I recently tried washing my professional work shirts and found out the hard way that there is a method to doing this that will keep them looking fresh and new. Once I saw how badly I screwed my shirts up, I did what I alway do when I make a mistake, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work researching how to wash dress shirts correctly, and how to do this properly in the future. It turns out there are different ways to handle different shirts. Today, we will go over a few of the most common, and to my mind, most helpful tips on how to do this so you don’t make the same mistakes I did. If this sounds like something you’d like to know more about, and who wouldn’t want to hear more about this subject these days, then read on in our article titled Dress shirts: how do I wash them?
First of all, if you want the best results you’ll need to spend the most time, and put the most effort into doing this the way that will achieve the very best results. I’m talking about hand washing your dress shirts. Yes, that can sound daunting at first, but once you get into the habit of this, you will see why it is the most recommended method. Hand washing not only gave me the most desirable results right away, but over time it was clear that doing the washing by hand routine extended the longevity of my dress shirts many months. Even if you can’t always do this time-consuming and rather arduous process for all of your dress shirts, you really should for your favorite one or two shirts. You know what i’m talking about, your go-to shirt you would want to wear to that important meeting or lunch pow-wow.
So, how do I hand wash my shirt to get this great result? Before you even start this process make sure you unfasten all of the buttons. Also, remove the collar stays .Pre-treat any stains that have appeared, using a stain remover or spot cleaning brush. To remove sweat stains, soak a dress shirt in a mixture of cold water and white vinegar for 30 minutes. This helps to break down the stain. Afterwards, loosen the stain by rubbing it back and forth with your fingers. To ensure the dress shirt really gets clean, soak it in water with a quality detergent. Once the shirt is cleaned, rinse it under cold water to remove additional soap. Lay the shirt flat and roll it in a towel to extract additional moisture. Once the water has been absorbed, hang the dress shirt on a hanger, and let it air dry.
When you don’t have time to hand wash, the next best thing is to machine wash.Before washing dress shirts, follow the same steps for hand washing. Make sure to undo buttons, remove collar stays, and pre-treat stains. This is a good habit to develop regardless of the washing style.
If a dress shirt is made of a finer fabric, check carefully to set the washing machine on a delicate cycle. Darker fabrics should be washed in cold water. White dress shirts need to be cleaned in warm or hot water with light colors. Don’t mix the two! You will save time, but you will increase the risk of your colors bleeding onto your whites, causing discoloration. Another shirt bites the dust. White shirts should be washed as quickly as possible after they are worn. The longer they sit out, the more time body oils and sweat have to absorb into the shirt fabric, turning it yellow.
Make sure to select a spin cycle that removes most of the water from the shirt before the load is done. Remove it quickly after the cycle is finished to avoid wrinkles setting into the shirt.
One last tip I’ll leave you with, regardless of how you wash, the most important thing is to avoid shrinkage, as shrinkage will not only make your shirt fit too tight, shrinkage is what ages the shirt. Drying is the principal place where shrinkage happens. Most dress shirts will shrink up to 3% after a few washes So, make sure you rack dry, that is, let you shirts dry on a hanger, on a rack. This will minimize shrinkage and wear. So, now you know how to wash and dry your shirts like a pro, hopefully this bit of knowledge will be useful to you and your wardrobe, good luck out there!