How to Clean Leather Hats

Melissa Lewis

Leather hats are usually made from suede, which has a dull and rough finish. These hats are popular with horse riders and due to the nature of use, they often become dirty. Fortunately, cleaning suede-leather hats is something the hat owner can do himself.

Clean Leather Hats
  1. Brush your suede-leather hat with a nylon-bristle brush or a crepe suede brush. This will help remove and loosen dirt and grime, as well as remove fingerprints.

  2. Rub a suede-cleaning bar in circular motions to remove makeup and dirt stains on suede hats. Use an emery board or fine-grit sandpaper to remove grease stains and matted-in dirt and grime.

  3. Sprinkle baby powder or cornstarch on your hat to remove grease stains. Dust the talcum lightly over the oily or greasy areas. Allow the powder to sit on the stains for a minimum of 30 minutes. Brush away the powder with a suede brush to lift the grease from the suede's nap completely.

  4. Spray on a suede conditioner. Apply an even and light coat of the conditioner on the surface of the hat. Allow the hat to air dry completely in a well-ventilated area. Lightly brush the leather with a suede brush to soften the material and restore its original color.


It is best to follow the manufacturer's cleaning instructions; check the manufacturer's Web site for them.


Apply a water- or stain repellent upon purchasing the hat and after each cleaning, especially since sweat stains are near impossible to remove.

To hide splotches on the hat caused by perspiration, take the hat to a professional leather cleaner to restore the original color -- or to dye the item a darker hue.