The day is here — you finally received your screen-printed t-shirts. You open the first box to find that all the items reflect your vision to a T (no pun intended). The wait was more than worth it.
Well, now what? Time to make sure they last as long as possible!
While many people care for their screen-printed tees the same way as the rest of their clothes, there are a few simple techniques that will help you extend their life cycle. This not only helps you get the most out of your shirts, it also helps prevent their premature disposal and subsequent environmental impact.
As you read this, you may be wondering: does it take long? Not at all! These are just simple steps you can take while doing laundry that will minimize any damage to your t-shirts.
You may also be wondering: is the extra effort worth it? Absolutely! If your tees are sporting a beautiful and unique design — whether it’s your band, brand, or something else entirely — you want to make sure it looks as best as possible for as long as possible. Trust us, your logo won’t look nearly as good if it’s faded, peeling, or warped because of the washing technique.
Here are some steps that will help your screen-printed shirts last years and years:
Flip your shirt inside out
By flipping your screen-printed t-shirt inside out before washing it, you are exposing the side that no one sees to the chemicals, friction, and other elements of the wash cycle that may damage your design. Flipping garments inside out in general is a good idea because it washes the fabric that’s touching your skin all day and helps prevent visible pilling and lint.
Remember that heat is the enemy
When it comes to washing your screen-printed tees, keep all settings as cold as possible. If these are options, you want to use tap-cold water on your washer and the “air fluff” function on your dryer. This will help prevent shrinkage, which keeps the design looking how it should. When your t-shirt’s fabric shrinks, the ink will not shrink along with it and the results could be disastrous.
While we’re on the topic of heat, you also want to flip your shirt inside out when ironing it. This prevents direct heat exposure on the ink and minimizes damage.
Avoid harsh chemicals and detergents
Just like the way bleach can stain fabrics, it can definitely stain your design. In order to avoid stains or faded colors, stick with mild laundry detergents that still get the job done.
Use your “delicate” or “gentle” wash cycle
Machine-washing your clothes in the “delicate” or “gentle” cycle is probably the closest you can get to hand-washing minus the back-breaking labor. Under these settings, the machine will spin less aggressively, reducing the damage to your screen-printed t-shirts.