5 Tips for Taking Care of Your T-Shirts

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 • Permalink • 

--Guest Post By Becca Haight

T-shirts are a basic part of most wardrobes. Since they’re worn so often, though, they don’t usually last as long as other types of clothing. If you want your t-shirts to stick around longer, following some basic care guidelines can help keep them in the best shape possible.

1. Wash in Warm Water
Contrary to popular belief, you should wash your t-shirts in warm water to get them as clean as possible. This is because laundry detergents are more effective when used in warm water rather than cold water. Don’t wash them in hot water, though, since this can make them shrink. It’s also important to wash t-shirts frequently to reduce the risk of armpit stains if you sweat a lot, according to the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute International. Drycleaning and Laundry Institute International

2. Dry and Iron With Care
When you dry your t-shirts, put your dryer on the permanent press setting. Avoid using a high heat setting since your shirts could end up shrinking. If you don’t like to iron, take your t-shirts out of the dryer as soon as they’re done. Letting them sit in the dryer causes them to become wrinkled. You can also reduce wrinkling by folding them up carefully before putting them away. If you do need to iron them, put the iron on the right setting so it won’t be too hot.

3. Protect Your White Tees
When you wash your white t-shirts, don’t throw other colors in with them. You might think it’s alright to put very light or pastel colors in too, but these colors can bleed onto your white shirts. You should also avoid putting in clothes that have a print or pattern on a white background since this can also ruin your white t-shirts. If they do become discolored, try using a bluing agent to make them white again. This won’t work for darker shades, but it should restore whiteness to yellowed t-shirts.

4. Keep Them in Shape
Don’t hang your t-shirts up in your closet since hangers can distort their shape. Your shirts might end up having stretched necklines or bumps in the shoulder areas. Put them in drawers instead to preserve their original shape. If you’ve run out of drawer space and have to hang them up, look for hangers that are specially made to protect garments from stretching.

5. Follow Special Care Instructions
If you have t-shirts made from certain materials that require special care, always follow the instructions on the label for washing and drying them. For example, t-shirts with digital or iron-on prints should be turned inside out before washing so that the print won’t be ruined. You might also need to use the delicate setting on your washing machine, and wash them in cold water with a detergent that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals.

Although your t-shirts probably won’t last as long as your favorite pair of jeans, they’ll survive longer than usual if you take good care of them. In addition to washing and drying them carefully, don’t forget to treat stains as quickly as possible to prevent them from setting in. You don’t want to have to toss a relatively new t-shirt in the trash because of a drop or two of spaghetti sauce.

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Becca Haight is a full-time fashion writer and blogger. She writes for personalisedtshirts.com, where you can find more info on designing your own t-shirts, including Bespoke t shirts.