How to Shrink a Baseball Cap – The Ultimate Guide

You walk into a shop determined to buy a new baseball cap.

Soon enough, you lay eyes on the perfect choice.

You pick it up and try it on, but it’s just not the right size.

If you want to shrink a baseball hat so it will fit your head, read on!

People have been shrinking hats as far back as the turn of the 20th century.

This technique is said to be the same or similar to a method that was used in ancient Greece.

So, don’t instantly give up hope.

There is still time to learn how to shrink a baseball cap and have it fit you better.

It’s something that can be done if you have the right tools and a little time.

Step by step guide on how to shrink a baseball cap

There are many reasons for wanting to shrink a hat.

  • Perhaps you’ve just bought an overly large hat or you have a cap that’s just a little too big and you’re looking for a way to shrink it down so it will fit your head properly.
  • Or you made an online purchase and when it arrives it is a little too big.

The most vital thing to remember is that shrinking a cap will alter the shape and quality of the material.

There’s no way around that fact.

It doesn’t matter if the cap you’re working with is made of wool, cotton, or polyester.

Submerge in hot water

Hot water is the secret to shrinking a hat.

That said, this technique is more effective on cotton.

Polyester caps may shrink a little, but don’t expect too much.

The temperature of the water is crucial.

If it’s not hot enough, be prepared for disappointment due to misshaping and folds in the material.

Also remember that most caps are composed with two layers – an inner and outer layer that are stitched together to form a single cap.

You’ll need to submerge both layers in hot water if you’re determined to shrink a baseball hat using this method so you have better chances of success.

The idea is that the heat from the water will force the material to expand and then conform to the shape of your head as it cools down.


  1. Fill a large pot with water and place it over high heat until the water is hot. When the water begins to bubble, remove the pot from the heat and fill a sink or bowl with the hot tap water to create a basin that’s larger than the hat itself.
  2. Adhere to the right water temperature. It shouldn’t be too hot to the point it’s likely to burn or damage the hat’s material. With that in check, submerge the hat in hot water for up to 10 minutes.
  3. When time is up, remove it and drip off excess water. Let it cool and then wear the baseball cap until it air dries and shrinks to the size of your head.
  4. After you wear it for some time, you’ll discover that your hat has been reduced in size effectively, making it fit your head better.

Use a washing machine

If you don’t have the time, patience, or simply feel uncomfortable with the idea of hand-shrinking a hat yourself, there is another way to do it.

Perhaps it’s not as close to a traditional method of shrinking a cap, but it still works.

It involves placing a cap inside a washing machine and setting it to the hot water setting.


  1. Put your baseball cap in a garment bag or some other form of protective covering. The bag is important because it protects the cap’s material from damage.
  2. You can load the cap into the washing machine on its own or with other similar garments. Pressure from the other garments may help shrink it faster and more accurately. Add a suitable amount of non-bleach laundry detergent.
  3. The hot water setting is recommended, but check the manual beforehand to make sure you know how hot is safe for the material. Program the washing machine to run through a gentle cycle and then remove the cap when it’s done. It should be noticeably smaller than before.
  4. If it’s not small enough, you can repeat the process again – just be ready to compromise its quality a little bit more this time around.
  5. Use a towel to dab excess water from the cap, and then wear it while still slightly wet.

Use a hair dryer

The hair dryer method is commonly used to shrink wool caps, but it can be used for other caps made of cotton as well.

All you need is a hair dryer that works, spray bottle, water and some patience to find out whether this method will work for you.


  1. Start off by filling the spray bottle with a bit of water. Now, hold your hat in an upside down position and spritz the band on the interior of the hat. The purpose of this is to moisten it.
  2. After that, proceed to also spray other parts on the inside and outside of the hat. But don’t overdo it to the point the hat is soaked. It should only be moist and not dripping wet.
  3. Turn on your hair dryer and point its air flow at the cap. Hold it at a safe distance and don’t point the air flow straight at the cap’s material or the hat could catch fire.
  4. Position the hair dryer so that it’s aimed down into the cap’s opening and rotate around this spot until you feel it has been sufficiently blasted. You’ll need to do this for several minutes or until you feel as though shrinkage has taken place.
  5. Finally, wear the baseball cap when it’s almost dry to find out if it has indeed shrunk to the appropriate size.

Use the steam method

Using steam to shrink a baseball hat is not as advanced as the two aforementioned methods, but it is equally effective.

The key point in this process is that you have to apply the right amount of heat and time.

The idea behind this technique is that hot steam can actually force the fabric to shrink.

It’s a process commonly used by tailors who need to shrink cotton garments and it can work for other materials too.

Keep in mind, too much heat can tamper with the structural integrity of the baseball cap.

So, you have to be careful about this.


  1. Prepare the steamer by heating it up. When it’s hot enough, turn on the steam function and let the cap sit close to it. Keep checking on the cap as time passes and ensure that you don’t overdo it when it comes to applying heat.
  2. Alternatively, put a sizeable pot of water on the stove and bring it to boil. Turn off the heat once the water is boiling.
  3. Hold the hat by the brim and put it at least 6 inches away from the steam.
  4. Ensure the hot steam is able to penetrate the interior of the hat as well as the band. Leave it in place for 30 seconds.
  5. Take careful note of how long you’re steaming the cap for. You can go as far as 30 seconds depending on the material and type of cap. Just make sure you’re not in it for too long or else it might catch fire.
  6. When you’ve reached the right limit, remove the cap and let it cool down for another 30 seconds. Repeat the steaming process at least four more times.
  7. Now get a hair dryer and set it to a high setting. Hold it at a safe distance and dry the hat both in the interior and exterior.
  8. After drying it, let the hat cool for about a minute or so and wear it for a while to see if it has shrunk. If after a few wears in, you’re still not happy with its size, repeat the process again until you’re satisfied with the result.

Wear it into a hot shower

One of the most laid-back methods to shrink a hat is through a hot shower.

All you have to do is wear the cap under running hot water and it should shrink up with no problems.

The heat from the water will expand the hat’s fabric and size – as long as it’s not too hot that it’ll melt or damage the material.

We can say that it’s actually one of the most straightforward methods to try out if you want to shrink a baseball hat.


  1. Put on your baseball cap and ensure that the brim is down.
  2. Get in the shower, turn on the hot water and then stand underneath it wearing your cap. The fact that you’re wearing it during the process will help expose it to steam and water which in turn makes it shrink faster. In the meantime, you could take your normal shower.
  3. Stand there until you feel shrinkage has occurred or continue with this method until you’ve achieved the desired size.
  4. When you’re done, dab off all the excess water using a dry towel and continue to wear the hat as it air dries. This helps to stop it from shrinking up too far.
  5. Throw it in the dryer if you feel it needs a bit more shrinking even after using the steaming and hot shower methods.

General precautions when shrinking a baseball cap

  • When you’re using any of these methods, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the cap as time passes and make sure that you don’t overdo it by putting in excess heat or steaming for too long. If, after 30 seconds, you don’t feel shrinkage has taken place, take it out and avoid exposing it to any further steam.
  • Pay close attention to the material. Some fabrics, such as cotton or synthetic ones, can be naturally resistant to heat and steam. You have to be careful to use the correct method for each material. If in doubt, always refer to the tag on the cap that describes the right method to shrink it.
  • Always keep an eye on the hat and pay attention to how it feels. If you feel as though it’s being damaged, then stop right away.
  • Another thing you need to keep in mind is that you should take a look at the size of your cap when it shrinks – both before and after shrinking it. This will help you to see if it has shrunk enough or not.
  • If you don’t like the size it’s shrunk down to, then feel free to repeat the process. Do remember that each material and type of baseball cap will require a different amount of shrinking so take your time with this. Make sure that you’ve shrunk the hat enough so that it doesn’t fall off and is still comfortable to wear.

Final Thoughts

Shrinking a baseball hat is not an easy task.

You have to use an accurate technique for different types and materials of caps, making sure that you don’t overdo it or the hat will end up being wrecked.

You might even need to repeat the process if you want to achieve your anticipated results.

If you’re able to successfully shrink a baseball cap, you might be able to get a little more from it rather than ditch it for another one that fits.


How can i make my baseball hat tighter?

Depending on material, use any of the methods above.

Can i shrink a leather baseball cap?


That said, it’s a complicated process and often requires professional assistance to avoid damaging the material.

How can i shrink a nylon hat?

Usually, the best way is to use a washing machine.

It’s somewhat complicated and it may involve more than one attempt.#