The sun is our best source of vitamin D. At the same time, too much of it can damage our skin. Not only can it lead to wrinkles but it can also contribute to skin cancer, which affects more than 58 million individuals in the U.S. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it can also cause heat strokes and sunburns, the former of which is considered to be a medical emergency.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to prevent sun damage. Take sunscreen, for example, it’s one of the best things that you can use to protect yourself. Put it simply, they’ll scatter or absorb the rays so that they won’t penetrate into your skin.
Aside from that, it also helps to wear protective clothing. Hats are great as well. Another thing that you want to do is to seek shade. Why expose yourself to UV rays when you don’t have to, right?
Benefits of Wearing Sports Caps and Hats
Like we said above, wearing a hat or cap is a great way to protect yourself from the sun. For one thing, it’ll protect the top of your head from the sun’s rays. Not only that, but the bill or brim will protect your eyes from the blaring rays. In other words, you’ll be at a lower risk of cataracts.
If anything, wearing a hat is especially important if you’re participating in outdoor activities. For example, most baseball players will wear a baseball cap as part of their uniform. It protects them from the sun so that they can have better performance!
Sports Caps vs Hats
Both caps and hats can protect you from the sun. However, there are a few noticeable differences. For one thing, hats typically have a shaped crown and a brim. In contrast, caps are typically brimless, though some may come with a visor.
Which is better in terms of sun protection? A wide-brimmed hat—they’re much better at shading the facial areas. The wider the brim, the better it’ll shield your neck and ears. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t wear a cap, though. After all, hats are not suitable for all situations (e.g. sports).
Note: For the purposes of this article, we’ll be focusing on sports caps. After all, hat is such a general term.
What Materials are Sports Caps Made Of?
Sports caps, as implied by their name, are often made with sports in mind. Here are a few materials that are often used for their construction:
Nylon is a common material that’s used for activewear. Manmade, it’s much more durable than its natural counterparts (e.g. silk, cotton). One great thing about the textile is that it’s highly elastic. If anything, that’s one of the reasons why it’s often used for sportswear. In addition to that, it holds up well in the wash—that is, it rarely shrinks.
Polyester is another fabric that’s often used for activewear. As with nylon, it’s also manmade. Lightweight and durable, it has many properties that make it suitable for sports apparel. For one thing, it’s extremely durable. Not only that, but it dries quickly and has the ability to wick moisture away from the skin. Used in sports caps, it can keep your head cool during intense workouts.
Spandex is also synthetic. Unlike nylon and polyester, however, it’s extremely elastic—that’s what it’s known for. That’s the reason why it’s often used for sports bras, leggings, etc, where stretch is necessary. Besides that, it also supports the shape of the item.
Polyurethane is a plastic material that’s often used for sports caps visors. Not only is it durable, but it’s also very easy to clean—you can just run it through the washer. Aside from being used in caps, it’s also used in clothing such as faux leather jackets.
How to Wash Sports Caps
The thing with sports caps is that they tend to get icky quickly. After all, they’re worn over the head—this means that they’re going to come into contact with your sweat! Given that, you want to be diligent about washing your caps. The last thing that you want is to keep re-wearing something that’s stinky!
Not familiar with how to wash sports caps? Need a step-by-step guide? Well then, you’re in luck—because that’s the purpose of this post! Refer to the next section for the washing instructions.
Are Sports Caps Machine Washable?
Most sports caps are sold nowadays have plastic-supported brims—this means that they’re machine washable. When in doubt, check the care label on the inside of the cap; it’ll let you know whether or not you put it in the washer. Remember, just because your sports cap is machine washable doesn’t mean that you want to toss it in every day—that can be unhealthy for it. However, there’s nothing wrong with doing it every once in a while.
Assuming that what you have is machine washable, you can go ahead and load it in. If you want, you can even wash it together with your other clothes. In fact, that’s probably better than just washing your cap by itself.
Pro-tip: You can help your sports cap keep its shape by buying a cap frame. Basically, it’s a frame that’ll hold its shape during the wash cycle. That way, it won’t come out deformed.
Once the cap is in the washing machine, add a scoop of ACTIVE detergent. Do not add bleach. Run a cold water cycle and allow the washer to do work its magic. Remove your cap afterward and let it air dry. Make sure that you don’t put it in the dryer. If needed, you can set it in front of a fan so that it’ll dry faster.
Hand Washing Your Sports Caps
Do you wear your sports cap often? If so, it might be a better idea to wash them by hand (machine washing them every day can cause them to wear out). For this method, you just need a laundry detergent and water.
The first step is to fill your sink with warm or cool water. Next, add a small bit of ACTIVE detergent. With your hands, agitate the water to make it sudsy. Place your sports cap in and let it soak for at least an hour—that’ll allow the water and soap to work into the fabric.
Rinse the cap well with clean water after an hour. If necessary, you can use a toothbrush or cloth to scrub the material. The end goal, however, is to get rid of all the detergent. No residue should be left on the cap when you’re done. The final step is to let it air dry.
Using the Dish Washer
Believe it or not but you can also run your sports caps through the dishwasher. If anything, it’s a preferred method for many people. First things first, you want to make sure that the dishwasher is empty. The last thing that you want is for your cap to be stained with food residue!
Once you’ve done that, place your cap into the dishwasher on the top shelf. Similar to machine washing, it’s highly recommended that you use a cap frame—that way, you’ll be able to maintain its shape. Next, add a bit of dishwasher detergent.
Press start and run a normal dishwasher cycle on low heat. Allow it to air-dry afterward.
Removing Stains From Your Sports Cap
Is your sports cap stained? If so, you’ll want to pretreat it before washing. To do this, mix a small amount of ACTIVE detergent with water. Use a clean toothbrush or sponge to apply the soapy water onto the stained area. Gently scrub the spot until the stain comes out. If necessary, you can soak the cap in the solution first—that’ll make it easier to remove.
Once the stain is gone from the cap, you can wash it with one of the methods described above.
How to Remove Odors From Sports Hats
Sweat can cause your sports cap to smell funky after a while. Here’s how to get rid of that odor:
Fortunately, you can make it smell fresh again with just a few simple ingredients—baking soda, vinegar, and ACTIVE detergent. Start by adding 1/4 cup of white vinegar to a spray bottle. Combine it with half a scoop of ACTIVE detergent and shake. Once it’s dissolved, you can spray the cap down with the solution.
Next, gently scrub the inside with a soft-bristled toothbrush. It’s important that the cap is fully saturated with the vinegar detergent mixture. From there, sprinkle 1/4 cup of baking soda on the cap. Use your toothbrush to work it into the fabric. Allow the cap to sit for 5-10 minutes once everything is mixed.
Finally, rinse the baseball cap off with clean water. You can do this by filling a large bowl or sink with water. Continue to rinse until the cap until it’s clean of soap, vinegar, and baking soda. Wait for it to dry fully before wearing it again.