Your clothing gives people a first impression of who you are. It’s the best way to show off your own personal style and personality, and you want to make sure that you represent yourself in the way you want. The best way to do so is to take care of the clothes you own. Clothing should be made well and last a long time – but it helps to care for your clothes in order to preserve them and to extend the life of your favourite items.
T-shirts in particular need extra care. You want to keep them in tip-top condition in order to ensure that they look their best on you over the years. A great one can last you a whole lifetime if you care for it in the best way. They can also be quite valuable over the years – people are willing to pay a lot of money for vintage t-shirts these days! Some shirts can be washed regularly and are only meant to be worn for a season or a year before replacing them, but your favourite concert or printed tees can definitely benefit from special care. Here are some tips on helping you extend the life of your t-shirts.
Washing your t-shirts with extra care is the first step to keeping them clean and fresh for years to come.
Turn them inside out
When washing, it’s best to turn them inside out before you wash them. Printed t-shirts will tend to fade over time from washing, and turning them inside out helps to protect the printed areas so that they still get clean but without damaging the print.
Use cold water
It’s best to wash your t-shirts with cold water. Hot water can be tougher on fabrics and can cause the print to fade and the cotton and other materials to thin over time. Cold water will get them just as clean but won’t cause shrinkage or damage.
Use a gentle setting
When using a washing machine, make sure to use the most gentle setting. This will minimise the amount of damage a t-shirt gets in the washer – the gentle setting doesn’t wring clothes out as much or stretch them around the inside of the washer.
Don’t use added chemicals
You can definitely use a liquid detergent on your t-shirts but try not to add extra chemicals like bleach or other cleaners. These can really harm fabrics and can especially attack the print. You don’t want the print to be bleached out. If needed, you can use a gentle stain remover on troublesome spots but stay away from bleach.
Consider hand washing
If you can, wash your t-shirts by hand so that you don’t have to worry about the washing machine stretching them out and thinning the fabric. Hand washing is simple and doesn’t take long – simply prepare a cold or lukewarm bucket of water with a little liquid detergent dissolved in it and soak the t-shirt in it so that it is saturated with water and soap. Then rinse it gently in cold water until the water runs clear of soap.
After your shirts have got clean in the wash, it’s time to dry them! Follow these tips for the best results.
If you are able to, air dry all of your favourites. This will prevent them from shrinking or getting damaged by the heat and it won’t warp the print or design. You can air dry them by laying them flat on a dry, white towel in a room that gets decent ventilation. Or you can also hang them on plastic hangers – just make sure that the hangers aren’t stretching the sleeves out. Never hang them in direct sunlight – this will make areas fade and will affect the overall colouring. If you can hang them outside in the shade in an area with a breeze, that will help them dry more quickly.
Use the no heat setting
If you want to use a dryer for your t-shirts, use a low or no heat setting. This will help dry the clothes by tossing them in the air that the dryer provides, but they won’t be affected by the harsh heat of normal dryer settings. Your garments will benefit from this gentle treatment.
Dry inside out
Just like you washed your tee's inside out, you should also dry them inside out. This will keep the printed part protected from the drying process.
Iron inside out
If you want to iron your shirts, always be sure to iron them inside out as well. This will ensure that the printed area is protected from the heat of the iron. Never use a high setting on the iron – use the lowest possible setting or a steam setting in order to remove the wrinkles without damaging the t-shirt.
Many people think of t-shirts as casual wear that doesn’t require the same care as formal wear. But t-shirts are often your favourite items in your wardrobe! They deserve the same attention as other items in your closet, and with the right care you can ensure that they stay in great condition and that you can wear them for years to come.