling bad. Here are some of the most common culprits why does your hat smell:

You’re wearing it too much, and it’s picked up your body odor; you live in a hot climate, and sweat builds up inside the hat; the hat is totally new but made of materials that smell, and so many on.

If you’re like most people, you probably wash your hat after wearing it a few times to remove any odor. However, washing hats too frequently can damage the fiber, leading to a shorter lifespan for your favorite headwear.

Plus, if you don’t wash your hat correctly, you could end up with an even smellier hat.

Luckily, we’ve got the perfect solution to your smelly hat:

Check through our guide on removing odor from hats without washing them! And if you do need to wash your hat, we’ve got a safe and easy way to do that too.

First, let’s look at some of the most common reasons why your cap stinks.

Why Does Your Hat Smell On Earth?

There are 4 common reasons your hat might start to stink.

– Wearing It Too Much

Your hat gets the odor from your body because you’ve worn it too much. When you wear a hat, your body heat and hair oil transfer to the fabric.

And if your hair is particularly oily, that can worsen the problem. And even worse, your hat will cause your head itchy and dandruff.

All in all, the more you wear it without washing it and yourself, the stronger the odor will become.

– Too much sweat

If you live in a hot climate, sweat can build up inside the hat and cause it to stink. The sweat mixes with bacteria on your skin and creates an unpleasant odor.

This occurs most on hats that you wear for sports like ball caps or even visors.

Even worse, if you don’t handle the sweat timely, the sweat and bacteria will build up and make the smell stronger.

– New Hat But Made of Smell Materials

Sometimes, new hats can smell bad because of the materials they’re made from. For example, a new hat made of wool might have a strong sheep smell that’s hard to eliminate.

Moreover, even if you buy a ‘breathable’ hat that is made of poor quality materials like poly or other synthetic fabric, it can still cause you to sweat and stink.

– Dirt and Dust

Dirt and dust will make your hat smell bad too. We are not talking about the dust and stains you can see on the hat surface.

The dirt and dust in the air will also settle on your hat and make it smell over time.

Imagine that you may forget your favored hat in the dusty cabinet corner, and when you put it on again, it smells like the odd cabinet.

All the reasons above seem to remind you of washing your hat now. But what if you don’t want to wash it?

Or what if your hat is made of a material that does not recommend washing too much, like wool?

Don’t worry, we still get you covered!

Simple Methods to Remove the Odor from your Hat, Without Washing It!

As I mentioned above, the more you wash your hat, the more damage you do to the fabric.

So, in what ways can you remove the odor from your hat without having to wash it?

Check them below!

1. Air It Out

If you’re experiencing that weird smell from your hat, you should first air it out. This is the easiest and most convenient way to remove bad smells from hats.

Hang your hat up, or lay it flat in a well-ventilated area for a day or two. This will help to remove any bad smells that might be in the hat.

Note that you should put the hat in the shade, as direct sunlight can cause the fabric to fade.

Or to prevent this from happening, you can go for breathable hats like straw or cotton.

2. Freeze It

This method is a bit more extreme but can effectively remove bad smells from hats.

Simply put your hat in the freezer for a few hours. This will help to kill any bacteria that might be causing the bad smell.

If you are afraid that the cold might damage your hat, you can put it in a plastic bag before putting it in the freezer.

3. Use Baking Soda & Essential Oils

If the smell is quite tough and airing out or freezing your hat doesn’t work, try to use baking sodas.

To remove the smell from your hat using baking soda, you will need:

  • baking soda
  • a spray bottle
  • essential oils (optional)

Put some baking soda in the hat. This will help to absorb any bad smells that might be in the hat.

Next, use a spray bottle to dampen the hat and make it smell fresh. You can use any essential oil of your choice for this step. Some good options include lavender, lemon, or peppermint oil.

Let the hat sit for a few hours so that the baking soda can absorb the bad smells. Once the hat has had a chance to sit, air it out again before wearing it.

2 Safe Ways To Wash Your Hat and Remove the Smells

solutions for removing hats odor

Generally, the ways above work well for any odor of hats.

However, if your hat gets the odor from heavy sweat stains or is too long in the closet and smells like mildew, you should take it to a laundry service.

I’m not going to discuss dishwashing methods and put your hat in the washing machine. Both of them have potential factors to ruin the fiber of your hat.

Washing with your own hands is the most gentle way to make your hat fresh again. Here’s how to do it:

If your hats have a bad odor, you can try using lukewarm water and soap to clean them.

1. First, fill a bucket with lukewarm water and add a small amount of detergent. Mix the detergent into the water until it is fully dissolved.

2. Place the hat in the bucket and allow it to soak for at least an hour. After the hat has soaked, use your hands to rub the suds into the fabric.

3. Be sure to get all areas of the hat, including the inside and outside. Rinse the hat with fresh water until all of the suds are gone.

4. Allow the hat to air dry. Sun drying is ideal, but if you live in a humid climate, you may need to use a hair dryer on a low setting.

Tips: Use cold water if your hats are made of wood or fabrics that can easily shrink.

Final Words

Hats can often pick up an unpleasant odor, but there are several ways to remove the smell and restore your hat to its former glory.

Generally, the methods above work for any type of hat odor. However, if your hat has heavy sweat stains or was stored in a closet for too long and smells like mildew, you should take it to a laundry service.

To prevent your hat from smelling in the first place, make sure to give it a good airing-out after each use and store it in a cool, dry place. Thanks for reading!