T-shirts are an essential wardrobe item found in almost every closet. Because they are comfortable, always fashionable and also serve as a means of expressing a personal style or message, they are very popular.
You probably have at least one T-shirt at home that you love. Maybe it’s because of a particular print, colour or because it holds a special memory for you. And of course, when we have a special interest in something, we want it to last as long as possible. That’s why it’s vital that we look after our T-shirts properly, which includes the correct washing, drying, storing and ironing techniques.
Of course, it’s also very important that the T-shirt is made to a high quality and that the print is durable, which you can read about in this post.
In this article, we would like to offer you some golden tips to help you keep your T-shirt nice to look at and suitable for long-lasting wear.
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Table of Contents
Follow the instructions for washing T-shirts.
It seems obvious at first glance, but many of us don’t consider to read the washing instructions on the label of our T-shirt. Each T-shirt has its own washing and care instructions. These depend mainly on the composition of the fabric, the type of knit and also the thickness of the fabric.
For example, it is not appropriate to wash a cotton T-shirt as a towel or sheet. We therefore recommend that you check the signs and care instructions carefully before washing.
Care and maintenance of T-shirts
To start with, remember that it is best to choose a dry and well-ventilated place to store your T-shirts. This rule also applies to storing dirty T-shirts before washing them, as this prevents the development of mould and fungi, which are usually the culprits behind unpleasant odours.
Also, remember that careful handling of your T-shirts can prevent fibre damage. So don’t leave them in lumps after use, but fold them gently and then put them into the laundry basket.
Remember to separate shirts that are dirty and stained from those that are less dirty. If a shirt has a stain, it should be at least partially removed before washing to prevent it spreading to other shirts.
Furthermore, don’t forget to sort your T-shirts by colour. This means that you will separate light and dark garments. This way, white garments are washed with other light coloured items, while dark shirts are washed with other darker coloured items.
It is also highly recommended to wash all new T-shirts before wearing them for the first time. There is a good chance that they will release some of the dye when they are washed for the first time, which is why it is a good idea to wash them separately from the rest of your clothes.
Washing the T-shirt
The following instructions are essential for a good wash:
Before washing, turn the T-shirt inside out. This is one simple step that can make a big difference to the well-preserved condition of your T-shirt; it reduces the chance of fabric damage from friction with other garments, the detergent has less effect on the outside of the T-shirt, and any print on the T-shirt is less likely to become worn out and damaged by the wash.
Cold wash to prevent shrinkage. To prevent shrinkage, always wash your T-shirt in cold water. It is usually best to wash cotton T-shirts at temperatures between 20-30 °C on a short cycle of between 30-45 minutes, but never longer than that. This lower temperature washing process prolongs the life of the fabric and, in particular, prevents discolouration, shrinkage and premature wear.
One of the more traditional methods of preserving the original size of a new T-shirt is to leave it in cold salt water for a day.
Dry cleaning and the use of aggressive cleaning agents are not recommended when washing T-shirts. Such processes and products can irreparably damage the fabric of your T-shirt, cause discolouration, shrink the garment or even remove the print. Opt for mild, eco-friendly washing products and treat your garments gently to maintain their fresh look and longevity.
After washing the T-shirt
After washing, don’t leave your T-shirts in the washing machine wet and twisted, as they can become wrinkled. It is best to hang them up as soon as possible, but you can also put them temporarily on a chair.
T-shirts should be air-dried and not tumble-dried. Tumble drying is not suitable for cotton garments and often causes shrinkage and damage to any print.
Avoid compressing or twisting the shirts, as this can damage the fibres. Sunlight can cause colours to fade over time, so it is best to dry the shirts in a cool, shaded and well-ventilated area.
If you hang the shirts on a hanger, ironing may not be necessary. However, if you do need to iron the T-shirts, use an iron set to a low temperature (about 150 °C) and iron the T-shirts inside out to prevent any burns.
The print on the T-shirt is very delicate and there is a good chance that it will be damaged if not maintained properly. To prevent possible damage such as fading or cracking of the print, we recommend that you iron the shirt on the reverse side of the print. This will protect the print from direct contact with the iron and will help your T-shirt maintain its original appearance for longer.
Some more effective tips
T-shirts are a delicate type of garment that can wear out quickly without proper care. The damage that can occur varies: T-shirts can shrink, stubborn or even irremovable stains can appear, colours can change, fabric can fade, become rough and so on. Here are some tips to help you in such moments.
In our grandparents’ time, when washing machines were unknown, they developed many simple but effective methods for maintaining clothes that are still useful today. The thin and delicate material of some T-shirts requires special treatment. Minor stains can be removed using warm water, baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar.
Make a mixture of a few teaspoons of baking soda and a small amount of water, adjusted to the size of the stain. If you like, you can also add a little detergent to make the mixture more cohesive. Apply the mixture to the stain so that it covers it completely. Leave it for 20 to 30 minutes, then scrub the stain gently with a soft clothes brush or an old toothbrush. Rinse with clean water and leave the T-shirt to air dry or machine wash.
Fixing the colour of the T-shirt
Always soak your T-shirt in white vinegar before washing it for the first time. Add one glass of vinegar to a bucket of water and leave the shirt to rest for a few hours to allow the colour to set. Then put the T-shirt in the washing machine for a routine wash.
As cotton has a high affinity for water and anything in it, it’s essential to always wash T-shirts with clothes of similar colours. This helps to avoid fading or a possible grey tone in the garment.
Yellowish white shirt
Yellow underarm stains on clothes are a common occurrence, usually caused by a combination of sweat and aluminium salts found in many deodorants. To prevent these unpleasant stains on your clothes, it is a good idea to stop using deodorants that contain such ingredients – which is also a step in favour of your health.
If your white shirt is already dyed, there is no reason to worry. In this case, lemon juice is your best friend and will make sure your white T-shirt stays shiny.
To summarise briefly
In this article, we’ve focused on some useful tips for the proper care and maintenance of T-shirts. It doesn’t take much effort to look after your favourite T-shirts, but it is important to know the right techniques for washing, drying, storing and ironing.
Don’t ignore the washing instructions on the label, make sure the shirts are sorted correctly by colour and the quality of the wash. T-shirts should be dried naturally, without the use of a dryer. Gentle ironing on the inside is essential to preserve the print, while effective home solutions can help remove stubborn stains and keep colours shining.
If you found this article interesting, we recommend you read the following Custom made T-shirts as a gift – the new trends.