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How to Properly Clean Your T-shirts.


A quality T-shirt should have an expected life span of several years, when given the proper care.  Too often, we hear from clients that their T-shirts only last a few months before losing their lustre. In order to help our customers prolong the life of their t-shirts, we have created a 5 Step cleaning process that can be used with any T-shirt print style.

Before proceeding, it is best to mention that T-shirt quality, and T-shirt printing methods are not all the same.  If you are in charge of a company or team’s T-shirts and jerseys, it is always best to contact a professional printer who can guide you to selecting the right print method and T-shirt quality for your purpose. Bottom line: quality is usually a key factor in determining how long a T-shirt will last.

Tips On T-shirt Washing

  • Separate the whites from the coloured. This is especially so if you’re going to be using bleach.
  • Please read the tags before washing for longer preservation of the T-shirt quality and durability.

The Five Step Formula

Follow the steps below in sequence, starting with the whites and then with the coloured.

Step One: Separate the Light Stains from the Tough Stains

The first thing to do is to look carefully at the t-shirts for stains and separate them into two piles. One is for those with light stains and the other for the tough stains.

The idea and goal here is to pay more attention to the tough stains.

A good many of us just throw the T-shirts into the washer without observing the stains either to lack of knowledge on washing tips or they’re just not bothered at all of the outcome.

If you are looking for clean results, you will need towalk the extra mile and be observant of the stains and separate them out as explained.

Step Two: Pre-Wash Stain Removal

Apply a quality and effective commercial stain remover according to its directions. Then leave the T-shirts for some time to enable the stain remover to react and work into the fabric,  before you wash them.

Remember to closely read and follow the directions on the stain remover before applying it.

Step Three: Cold Water Wash for Light or No Stains

Before you begin the wash, it is imperative that you turn any T-shirts with designs or pictures, inside out. Once this is done, you’re ready to wash!

The T-shirts that have the least stains or no stains at all should be loaded and washed in cold water.

Remember to use a good and effective commercial detergent and read the directions before applying.

Step Four: Warm or Hot Water Wash for Tough Stains

Load the T-shirts that have the toughest stains in the washer and use the warm water setting. If you find the stains to be extreme, then use the hot setting.

Remember to use a good and effective commercial detergent and read the directions before applying. This same advice  will apply if you’re using bleach for your whites. But also remember, placing too much of detergent or bleach can damage your T-shirts.

Step Five: The Drying Process

After a good and proper wash, it is time to dry the T-shirts. And if you think this is a straight-forward process, well you’re wrong. There is more than meets the eye. Even drying needs skill!

For the drying process, there are two methods available. Machine dry then hang dry or completely hang dry.

Avoid Shrink and/or Stretch

After you wash your T-shirts, you want to make sure that you use good drying techniques so that your shirts do not shrink or stretch. The best way to avoid your T-shirts from shrinking is to machine dry or hang them to dry directly after washing.

Tumble Dry

If your washing machine has a drying facility, load the t-shirts into the dryer and switch the setting to tumble dry. Tumble dry simply means that you will be drying without any heat. Your T-shirts will tumble until they are dry or close to dry. You want to tumble dry your T-shirts until they are near dry and a little damp. So monitor and check your T-shirts periodically until they are ready.

Hang Dry

If you do not have a washing machine or a drying machine, the good old ‘hang dry’ method is equally effective. You’ll find there’s something rather calm and tranquil when you are out in the garden or yard line-drying your clothes. You may even enjoy watching the closes flap in the breeze on a wonderful morning. To learn more of the benefits of line–drying, please click here. But remember to remove the T-shirts immediately after washing and hang dry. You will find that, in this way, fabrics like our Gildan and Oren Sports collections,  will last longer.

This article was adapted from Everytees.

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