Printed T-shirts are a staple in every wardrobe. They’re the go-to option for casual outings, lazy weekends, and even special events with friends and family. However, to keep your favorite printed tees looking new and vibrant, you need to take proper care of them. Follow these simple steps to ensure your printed T-shirts stay in top-notch condition.
Avoid Bleach and Fabric Softeners
When washing printed T-shirts, avoid using bleach and fabric softeners. Bleach can cause the print to fade, and fabric softeners can leave a residue that affects the print quality. Instead, use a mild, eco-friendly detergent that is gentle on both the fabric and the print.
Wash in Cold Water
While you might want to use warm water for a thorough wash, stick to cold water for printed T-shirts. Hot water can cause print fading and may even lead to the fabric shrinking. Cold water helps preserve the print and the overall quality of the T-shirt while still getting it clean.
Turn Inside Out Before Washing
Our next tip on how to properly take care of printed T-shirts is to turn them inside out before throwing them in the wash. Most people overlook this step, but it helps maintain the quality of your printed tees. Turning the shirts inside out before washing reduces wear and tear on the print from rubbing against surfaces and other clothes during the wash cycle. This simple step can significantly prolong the life of your printed tees, keeping them looking fresher for longer.
Hand-Wash if Possible
Hand-washing is the gentlest way to clean your printed T-shirts, ensuring the colors and prints stay vibrant for longer. Here’s a simple process to follow:
Fill a basin with cold water and add a small amount of gentle detergent.
Turn your T-shirt inside out to protect the print, submerge it in the water, and gently agitate it with your hands.
Rinse the shirt under running water until there’s no more soap left.
Gently squeeze out the excess water without wringing the fabric.
Lay the T-shirt flat on a clean surface, such as a towel, to air-dry.
Using a dryer is tempting for convenience, but doing so can damage your T-shirt’s print and cause shrinkage. To maintain your printed T-shirt’s quality, air-drying is the way to go. After washing, remember these steps:
Gently shake the shirt to smooth out wrinkles and creases.
Lay the T-shirt flat to dry, ideally in a shaded place to avoid fading from sunlight.
Allow the shirt to dry completely before folding or wearing it.
Don’t Dry-Clean Plastisol Ink Prints
If your T-shirt has a plastisol ink print, steer clear of the dry cleaner. Dry cleaners typically use harsh chemicals that can affect plastisol ink, causing it to crack and peel over time. Stick to hand washing or machine washing on a gentle cycle, using cold water and a gentle detergent, and always turn the shirt inside out.
Wash Similar Clothes Together
One of the most effective ways to protect your printed tees from damage while washing is to group similar clothes together. By doing this, you ensure clothing items with zippers or buttons don’t snag or abrade your printed T-shirts. Moreover, washing your tees with similarly colored clothes helps minimize color bleeding, thus preserving the vibrancy of your tees’ designs.
Pretreat With Stain Removal Spray
We’ve all been there—spilling some sauce or drink on our favorite printed tee and fearing the stain might ruin it forever. But don’t fret! Before tossing your stained T-shirt into the washing machine, use a stain-removal spray designed for fabrics. These sprays help loosen the stain and make it easier for the laundry detergent to do its magic. Remember to follow the instructions on the stain removal product, and voilà! You can enjoy your stain-free printed tees like they’re brand new.
Iron on Low Heat
While we all want wrinkle-free clothing, ironing your printed T-shirts can damage the design if you don’t do it properly. To avoid mishaps, use low heat when ironing printed tees. You should also turn the shirt inside out before ironing to protect the print. Additionally, place a thin cloth or piece of parchment paper between your shirt and the iron to provide an extra layer of protection.
Store T-Shirts Properly
Store your printed T-shirts flat, as hanging them can cause the fabric to stretch and the prints to distort. Make sure the area where you store your tees is clean, dry, and well ventilated—this will help avoid mold or mildew buildup. Additionally, keeping your tees in a drawer or a box away from direct sunlight will help preserve the colors and prints for longer.
Avoid Excessive Sun Exposure
Perhaps the biggest enemy of printed T-shirts is UV radiation from the sun. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause fading and distortion in the print, so try to keep your tees away from overly sunny spots. If you’ll be spending a lot of time outside on a hot day, avoid throwing on one of your printed tees. Instead, opt for something light and breathable without prints or dyes.
Avoid Lint Rollers
Finally, try to avoid using lint rollers on printed T-shirts. The adhesive residue can sometimes damage the fabric and leave an unsightly mark on the print. Instead, use a soft brush or damp cloth to remove any dirt or lint from the surface of your tees. This will help keep them looking fresh without risking any damage.
Caring for your printed T-shirts doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. With a little extra attention and care, you can enjoy your favorite designs for years to come. Follow the tips on how to properly take care of printed T-shirts above, and your clothes will stay looking great for a long time.
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