Wednesday, June 1, 2011

RDB All Funked Up? Tips on Cleaning Your Real Deal Brazil Recycled-Tarp Hat

Dirt happens. Also, sweat. And when the two get together often enough, especially in high-heat, high-humidity climates, they can add up to some really nasty s***. And, really, who's ever happy when s*** happens, especially when it happens to a beloved Real Deal Brazil recycled-tarp hat?

The horror, right?

But no real worries, actually. Because while you will never, ever, ever get the
funky out of your Real Deal Brazil recycled-tarp hat, you can easily eliminate that certain foulish funk that's one day likely to seep in following heavy, serious wear.

Cleaning your hat couldn't actually be much easier. If you're in a bind and needing rapid mild-funk relief, just spray your groady headwear with a garden hose, then let the hat air-dry. If it's a warm day, and the RDB is left out in the sun, a couple hours should do ya.

When the funk gets a bit more serious, though, and you've got a few more minutes to spend on upkeep, we recommend hand-washing that dirty bad boy in the sink. Dilute some detergent or even use dish soap, soaking your RDB in the sudsy solution and, depending on the degree of nasty, maybe even scrubbing your hat a little with a rag or soft brush. Rinse thoroughly, then let your RDB air-dry, preferably outside. Done, and done!

And, presto: powdery-fresh kick-ass hat.

Of course, some funk is really, really bad funk. Consider this very real note we received a while back:

"Love the hat. But it has become covered in wild hog dung and needs to be washed. It is currently hanging in a tree. Any recommendations?"

In this weird case, add a little OxiClean to the soap-and-water mix, and maybe squeeze in a little fresh lemon juice, too. And don't be surprised if you have to repeat the whole process at least once. Wild hogs. Honestly. You people.

That said, we've had people put their highly funked-up RDBs in the dishwasher to good effect as well, though if there's any spot-scrubbing that needs doing, you're really right back to hand-washing as your best option, y'know?

We discourage machine-washing our hats, however. The agitator arm in a standard washer can beat hell on the hat's crown stitching, particularly if the RDB is crowded among other clothes, and can't easily work free. Don't chance it. Ain't worth it.

We also strongly advise against putting our hats in dryers. For one thing, all that tumbling can add a new shape to the brim that might then be hard to work back out. Air-dry, people! Air-dry!

So to recap: In a pinch, hose off your RDB, easy-peasy. Otherwise, for general cleaning, hand-wash with mild detergent/dish soap, rinse thoroughly, air-dry.

A word or two on air-drying: We recommend actually hanging your newly clean hat outside to dry vs. wearing it right after rinsing and waiting on it to dry that way. Your hat's heavy canvas fabric can soak up a whole lot of water while being washed/rinsed, and all that agua is liable to run all over you if you immediately slap your beloved, newly funk-free RDB right back on your eager head. Of course, if you really like, or even need, a good soaking yourself, then y'know, have at it.

Let it be said that there are certainly other effective methods for cleaning your hat. A little Real Deal ingenuity, and there's no telling what you can come up with.

Of course, some seemingly inspired ideas should probably be questioned a bit before being put into practice. For instance, no matter how brave your Real Deal Brazil recycled-tarp hat might make you feel, please do not, under any circumstances, put it on your head and then attempt to walk through one of those automated car washes. This is pretty much guaranteed to end badly, and certainly much worse for you than for your hat. In a match between your body and a big, swirling brush attached to an insistent mechanized arm, odds are on the brush, every time.

Long-standing Real Deal Brazil fan and funk-problem-solver Mack Simpson of Richardson, Texas, has a much less potentially hazardous suggestion toward getting a fouled-up RDB all spiffy again:

"I have a technique for cleaning mine that's worked every time. Beware, though: It is a long, drawn-out process that follows many steps, any one of which that might be missed could lead to total disaster. So here it is: 1) Place your RDB snugly atop your head; 2) jump in a chlorinated pool; 3) slosh about a bit, preferably with a pool-safe beer can in hand; 4) repeat as necessary; 5) leave your RDB out to dry overnight.

Please be sure to remember this is a professional-grade cleaning and not intended for amateurs. If necessary, I can provide you with my address for sending your hat and a case of beer. Expect your hat to return to you in clean condition in 7-10 working days."

That's some real generosity right there! Our fans, as we've always said, are just the best. The Real Deal best.


Oldanvilyoungsmith said...

Love the last method of cleaning. I got my grandfather a hat for fathers day, and he was asking me how to clean it. Told I'd cleaned mine in the lake, the pool, and the shower.

Love the hat too, looks great, feels great, and everybody else thinks it looks cool too (bought another one recently for a friend who kept stealing mine).

MtnRubi said...

Just thought I'd throw another de-funking success story out there. After a couple attempts to remove the sweaty funkiness from my hat, I finally got brave enough to scrub the stains with shampoo, then wash the hat in the dishwasher. (No dishes were harmed during this process).

I put in just a touch of dishwasher detergent as well, and let'er rip!

Out of the box, she was clean, soft, and smelled oh so good! Possibly a touch lighter from the bit of bleach in the detergent, but I'm not really sure.

Thanks much for the general bit of Awesome that is the RDB Hat!