Once you find that perfect t-shirt (or a few), you want to wear it forever! And while eternity might not be possible, you can definitely extend your t-shirt’s lifespan with the proper care!
Faded colours, stretch out necklines and falling-apart seams are totally avoidable, given that you’ve purchased a high-quality garment.
So let’s dive into what you could do to enjoy your favourite tees longer and review the laundry instructions to avoid ruining t-shirts.
General t-shirt care tips
Before we get into all of the must-know details about the t-shirt laundry, let’s review all the general t-shirt care tips that will keep them nice, tidy and long-lasting.
Air them out. Before you put the t-shirt into the closet, hang it on a rack or a hanger. This way, all the odours and dampness will evaporate. Otherwise, it can attract mildew.
Avoid the sunlight. Don’t keep your t-shirts hanging in a spot in direct sunlight. The colours will fade!
Protect from skincare & perfume. Ensure all your lotions and sunscreen are well soaked up before you put on your t-shirt, as the chemicals could stain and cause discolouration. Spray your perfume before dressing up too.
Store properly. If you’re storing some of your tees for the winter, wash them first and avoid plastic bags. According to Life Hacker, storing your clothes properly will help preserve them, too, and garment bags are your best choice as they make sure your clothes stay wrinkle-free.
Buy quality tees. Look, proper care can go only so far. Always buy only high-quality t-shirts like the ones from Fresh Clean Tees to keep them in pristine condition and to wear them longer! Check here their DIY guide on how to soften a t-shirt.
T-shirt laundry instructions
Okay, so you know the basics now, it’s time to move on to laundry. Don’t get overwhelmed though, it’s all easy peasy once you nail the system!
Sort and spearate the clothes. This is laundry 101. Unfortunately, many people still wash all their clothes together without sorting them out. But that’s how a white tee turns pink in a blink of an eye, so trust us, those extra few minutes make a whole difference!
Separate your clothes by colour (especially if you know that some of them bleed colour) and by fabric. Pieces that tend to shed (e.g. towels) should not be washed with your tees as the lint will transfer!
If you have enough t-shirts, wash your whites and coloured ones separately without any other clothing in the mix.
Use cold or tepid water. Even though hot water removes the stains better, it also damages the fabric! So unless you fell into a puddle or had some serious grease accident, wash your t-shirts in cold or tepid water – they will be just as clean!
Turn them inside out. This is especially important if it’s a printed graphic tee, as the prints can get damage by the washer.
Forget bleach. Just don’t use it. Bleach is simply too harsh on most fabrics and will turn your tee into something you’ll wear only to clean your car in!
Take care of the stains ASAP. A jam mishap while eating a doughnut? Don’t wait until the laundry day and take care of that stain right away. If you have nothing with you, use water and regular soap, but if you’re at home, use stain removal or detergent directly on the shirt. If you decide to buy a stain remover, Bustle recommends getting one for white and the other for coloured clothes, but there are certainly stain removers that work well on both.
Air dry. While dryers are very practical, the heat damages the fabric, causes colours to fade and your tees to shrink, especially if they’re 100% cotton. Take the extra time to dry your t-shirts on a drying rack or hangers.
This leads to the second part of this tip: you need to immediately take your washed t-shirts out of the machine. Don’t leave them hanging out because they will wrinkle, and you’ll need to repeat the process!