T-shirts are comfortable enough to be worn daily, but if you take good care of one, how long will it last? Well, that really depends on the methods used to clean and dry it.
T-shirts are not designed to last forever, but if you get close to two summers out of one, you’ve done pretty well. To help you extend the life of your favorite t-shirt, here are some care tips to follow.
1 – The Settings
If you have bothered to look at and read the label that is tucked into the collar or one of the seams of your t-shirt, you will find cleaning instructions. You will discover that it is recommended to use the delicate cycle on a washing machine and to use cold water. There are two different camps on this matter.
The cold water and delicate settings are supposed to preserve the colors of the t-shirt and any decaling or printed material on it. The other side of the coin is that regular detergents are more effective in warmer temperatures. It’s your call, but either way, your t-shirt will be cleaned.
2 – The Prep
Regardless of the temperature setting you decide to use to wash your t-shirts, there is a simple thing you can do to instantly extend their life prior to tossing them into the wash. Just turn them inside-out. This keeps the decal or design on the front of your t-shirt from rubbing against something else in the washing cycle that could damage it.
3 – The Cleaning Solutions
There is no such thing as a detergent that is made specifically to clean t-shirts. This means that whatever you have used in the past to clean the rest of your laundry will also work with t-shirts. That includes fabric softeners that you may add.
4 – The Load
Here’s a common sense tip you should already be following since doing your own laundry as a student in a dorm or while growing up living at home.
Do not mix colors. With t-shirts it is also important to match fabrics you are washing at the same time. So, if your t-shirts are made from cotton, separate your laundry and add them to the load that is mostly cotton.
5 – The Warning
This has to be separate from all the other tips. Do not, under any circumstances, use bleach when washing t-shirts. This also means to steer clear of detergents that contain bleach.
1 – The Drying Cycle
There is no nice way to say this. Don’t tumble dry your t-shirts with the heat setting on. Also, do not wring them out. All you are doing is wearing out the material faster than if you didn’t wash the t-shirts at all.
2 – The Hanger
The best way to dry a t-shirt is to put it on a clothes hanger and let it dry naturally at room temperature. You could iron them afterwards but be sure to use cool settings on the iron and do not roll the iron anywhere near a printed decal that may be heat-pressed into the t-shirt
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