Do you have a favorite printed t-shirt that you want to make sure keeps a fresh look? We thought of a few tips to make sure that your tee looks great even after several washes. All of your clothes, screen printed or not, can benefit from these tips. These tips will prevent fading, as well as protect printing and embellishments.
The process of washing and drying clothes creates a rubbing action against the print and causes it to fade. With the tips below we can ensure that this will not happen to your printed t-shirts.
How to wash and prevent your printed T-shirt from fading?
1. Wash the shirt inside out
This is a vintage lover’s Hail Mary and the oldest trick in the book. The idea is the graphic will encounter less friction and subsequently less damage in the wash. More friction can cause the ink in the graphic to flake off or loosen. Less friction in the wash prevents graphics from peeling or cracking, as well as the shirt from pilling or fading. Don’t worry, the shirt will still get clean. If you only take away one tip from this blog, this is it. Your graphic tees will thank you.
2. Use cold water
Using hot, or ever warm water can increase the fade of the colors on your shirt. Heat, no matter how it is applied, breaks down the fibers in your shirt and on the graphics. Minimizing contact with heat can increase the longevity of your garment. Graphic tees don’t like boiling hot water. Plus, washing with cold water is better for the Earth and saves on the energy bill!
3. Avoid using the dryer
Echoing the whole ‘hot = bad’ notion, try not to throw your graphic tees in the dryer. This can be very important depending on how the graphic on your tee is applied. If the graphic is an iron on, chances are you will see peeling or cracking after the first run in the dryer. Screen printed graphics do better in the dryer, but are subject to cracking over time. We recommend the old fashion hang-dry technique. But if you’re in a pinch, dry the shirt inside out, too.
4. Don’t clean with bleach or harsh detergents, including fabric softeners
These products dissolve the adhesive under the graphics on your t-shirts. Try using a mild soap or detergent. Sometimes you may want to skip throwing your graphic tee in the washer with the rest of your laundry and go the hand washing route instead. It may be a hassle, but your graphic tees stand a better chance at a longer lifetime.
5. Keep away from clothing irons
Or heat in general… Using an iron can significantly dull graphics on clothing over time. Applying heat and friction in this way impacts the longevity and quality of the graphic on your shirt. Just remember, all heat is bad heat when it comes to your beloved graphic tee.
Now you know! Just follow these quick and easy tips when washing your printed shirts (which we are sure are super awesome...) and extend their lifespan a bit.