How to Clean a Dusty Cowboy Hat

Cowboy hat
Get your dusty cowboy hat looking sharp again. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

If an invitation to a night of western line dancing led you to dig out your long-unworn cowboy hat from the back of the closet, you might have been disheartened to find it covered in dust. Most western-style hats are made of felt, though some less expensive hats are straw. Whichever type of hat is yours, you can remove the dust with a quick cleaning and then get ready to step out in your best western duds.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean cloth or sponge

  • Hat brush

Cleaning a Straw Hat

Step 1

Wash your hands to avoid smudging dirt or oil onto the hat.

Step 2

Wet a clean cloth or sponge with water, then squeeze out excess moisture to leave the cloth damp.

Step 3

Wipe away the dust with the damp rag. Start at the top of the crown, and work your way down to the hat's brim. Circle the brim in a counterclockwise direction.

Step 4

Rinse the rag if it becomes heavily soiled, squeeze out excess moisture and continue to clean the hat until all dust is removed.

Cleaning a Felt Hat

Step 1

Wash your hands so they don't smudge oil or dirt onto the hat.

Step 2

Dust the crown of the hat from front to back with a soft hat brush.

Step 3

Clean the brim of the hat with the brush. Start at the front of the hat and work your way around in a counterclockwise direction.


Store your western hat on its crown, not standing on its brim. Protect an expensive hat in a hat box. Handle your hat by the brim, not the crown.

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