How to Clean a Hat? Part III
Okay. You’ve brushed your hat, you’ve powdered your hat, you’ve steamed your hat and you still can’t get that little spot out. Maybe it’s dirt or a bit of oil or debris. What ever it is, you want it off of your handsome fur-felt fedora.
It is time to go to Def Con 5.
When it comes to cleaning a hat, sandpaper is the nuclear option. You really just don’t want to go there if you can avoid it because it can quickly ruin the look and/or finish of your hat.
Having been duly warned of the dangers of using sandpaper on a fur felt hat, if used properly with a little bit of luck, sandpaper can be a big help. Here’s how.
Most felt hats have been dyed all the way through, so there shouldn’t be an issue with the color, but, just in case, you might want to first try sanding a small patch of felt on the bottom or inside of the hat just to make sure there won’t be a substantial difference when you sand off the first layer.
To get started, use a piece of sandpaper with a 220 grit or finer. The goal is not to sand a hole through your hat.
Cut out a two-inch square of the sandpaper and fold it over your index finger. After performing your test, apply the sandpaper to the spot in question. Lightly sand using small, light circular motions. Check on the spot every pass or two. It doesn’t take much sanding to lift out a stain or spot. If the stain is deep, there is probably nothing you can do to fix it. Don’t sand a hole in your hat trying to get the stain out.
Depending how much sanding you do, the sanded space might be a shade or two lighter or darker than the rest of the hat’s crown or brim. Lightly sand with a single stroke the area around the spot to help the color blend. When blending, it is critical to sand in the direction of the grain of the felt if any exists. You might even have to pass over the entire crown or brim once if the case is severe, but it should even out the color better.
Remember, when it comes to sanding a hat, less is more.