Want to know how to clean and care for your T-Shirt so it lasts longer and stays brighter and/or whiter. Here are some great tips on T-Shirt care so you get to keep the T-Shirt you love looking its best for longer. Plus two store-cupboard essentials that will make all the difference. And an informative Infographic. All you need to know!
How to clean and care for a T-Shirt so it looks and feels great for longer:
Deal with Stains immediately
Wash T-Shirts inside out
Do two loads - a dark wash, and a light wash
Wash at 30 degrees
Use mild detergents in the recommended quality
Do not tumble dry
Dry inside out and avoid direct sunlight
Iron on reverse
Store with care
1. Treat stains immediately!
In case of emergency, and you need to get a stain off your T-Shirt, the first and most important rule is to treat the stain immediately. Here are some quick fixes:
Most Stains - as a general rule this will work on most stains when you're not at home and cannot be too specific.
You need to ACT FAST! Rinse with cold water and work in some DISHWASHING LIQUID.
Dishing washing liquid is your best option but if unavailable try some liquid soap, or if possible, washing detergent. Once you can see the stain lifting rinse with cold water.
Grease spot - spot on hand sanitiser on the affected area. Dab with a dry cloth, tissue, or napkin. Then wash as normal when at home.
Blood - on the spot fix - cover with lots of Salt mixed in cold water. Never use hot water! When at home soak overnight in cold water mixed with biological detergent
Chewing gum - Freeze the gum with a plastic bag full ice cubes then break away the hard brittle gum.
Grass stain - Soak for 15 minutes in a solution of two parts water to one part white vinegar.
Curry - deal with quickly as come curries have natural dyes in them. Mix one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and one tablespoon of white vinegar with two cups of warm water. With a clean white cloth or clean sponge apply the solution. Blot frequently with a dry cloth. Repeat until the curry stain disappears.
Coffee and tea - with a clean dry cloth blot up excess coffee or tea. Mix 4 cups of cold water, ½ teaspoon dishwashing liquid and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar soak the affected area for 15 minutes. Then rinse off.
Lipstick - Rub on some dishwashing liquid to remove the stain. Then rinse off. Great for cotton not so good for dry-clean fabrics.
AT HOME cover stain with undiluted mild detergent. (If necessary mix up some of your powered detergent with some cold water to create a sloppy paste) and then leave to soak overnight.
For persistent stains, you can use a commercial stain remover. However, be careful on colored clothing as some contain bleach and might remove the colour from the fabric and the area lighter.
2. Wash inside out
Washing your T-Shirts ‘inside out’ ensures that zips and coarse fabrics do not rub on your designs and over time ruin them. Similarly, it helps prevent unwanted fuzziness and pilling of cotton fabrics.
Besides t-shirts, this is great advice for your jeans. Turning your jeans inside out before washing will prevent the color from fading, retaining the original tone.
3. Wash less
Get out of the habit of wear and wash. It's not good for your clothing or the environment. Washing less frequently will give your garment extra-longevity and durability. Although cotton T-Shirts are tough, frequent washing ages all clothing. T-shirts should only be washed when needed. So wash only when dirty if you want your T-Shirt to look good for longer.
Besides, washing clothing only when needed is not unhygienic. Also, you'll be doing your bit for the environment contributing to a more sustainable future.
4. Wash with similar colours
Create two loads. Lights and darks.
Washing lights together keeps your whites looking brighter and fresher. Thereby, avoiding them becoming grey over time. Above all, it will avoid your super white tee turning into that old pink cliché.
5. Wash cold
Cotton T-Shirts do not like heat and can even shrink if washed too hot. There are plenty of washing detergents that now wash optimally at lower temperatures like 30 degrees. Great for saving you money on energy bills. Above all, this is the perfect temperature to wash your T-Shirt and clothing in general.
Washing a white T-Shirt at 30 or 40 degrees ensures a longer-lasting crisp looking T-Shirt. Likewise, it reduces the risk of any unwanted yellow stains under the armpits.
6. Add the recommended amount of detergent
Save yourself some money here. Adding extra detergent will not make your clothes cleaner.
However, don't overstuff your machine in an effort to save money. Putting the correct weight of clothes into your washing machine will clean them better.
Similarly, grouping dirty muddy sports gear together in one load is better than adding them to items needing only a light clean.
Avoid using bleaching detergents which can damage prints. Go for milder detergents that will take care of your printed t-shirts.
6. Do not tumble dry
Tumble drying might be a convenient timesaving solution but its not great for any printed garments or natural fibres. Tumble driers can cause:
Crack & Peel - Too much heat will make your printed design will crack and peel.
Shrinkage - Compared to man-made fibres cotton products all have some natural shrinkage. Excessive heat makes the fibres shrink.
You can avoid shrinkage by avoiding the tumble drier and hang air-dry instead.
Hang clothes - the old fashioned way on a clothes airer or outside on a line.
Avoid direct sunlight - when air-drying your garments, avoid direct sunlight to reduce unwanted fading of colours.
Dry Inside Out - and avoid the sun bleaching your T-Shirt
DID YOU KNOW? - The average tumble dryer needs up to five times the energy levels of a standard washing machine.
7. Iron on reverse
NEVER IRON DIRECTLY ONTO T-SHIRT PRINT!
T-Shirt prints do not like direct heat. So you need to protect your T-shirt design by ironing the back of the shirt. Let the heat gently seep through from the back to the front until the design is flat.
If a T-Shirt does need ironing, then it is best to refer to the garment care label to understand exactly what temperature setting is safe.
Alternatively, you could spend a few seconds when it comes out of the washing machine. Give your t-shirt a gentle stretch or shake to minimise creasing. Don't stretch the neckline too much as you don't want to lose the T-Shirts natural shape.
8. Store your T-Shirts with care
Laying flat and folded is the best way to store your T-Shirts.
However, if you prefer to hang your T-Shirts, use wide hangers so the weight is more evenly distributed. Above all, when hanging your T-Shirts, make sure you insert the hanger from the bottom so you’re not over-stretching the neckline.
Lastly, stop your T-Shirt fading by avoiding direct sunlight during storage.
Take a look at our informative Infographic that summarises all these great tips and gives you bonus information on how to use store cupboard essentials to improve your laundry skills and ensure you have the best looking T-Shirt for the longest time.
You might also be interested in these blog articles:
How to remove Grease Stains
How to remove Ink Stains
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