How to Wash & Remove Sweat Stains on Golf Gloves, Hat, Shirt

sweaty golf gloves


If you play golf during summer, it’s quite likely that your golf gloves, hat, and shirt are prone to sweat stains. No Golfer out there enjoys playing with sweaty hands!

The good news is that sweat stains can certainly be removed from golf gloves! 

How to Wash & Remove Sweat Stains from Golf Hats/Caps

There are quite a few ways you can get rid of the sweat stain from your golf hats or caps. You can try out one or more methods to see what works best for you.


Dishwasher Method

This method is best suited for hats made of polyester fabric blends, jersey mesh, or cotton. Avoid using this method for hats with brims made of cardboard. Spot cleaning is best in this case.

  1. Keep the stained golf hat/cap on the topmost rack of the dishwasher. Remember to remove all vessels out of the dishwasher.
  2. Secure the hat in place using plastic clothespins so that it does not move out of position.
  3. Pour some dishwashing detergent into the dishwasher. Never use laundry detergent as a substitute.
  4. Set the dishwasher to operate in the regular wash cycle mode and turn on the air-dry feature.
  5. Start your dishwasher and let it do its job. Use cold water instead of warm or hot water so that the fabric does not shrink.
  6. Take the clean hat out and let it dry, over inverted coffee cans or soup bowls so that they retain their shape when dry.

You can dry more than one golf hat/cap at a time using this method.


Hand-Wash Method

This method is best applicable for colorfast hats and not recommended for hats made of satin, felt, wool, silk, or leather.

  1. Apply a laundry stain pre-treatment spray like Puracy Natural Stain Remover or Oxiclean on the golf hat. You may need to use a soft toothbrush on stubborn stains.
  2. Let the spray stay on the hat for the duration mentioned on the spray bottle.
  3. Take a bucket of warm water and add a tablespoon of liquid or powdered bleach-free detergent.
  4. Stir the mixture thoroughly until the detergent gets dissolved completely in the water.
  5. Put the hat into the water and swirl it around a few times.
  6. Let the hat remain in the water for about four hours while moving it around in the bucket occasionally.
  7. Rinse the hat in cool water a few times until the soap is removed from the hat.
  8. Squeeze the hat to drain off the excess water and allow it to air-dry without exposure to direct sunlight. Take care not to alter the original shape. The drying time varies based on humidity.


Washing Machine Method

If the stains are very bad, you may want to do a little pre-treatment by following the first two steps of the hand wash method.

  1. Put your golf cap into a plastic cap form.
  2. Fill your washing machine with your usual bleach-free laundry detergent.
  3. Follow the same process you would for washing your clothes.
  4. Air-dry the hat as mentioned above. Do not dry the cap inside the clothes dryer.


Spot Clean Method

  1. If the stains are severe, pre-treat the hat by following the first two steps of the hand-wash method.

  2. Mix a little shampoo or bleach-free detergent in a vessel of cool water and stir thoroughly for uniform mixing. Alternatively, you can use a tablespoon of white vinegar for each stain.

  3. Dip a small portion of a clean cloth into the above solution and rub gently on the stains. Use separate portions of the cloth on each stain.

  4. Rinse your hat made of cotton or water-safe material with cool water. For leather hats, wipe with a moist sponge.

  5. Air-dry the hat without exposing it directly to sunlight and avoid heat appliances like dryers.


Using Enzyme Treatment

  1. Mix a little enzyme-based cleaner with some warm water in a bucket and ensure that the cleaner is dissolved completely.
  2. Soak the polyester blend or cotton hat in the above solution for about 20 minutes to a couple of hours depending on the intensity of the stains.
  3. Wash the hat using a washing machine or hand wash method as described above.


Dry Clean method

You can take your golf cap/hat to a dry cleaner who has the expertise in dry cleaning hats. This method works best for felt hats, white baseball and similar kind of caps. However, it is usually not worth the cost. Alternatively, you can take your headwear to a Western wear store, a haberdashery or a hatter for specialized treatment.


How to Remove Stubborn Stains on Golf Hats

Baking soda can help you get rid of stubborn stains that do not go away with any of the above methods.

  1. Take four tablespoons of baking soda in a medium-sized bowl and add a quarter cup of warm water to it. Just add enough water so that the baking soda becomes moist and you can form a paste.
  2. Apply this paste on the sweat stains on the hat using a spoon.
  3. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and gently scrub the paste over the stains.
  4. Let it soak for an hour and rinse with cool water until the baking soda is completely washed off.
  5. Stuff a clean towel into the hat to absorb excess moisture and let it air dry.


How to Clean Sweat stains from White Hats

Hydrogen peroxide is a great choice to remove yellow sweat stains from white golf hats. However, it must be used with caution because of its powerful bleaching property. Because of this property, the method is not recommended for colored hats.

  1. Apply a few drops on the brim of the hat on the stain-affected areas.
  2. Scrub the stains gently with a clean toothbrush that has soft bristles.
  3. Allow the hydrogen peroxide to stay for about 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse the hat with cool water and leave it to air dry. If the hat is washable, you can opt for hand-wash or machine wash.

If you’ve accidentally got your white golf hat/cap discolored for some reason, you can use a dishwasher detergent like Dawn and some elbow grease on the affected areas. Scrub these areas gently with a soft toothbrush.

How to check for colorfastness of your golf hat/cap

  1. Take a clean white cloth and wet it slightly with water.
  2. Wipe a small portion of the inside of your hat/cap with the wet portion of the cloth.
  3. If the dye sticks on to the cloth, it indicates that the hat/cap is not colorfast and therefore not washable.


How Golfers Can Prevent Sweat Stains

Now that I’ve told you some ways to get rid of the sweat stains, here are some simple tips to avoid them.

  1. Unfold the sweatband of your golf cap from the inside so that it is visible and hanging out from the cap.
  2. Spray a little aerosol fabric protector both inside and outside the cap, taking care to avoid the sweatband. Let it stay for about 15 minutes.
  3. Apply a second coat on the top and bottom of the cap. Allow this coating also to stay for 15 minutes before using the cap.

You can also opt for cap and hat liners or forehead/face antiperspirants to keep the sweat stains at bay.


How to Clean Sweat Stains from Leather Golf Gloves

Proper maintenance of your leather golf gloves is very important as they help you in protecting your hands when you take a swing of your golf club.

Ideally, you should clean your gloves after each playing session to avoid the dirt and stains from accumulating on them. This is not a complicated process if done properly.

Here are some cleaning methods you can use get the stains off your golf gloves:

  • Use a damp cloth and wipe over the dirty areas to get the dust off. Follow up with a second wipe using a dry fabric to rub any remaining dirt off.

  • If you’re using a new glove, then blemishes and dirt marks will be quite common in the initial few days. Dip a cloth in moderately hot water and gently dab it over these areas.

    Often, these blemishes and dirt marks are found on the fingers and palm of the glove. They indicate that you have to modify your golf club holding style when you swing it.

  • Dip the glove in soapy warm water or a bucket of cold water with two tablespoons of dish detergent.
  • Stir the water with your hand to work up a lather. This will also ensure uniform mixing of the dish detergent.
  • Put the glove in the solution and rub it against your hand to loosen the dirt. If you have a pair of gloves, rub them against each other.

Make sure that you use the right detergent or soap to avoid damage or abrasion on your glove. Also, remember to check your golf club’s grip when you use the glove with your club the next time.

  • Rinse the glove/gloves in clean cold water until the soap or detergent is gone completely.
  • Squeeze the glove/gloves well to get rid of the excess water from them.
  • Place them on a dry hand towel and allow to air dry normally without exposing them to direct sunlight.
  • Put them on your hands after a couple of hours and remove them so that they retain their natural shape and prevent shrinking.
  • Allow the air-drying to continue for at least 12 hours so that they become completely dry.

After you have cleaned your leather gloves, let them dry using the normal air-drying process.

Leather gloves may harden a bit after the drying process. However, the warmth and moisture from your hand will often make it flexible once again.

If this does not happen, you can use very little Lexol to make it normal once again.


What is Safe to Use on Leather Gloves?

As leather gloves can be expensive, you may wonder what you can safely use on them to prevent damage. I will give you some suggestions in this regard.

  • Microfiber cloth – You must use this as soon as your leather gloves are dry after their wash. Wiping them with a clean microfiber cloth will not only give them a polished effect but also durability.

  • Oily soap – Oily solvent like saddle soaps can help you get rid of the stains and dirt from both inside and outside of your gloves. Use the soap bubbles as much as you can for this purpose.

  • Hydrogen peroxide or alcohol – Both these chemicals have strong disinfectant properties. So, you should use just a little. They can kill the bacteria and germs that accumulate inside the leather gloves.

  • Cornstarch and baking soda – They are most effective when used after your gloves are washed. While cornstarch can help to get rid of any odor, baking soda is excellent at removing oil stains that have not gone even after a wash.


How Golfers Can Stop Getting Sweaty Hands

Your hands must be dry and free of sweat for a good grip whenever you play golf. This holds good irrespective of the humidity level of the place you’re in.

The following are some simple tips to keep your hands dry throughout the game.

  • If you play with gloves on, then the best bet is to invest in as many gloves as possible. There are some decently priced ones that you can consider buying.

  • Depending on how long you plan to play, change or rotate your gloves at regular intervals. This can also prevent them from becoming too sweaty and causing sweat stains.

  • You can try out a Dry Hands product from the many types available in the market. One such product is a rosin ball. Ultimately, a product like Dry Hands does just what its name says – the chalky, white-textured product keeps the hands dry and non-sticky.

  • If you want a sticky feel to ensure a better grip, opt for a product like Gorilla Gold Grip Enhancer that gives you the stickiness by rubbing your opposite hand and glove against the product.

  • For those who prefer spray products, Grip Boost is ideal as it is long-lasting and gives just the right amount of stickiness.

  • Wear sweatbands around your wrists. This does make a difference to your golf swing and reduce the sweat on your hands considerably.

  • Stay cool by opting for breathable clothes. You can also adopt other techniques like rubbing ice on your veins, wearing a hat, having a cold drink handy and so on.

  • Instead of opting for golf-specific gloves, you can try using rain gloves. They can enhance your grip on the golf club and reduce sweat.

  • Apply antiperspirant before you get started with the game. Drysol is a good option.

  • Keep many towels handy. You may want to keep off golf towels though as they often absorb less sweat. Normal gym towels are a better choice.

  • Change your towel when it becomes wet. A cold towel around your neck during a game can help you sweat less by remaining cool. Keep a dry towel tucked inside your pants.

  • Spread some baby powder liberally on your hands before you begin a game. The advantage of this method is that it is cost-effective.

  • If your golf club grips are slippery, it might be time for you to replace them with new ones. Leather and cord grips are good choices. Clean your old grips with soapy water and dry them thoroughly.

  • Wash your hands after each hole or at least after every alternate hole. This makes them tacky and will help you save on investing in many gloves.


How to Remove Sweat Stains from Golf Shirts

More often than not, you can remove the sweat stains from your golf shirts using readily available household ingredients. Here are some different ways you can get remove stains and odors from your golf clothing.

I recommend trying out a few different methods to check out which one works best for you.

  • Take some warm water and lemon juice in equal quantity and mix them both. Scrub the stain affected areas and soak it in the solution until the stain goes away. Wash off as usual after soaking for an hour.

  • Replace the lemon juice with warm water and sprinkle liberally over the stain or odor. Let it stay for a while before washing.

  • Mix two parts of hydrogen peroxide with one part of the dish-soap liquid. Pour the mixture on the stain and scrub the area. Allow it to remain for an hour before you wash your shirt.

  • Pour a little white vinegar on the stain and scrub the stained area using your hands. Put it into the washer and follow the normal care instructions.

  • You can also make a solution using equal parts of white vinegar and water and pour it on the affected area. This is a good choice for colored fabrics as white vinegar does not do any damage to them.

  • Wet the stain or odor affected area using water. Sprinkle a little meat tenderizer on the area and wash it as usual.

  • Mix four tablespoons of salt in a liter of warm water. Dip the stained area into the solution. Wash it off after a while.

  • Soak the golf shirt inside out for half an hour in a solution of two cups of hot water and one cup of vinegar. The inside-out soaking helps the solution to work directly on the stain. Squeeze the shirt well.

  • Make a paste using one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide, one tablespoon of salt and half-cup baking soda. Apply the paste on the stained areas with a circular scrubbing motion using a toothbrush or scrub brush. Wash normally after 20 minutes.

It’s worth noting that this method is not suitable for spandex shirts or colored fabric. Hot water can damage the fabric while hydrogen peroxide can cause discoloration.

  • Make a solution using ammonia and water in equal proportion. Spread the mixture on the stained areas and wash like how you would usually do.

  • Boil a vessel of water and pour it over the stain directly. Hot water will make the fabric loosen up and make it easy to scrub off the stains. Do not use this method on spandex golf shirts.


Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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